Welcome back to Dancing With the Stars. The show kicked off last night with some polished performances (Fresh Prince‘s Alfonso Ribeiro and, surprisingly, Duck Dynasty scion Sadie Robertson ) and some, well, less-than-polished performances (apparently bobsledding in the Olympics is not the same as cha-cha-ing). Tonight we find out who goes home, because despite last year’s blissful one-episode-per-week format, after 19 seasons the show has realized that in fact they do need two nights to contain all the sparkling glory.
Here’s what happened on Dancing With the Stars:
Star Parade: To remind viewers of the show’s glorious past, the audience was packed with celebrities and former contestants like Ralph Macchio, Rick Schroder, David Justice, Amy Purdy, Brant Daugherty, Cheech Marin, Leah Remini, Rumer Willis and Danica McKellar.
Safety First: It’s always nerve-racking to be judged first, but Antonio Sabato Jr. managed it without breaking a sweat. He’s coming back next week, as is Tavis Smiley, while Betsey Johnson does not get an AARP break and is in jeopardy this week.
Ladies With an Attitude: To introduce the audience to the stars who, frankly, kind of need an introduction, the producers kindly give up a few moments of prime time so each woman can explain who they are and why they are on the show in a two-second soundbite. Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parish wants to show off her Hawaiian dance heritage. Sadie Robertson wants to share her faith and prove Christians can have fun. Actress Lea Thompson wants to relive her ballet-dancer past. Olympic bobsledder and hurdler Lolo Jones wants to show up that guy who embarrassed her at prom. Bethany Mota wants to live life, step outside YouTube and onto TV. Designer Betsey Johnson wants to show that age is a matter of mind, because “if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!”
Fellows That Were in the Mood: Then, the men get a shot at justifying their spot on the show. Former Fresh Prince star Alfonso Ribeiro is looking forward to losing weight. Tommy Chong wants to impress his wife. PBS mainstay Tavis Smiley wants to start being silly before he turns 50. Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett is here to make the audience cry and honor his father, who is watching from heaven. Mixed-martial-arts champ Randy Couture is here to show his softer side. NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip wants to pick up where Bill Engvall left off.
Meet the Pros: The show added three new pros this season, and while it introduced them last night, they are just going to go ahead and do it again. Allison Holker came from So You Think You Can Dance, Artem Chigvintsev won Strictly Come Dancing and Keo Motsepe is a South African dance machine. After a video that featured all three glistening in oil while a wind machine sputtered. Tom Bergeron quipped, “Dancing With the Stars, where body fat goes to die.” After their video intro, they show their stuff by dancing with the rest of the pros to Pharrell’s “Come Get it Bae.” Needless to say, the men were shirtless.
Encore Performance: The judges smartly opted to watch a repeat of Alfonso’s and Witney’s high-flying, fast-paced jive, which put them at the top of the leaderboard. Watching the frenetic footwork and effortless flair in the routine makes you realize that Alfonso is good, but it also speaks to Witney’s talent. As the youngest pro on the show, she has the most to prove.
Safety Dance: Over the next few rounds of drama-filled results announcements, it’s revealed that Janel, Randy Couture, Sadie Robertson, Alfonso and Bethany Mota are safe. That left Lea Thompson and Michael Waltrip in jeopardy.
Best Performance: Motown legend Smokey Robinson and up-and-comer Aloe Blacc sang a slowed down version of “My Girl” while Mark and Witney slow-danced like they were at a rom-com version of a high school prom when everyone had cleared the floor so the preacher’s daughter and the motorcycle-riding town rebel could rekindle their love against all odds and her father’s wishes.
Best Moment of the Night: The producers unearthed the pros’ audition tapes and showed Derek Hough’s shiny-faced, exuberant and loquacious tryout. It was all kinds of adorable.
Worst Moment of the Night: Airing time-wasting B-roll footage, instead of the rest of the pros’ audition videos.
In Jeopardy: The hosts reveal that Jonathan Bennett and Tommy Chong are safe, meaning that all is currently right with the world and Lolo and Keo are in jeopardy. She joins Betsey Johnson, Michael Waltrip and Lea Thompson in the bottom of the rankings.
The Results: It’s quickly revealed that Lea and Michael are safe, meaning that Betsey and Lolo are actually in jeopardy.
Going Home: Lolo Jones. The Olympian handles defeat with grace, admitting her mistakes and pointing out that it wouldn’t have been fair to send Betsey home over a wardrobe malfunction. If she had been as gracious last night, perhaps she would have stayed on the show longer.
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