Do the singers have all the rhythm this season on Dancing with the Stars? Aaron Carter and Mya triumphed in week two of the hit ABC reality show as both tied for first with scores of 27. And another entertainer, Donny Osmond, followed close behind, receiving a strong 25 from the judges on Monday night.
With many of the other celebrity dancers’ scores meeting in the middle, Tom DeLay and Kathy Ireland tied at the back of the pack with the lowest scores of the night, 18, and might be in danger for Tuesday night’s elimination. And some were worried for Tom — at 62 the oldest competitor— because he was in visible pain after stumbling on his routine.
The ballroom had a new face on Monday night as Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann was the substitute judge for Len Goodman, who had the night off. Luhrmann, who also directed the Australian dance-themed cult classic Strictly Ballroom, didn’t pull any punches when critiquing the stars alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
After her excellent performance of the jive with Dmitry Chaplin, Mya told OK!, “I felt great. I didn’t even feel like I was here. It was all a blur. I was having a good time! I felt like I was ready to entertain the crowd.”
Aaron and his partner Karina Smirnoff told OK! they loved their Muppet-themed quickstep. Surprisingly, Aaron said, “Tonight, the nerves were on. This week, she knows what I’m capable of and she’s really pushing me. I think I have good patience with myself and I’ve learned my confidence level is great and I believe in myself.” They were captured arguing in rehearsal, but Karina explained, “We needed it. We were so stressed and it just shows we’re both passionate and now we’re that much stronger.”
Donny, with pro (and OK! blogger) Kym Johnson, ended the show by performing an energetic jive to the song “Secret Agent Man.”
“I’ll be honest with you. I was so nervous based on the judges’ criticism of last week,” Donny confessed to OK! after the show. “And so the hours we’ve worked… The blood, sweat, and tears of this dance were pretty serious for me and to get the compliments meant the world to me!”
Debi Mazar, who injured her neck while doing the foxtrot last week, told OK! it was “much better. It was a torn muscle and I did my icing and I had to protect it somewhat tonight during my performance which probably hurt my frame.” She downplayed her rehearsal argument with her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, which was broadcast in a DWTS segment.
“We’re both feisty people,” Debi shrugged. “Our fiery personalities make life interesting.” She got a 21 for her dramatic tango, with Baz calling it “an achievement.”
Derek Hough, who guided model Joanna Krupa to a top score last week, told OK!, “it was a weird night for everyone. All the scores are bunched up.”
Joanna got 20 for her jive and felt it could received more, but plans to study it on TV with her pro for answers. “We’ll replay it tonight,” Joanna vowed.
Reality star Kelly Osbourne rode an emotional wave to a high score last week, but she told OK! she got just 19 on her Monday tango because “I became my own worst enemy tonight and I put too much pressure on myself. I need to remember to dance as I live my life and that’s to take each day one day at a time. Forget yesterday. Don’t bring in tomorrow. I have to do that with dancing—take each dance at a time and think about what I’m doing right now.”
Snowboarder Louie Vito jived to a 19 with pro Chelsie Hightower and told OK! afterward, “I did a lot better than I’ve been doing in practice and that’s always good when you’re still progressing.”
Ultimate fighter Chuck Liddell, with partner Anna Trebunskaya by his side, said backstage of his 19-scoring, bare-chested tango, “I thought it went well. I’m still working on posture, walking straight, loosening my hips up.”
Meanwhile, Melissa Joan Hart and partner Mark Ballas got a 19 for their jive, swimmer Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo quickstepped their way to a 21, football star Michael Irvin and dancer Anna Demidova earned 20 for their quickstep, and Iron Chef star Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer’s quickstep garnered a 21.
Lacey skipped the press line after the show and Mark explained to OK!, “She strained her hip flexor, so she’s icing it and resting it. She should be okay.”
Kathy Ireland and partner Tony Dovolani did a King and I themed quickstep, but Carrie Ann felt she was too “reserved,” and Bruno told her “you have to be engaging.”
She shared the lowest position with Tom DeLay, who suffered a pre-stress fracture to his foot before the competition even began, and had to visit his doctor again before competing this week. He stumbled badly at the end of his tango but was able to hold onto his partner, Cheryl Burke. The former congressman looked so pained that judge Carrie Ann asked him, “You okay?” Baz complimented him for showing “great dignity and grace.”
After the show, Tom insisted to OK!, “I feel fine!” and he joked for viewers, “It’s therapeutic to watch an old man dance.” He said, “The best thing I did after the dance was keep Cheryl from getting hurt.”
But others in the ballroom were concerned about Tom’s injured foot — and spirit. Chuck Liddell said, “I feel bad for him. He said last week ‘I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be doing this.’ It’s sad that he’s hurt. If he has to pull out because of an injury that would really suck.” Derek Hough said, “His eyes watered up at the end of the routine.” And Joanna Krupa said, “It broke my heart because he was really upset.”
Pro dancer Chelsie Hightower told OK!, “It’s always definitely a risky thing when you’re dancing on an injury because you can always make it worse but it’s up to what the doctors say and it’s up to him and how he’s feeling. Hopefully he’ll be okay.”
Tune in Tuesday night to see which dancer must leave the ballroom!
By Carole Glines