Brandy and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy had reason to say “I love rock and roll!” as the couple triumphed on Dancing With the Stars’ first ever rock and roll episode on Monday night.
The pair proved last week wasn’t a fluke as they won first place again. But football quarterback Kurt Warner and his pro dancer Anna Trebunskaya might be in danger of elimination as judges gave them the lowest scores.
Meanwhile, Bristol Palin rebounded and one-time front runner Jennifer Grey had another rough week.
For Monday night’s show, each couple had to dance twice — one individual performance and an appearance in the group dance marathon. The pairs received scores on both dances which were added together for the rankings.
Brandy and Maks gave the best performance last week and Monday night they continued strong, scoring a total of 36 points for the night.
First, judges gave them a 26 for their tango to the song “Holding out for a Hero.” Judge Len Goodman praised the dance’s “intensity, passion, [and] aggression,” and Bruno Tonioli told Brandy, “You got it” as the young singer seemed to be overcome with emotion.
In rehearsal footage, Brandy was shown crying and walking out of the studio, but the struggles from earlier in the week didn’t affect her live performance.
After the show, Brandy told OK! dancing last in the individual performance was nerve-wracking.
“Last is so hard. It was really emotional and intense. I really wanted to do a good job and Maks said, ‘listen, just focus on me and we’ll be okay.’ So I did that.” Her playful partner, who wore tight pants for the tango, said the feeling was different for him: “those pleather pants — do you have any idea what was happening up in there? Wow!”
The singer admitted of the marathon, “I was tired by the two minute mark!” But Maks carried Brandy on his back for part of it, and it all worked out spectacularly as the couple won both portions of the night’s competition.
Audrina Patridge and her pro Tony Dovolani’s total for the night was 32 out of 40, good for second place. They performed the paso doble to “Another One Bites the Dust” and earned 24 points with Judge Len bluntly telling Audrina, “You’re getting on my nerves. Every week it lacks the character of the dance.”
But Carrie Ann Inaba called her improvement week to week “truly impressive.”
Later, for their part of the dance marathon, they got a score of eight out of ten. Backstage, Audrina told OK!, “learning two dances was challenging because when I was out there on the dance floor I was only trying to think of the paso doble but I also had the other dance in the back of my head, trying not to mix the two up.”
Audrina called the judges’ comments about her not showing enough character, “very frustrating. I was hurt because I put in so much work this entire week.”
And Tony said the judge’s criticism wasn’t true because he saw Audrina’s passion.
“I was so happy with the intensity she gave me,” he said. “I felt like everything came together and at the end I let out a scream, I picked her up, I was like, ‘let’s see what they’re going to say’ and then they start not liking it. It was so disheartening.”
Still, they finished second and basketball hunk Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke put down solid scores as well, earning 30 out of 40. Rick donned guy-liner and a Mohawk hairstyle for his tango to “You Really Got Me.” Len said, “You did an excellent job.” Later, the pair got a six out of ten for the group marathon. Backstage, Rick commented, “it was a grueling week. Muscles mentally and physically got stretched to meet the demands of tonight.” Cheryl said for rock week, “we were actually supposed to have a black floor but they changed it last minute because I think [producers] didn’t like the lighting. We were practicing on this black floor all week!”
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer tied Rick and Cheryl for third place, also receiving a total score of 30.
The young Corey in the House star brought some swagger to the tango and captured a 23.
Although Judge Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out a “slight mess up” in their steps, Bruno told Kyle, “Your footwork is so much better.” Their marathon garnered a welcome seven out of ten.
After the show, Kyle told reporters, “the marathon was [a test of] endurance. Who can do the dance for the longest the best and we stayed in there longer than we thought we would. We were happy with the position we were given.”
Unfortunately, Jennifer Grey and her partner Derek Hough danced a paso doble to forget on Monday night but they still wound up with a respectable 29 total points.
The Dirty Dancing actress, 50, got a score of just 20 for the individual dance with Derek, in which she had a visible bobble at the end.
Derek explained of the dance blunder, “it was just one of those nights. One little off-balance move at the end—she got a little dizzy, a little off balance.”
But they rebounded with nine out of ten points in the group marathon. Jennifer and Derek danced first to the rock song, “So What”— but that wasn’t what she was saying after the paso. Derek revealed to OK! later: “Jennifer was definitely so upset with herself. She takes it really hard. She was very apologetic — ‘I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘listen, it’s okay. It’s what the show is all about — it’s live television.’ She’s never competed in anything in her life [and] she’s never done anything live before so it was almost like I was telling her, ‘this is the game. This is what it’s like. What this is all about is picking yourself up after that.’ Tonight was a big learning experience for her.”
Derek also confided his partnership with Jennifer has been literally death defying. The actress has had well-publicized neck issues and Derek said, “She’ll get in trouble from her surgeon,” for doing certain moves. “Because if you’re in a certain position anything can go wrong. It’s like, it will kill you. We’re not talking, getting hurt. She’ll die. So I don’t want to be responsible for that.” But the partners have developed some gallows humor about the situation. “She goes, ‘you’re going to kill me.’ I said, ‘listen. Nobody puts Baby in the coroner,” Derek laughed of his joke playing off the famous Dirty Dancing line.
Bristol, who got tangled up in her monkey costume last week but somehow was voted through, found her feet again for week six. She and partner Mark Ballas got a total of 28 out of 40. They did so well in their tango that Bruno deemed it her “best performance to date.”
Bristol and Mark didn’t do as well in the marathon, getting only five out of ten points. But Bristol was encouraged backstage, telling reporters, “The tango has definitely been my favorite dance because it was in hold. It felt more natural for me.”
Mark shared, “Every week as we keep going, Bristol gets more comfortable and especially our relationship together is developing. We have a lot of fun. For us, it’s about having a good time.”
Bristol told OK! facing the criticism over her dance last week has made her stronger: “That definitely gave me more motivation to work harder.” Mark, who is also a musician, revealed he learned Bristol can rock and roll a little, too: “I got to give her a little guitar lesson. She bust out a pretty bad ‘Smoke on the Water.’ “
Incredibly, Super Bowl legend Kurt Warner finds himself having to come from behind as he scored only 22 points out of 40. Performing a paso doble to the “Final Countdown,” he and pro Anna were lambasted by all three judges, who gave them an 18. Carrie Ann said the “dance was scruffy. It didn’t have a lot of polish,” while Len told Kurt “you looked awkward.”
They were also eliminated from the dance marathon first with a score of just four out of ten.
After the show, Kurt sighed, “we come out and we perform what we think is a good dance and we get these scores where we’re like, we don’t know where it came from. The thing that’s hard when they give criticism like, it just didn’t work. What does that mean? That’s the frustrating part.” Anna said after their paso, “The audience went nuts and kept booing the judges.”
Kurt is hoping his fans will vote in droves: “they have to for us to stay around. I’m enjoying performing on Monday nights and I’d like to do it as many times as I can.” Still, he’s keeping things in perspective, telling OK! “It is what it is. For me, it isn’t life or death.”
Tune in to tomorrow night’s elimination show to see if the football legend will continue his quest for the mirror ball trophy — or be sacked so close to his goal.