‘Dancing With the Stars’ Recap: Mischa Barton Struggles Again, the First Star Goes Home

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the ballroom (or something like that). On Monday, March 28, Dancing With the Stars‘ Latin Night had things sizzling on the dance floor. While some celebrities thrived in the high-pressure environment, others buckled like a bad soufflé — and for one couple, the quest for the Mirrorball Trophy ended almost before it began.

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The Good

Jodie Sweetin was already beating herself up for getting a 6 last week and even broke down crying during rehearsal. (Lighten up, girl! It’s way too early in the season to be in tears.) Indeed, the Fuller House star succeeded this week, despite her nerves, busting out a brilliant samba with partner Keo Motsepe. Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba urged her to stop tensing up (which Motsepe would probably appreciate as well), but Len Goodman praised her for her marked improvement.

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But Sweetin barely had time to take a breath before she was dethroned by Paige VanZant. Despite losing her partner Mark Ballas (temporarily, at least) due to a back injury, the UFC fighter brought her A-game to her salsa routine. Performing with pro stand-in Alan Bersten, VanZant dazzled the judges. Len even called it the best dance of the season so far, and he wasn’t wrong. FYI, Ballas will get his MRI results tomorrow and remained optimistic he would return.

Wayna Morris and Lindsay Arnold held their spot at the top of the pack this week with their sprightly salsa. Carrie Ann declared Morris the “king of the ballroom,” and during his interview with Erin Andrews, Morris revealed he’d already dropped a whopping 15 pounds. Tying for first as the weight melts off? It doesn’t get any better than that.

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Having just given birth a few months ago, Ginger Zee was struggling to get her sexy back, but partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy coached her through it, and they delivered a solid salsa. Despite a few errors, the judges were impressed. “It took a while to get started,” Len began before praising the routine for having a lot of steps that he recognized (which, he noted, was important). Bruno praised her for her “feel-good factor.”

The Bad

Antonio Brown seemed to struggle with getting close to partner Sharna Burgess during their rumba, but what actually hurt his score was doing an illegal lift, which Carrie Ann couldn’t ignore. Still, Len thought all he needed was a “little more finesse,” and he’d be back in the game.

Like Sweetin, Kim Fields was really hard on herself and very emotional. Her partner, Sasha Farber, lifted her spirits by setting up a video call with Gloria Estefan, whose song they used for their salsa. Despite Fields’ improved outlook, however, their dancing fell flat.

Whatever. That’s really all there was to say about Mischa Barton, who came across as a total sourpuss during her rehearsals with Artem Chigvintsev. Repeatedly replying “whatever” to various requests from her partner and the production team, to say she was a wet blanket about their cha-cha would be generous. Carrie Ann mysteriously praised her for showing “more of her personality” but noted she was “off-beat” (which Barton blamed on not hearing the music). Ultimately, her scores were even lower than last week, and she bolted off-camera as soon as she got them.

Everyone Else

Marla Maples revealed that she wasn’t getting cramps thanks to her amino acid–laden diet (or something like that) — and also that she doesn’t wear antiperspirant. The former Mrs. Donald Trump and Tony Dovolani performed a respectable but tame Argentine tango that left the judges wanting more.

After last week’s standout start, Nyle DiMarco and partner Peta Murgatroyd failed to duplicate the same lightning in a bottle. Len called them out for a lift. “I can’t accept that,” he said before adding that it was “too hectic” for a rumba.

Dancing with the Stars
‘Dancing with the Stars’ on March 21, 2016. Adam Taylor/ABC via via Getty Images

Rounding out the middle of the pack were Von Miller and Whitney Carson, along with Doug Flutie and Karina Smirnoff. Carrie Ann thought Miller was dancing “a little too small,” while she praised Flutie for playing “to his strengths.”

The Gone

After getting clobbered by the judges last week, Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska set out to deliver a stellar performance with their salsa. Perhaps in an attempt to distract from Rivera’s very noticeable lack of any dance skills, they dressed as Donald and Melania for their routine. For the most part, the judges put a positive spin on their disastrous performance, commending the broadcaster for his joie de vivre and obvious effort.

Unfortunately, Rivera’s fate was already sealed — after receiving the lowest combination of judges’ scores and audience votes, he and Sliwinska became the first couple eliminated from the season.

Tell Us: Did the right star go home?

24: Paige VanZant, Wanya Morris

21: Jodie Sweetin, Ginger Zee

20: Marla Maples, Nyle DiMarco, Von Miller, Doug Flutie

19: Antonio Brown, Kim Fields

15: Mischa Barton

Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. 

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