Muy Caliente! It was Latin week on Dancing With the Stars, which meant the couples had to turn up the heat. But one couple was iced out of the competition: Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe were the second pair to be eliminated in season 20. Though this wasn't a particularly surprising elimination (they've struggled at the bottom since the start and fell flat this week too), it was still a sad goodbye.
"I just wanted to make Keo happy. That was my main thing," the Superbowl ad beauty admitted to Erin Andrews. McKinney went on to describe the experience as "a challenge," but ended on a high note. "It's tested me and I've learned so much," she said with a smile.
While McKinney failed to impress, however, others brought their A game. With everyone forced into the same genre this week; however, who truly set the dance floor on fire?
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy
How they did: First things first — Demi Moore's daughter's body is insane. Clad in a glittering nude bodysuit, Willis looked reminiscent of her mother in Striptease. But despite her flawless physique, Willis had her share of struggles this week — most notably, nailing Chmerkovskiy in the nose with her, um, lady parts during a lift gone awry. The talented pair pulled it together for their performance, however, which Len declared "the best" he'd seen this season and Bruno hailed as the official kickoff to "Monday Night Fever."
Score: 33 out of 40 (with a 9 from Len!)
Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd
How they did: The first openly gay pro football player and partner Murgatroyd sweated it out in the studio this week with impressive focus and drive. Sadly, however, their hard work didn't completely pay off.
"Salsa's supposed to be fun and exciting and everybody's supposed to let loose when you watch it, but that made me so nervous the whole time," Carrie Ann explained before adding that she thought the whole thing was "a little choppy." It wasn't all bad, though. Len thought their lifts were "good" and expressed his hope that the pair will return "strong" next week. It will be interesting to see if the voters agree.
Score: 24 out of 40
Grade: B (C for execution, but A for effort)
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker
How they did: In their practice video, Holker urged Lynch to turn up the heat, which the R5 singer seemed lukewarm about. Even though he was clearly not comfortable with the idea of selling his sex appeal, however, Lynch followed Holker's lead and delivered a stunning performance to tie for first place.
"I see for the first time a male contender for the title!" Carrie Ann gushed. "That was unbelievable. You blew my mind." Len had a slightly different take than Carrie Ann, but still showed Lynch plenty of love. "You're not the best, but you could be," the British judge said. "You've got flair!" Asked about his aversion to taking off his shirt, Lynch charmingly referred to himself as "a scrawny rocker guy," which probably sealed his place in viewers' hearts across the board.
Score: 34 out of 40
Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani
How they did: First off, Somers practiced in a giant fruit hat that she brought from her personal wardrobe. You've got to give a girl props for owning her very own fruit hat. The Three's Company alumnae really gave it her all both in practice and the final performance.
"Like your headdress, that was juicy, fruity, and full of fun," Len praised, though Carrie Ann urged Somers to "go a little deeper" with her dancing. It's probably worth mentioning, however, that Dovolani didn't seem to understand Carrie Ann's critique, arguing that he and Somers had really given it everything they've got but still promising to give it even more.
Score: 25 out of 40
Chris Soules and Witney Carson
Dance: Argentine Tango
How they did: Soules and Carson's video this week largely focused on their poor performance last week. "I don't think I've ever screwed something up so badly in my entire life," the former Bachelor lamented. Carson seemed unfazed, however, and got Soules back in the dance studio with renewed vigor. "This is redemption week for me," the engaged reality star promised, and, more importantly, he delivered.
"You are the comeback king!" Julianne declared. "So much stronger, so connected, so present," Bruno mused. "I could feel the sparks fly between you two." (Hopefully Soules's fiancée, the "other" Whitney, doesn't mind.)
Score: 28 out of 40
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson
How they did: One word describes Herjavec in practice this week: emotional! Though he was battling an old injury, the Shark Tank star was nothing but grateful for his time in the studio. "No matter how much pain I'm in, I'm so lucky to have Kym to get me through it," the mogul said. A later clip showed the businessman brought to tears by how "beautiful" their dancing was. It seems their emotional connection and hard work paid off when it counted, too.
"That's how you set the mood for love," Bruno mused after their dance while Carrie Ann reiterated that their "chemistry is ridiculous." Len remained relatively unimpressed, however, "You're middle of the pack now," he explained. "Everything is good, but nothing is great."
More importantly, though, when Erin Andrews suggested Johnson's ensemble looked like a wedding dress — which was more than a bit of a stretch — Herjavec seemed nothing short of delighted.
Score: 29 out of 40 (including their first 8!)
Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev
Dance: Cha Cha
How they did: When a living legend does pretty much anything you pay attention, so watching LaBelle strut around the studio in her practice videos proved nothing short of delightful. Still, after her amazing performance last week, LaBelle had a lot to live up to this week, and it seemed she fell a bit flat.
"There's a charm about you. You're entertaining. It's fun," Len said before chiding Chigvintsev for choreographing a routine that lacked formal cha cha moves. Julianne agreed with Len explaining that while the performance was great, "We need to see more content."
Score: 22 out of 40
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas
Dance: Paso Doble
How they did: Like Herjavec, Shields was also in tears during her video package this week — but for a very different reason. Footage showed the 14-year-old Hunger Games actress reaching her breaking point in practice and suffering a few pretty bad falls. When push came to shove, though, she showed she has maturity beyond her years, delivering a powerful performance with Ballas that had people on their feet.
"Slow and steady wins the race. Every single week you've improved beyond belief," Julianne said. "Keep doing what you're doing." Bruno also loved the dance. "My little Mockingjay is catching fire!" Bruno shouted. "I love it, because you're getting the taste of the competition. You're learning to become a dancer."
Score: 32 out of 40
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess
Dance: Argentine Tango
How they did: This week marked a major change for Galloway because he had to dance with a prosthetic arm, and he was not a fan. In fact, the army vet hated the arm so much, Burgess decided to scrap it only days before the show (which required her to rechoreograph whole sections of their dance). Burgess's instincts were right, however, as the judges went crazy for their intimate, sexy number.
"That was the best dance you have done," Julianne gushed. "I am blown away by your flexibility, the way that you went from step to step. Sharna, again, your choreography is so incredible." Bruno echoed Julianne's delight, describing the dance as "miraculous" and praising the lifts as "out of this world."
Score: 30 out of 40
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough
How they did: Liukin and Hough have a challenge: They're both spread thin with other commitments that leave them only about half as much time to practice together as the other couples. (Hough is currently performing at Radio City Music Hall and the former Olympic gymnast is a full-time student at NYU.) While their lack of available time led to frustration and injury, their talent and dedication pulled them through.
"So exciting to watch," Carrie gushed. For her part, Julianne advised Liukin to be mindful of her tendency to overextend her lines, but still admitted they had delivered a beautiful performance.
Score: 34 out of 40 (tying Lynch and Holker for first!)
Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe
How they did: Things were heating up in the rehearsal studio with McKinney and Motsepe — but not for the right reasons. Their prep video showed Motsepe increasingly annoyed with the model as she fiddled with her phone instead of focusing on their practice. Not surprisingly, McKinney's lack of attention took its toll on their performance.
"I'm so sad! Like last week, I told you, you have so much potential and this dance could have shown that potential … but you didn't maybe take Keo's instructions," Julianne lamented with a pout. Bruno gave the busty blond a backhanded compliment saying, "Look, you're never going to win the Nobel Prize for quantum physics, but you are easy on the eyes." Unfortunately, that was just about the nicest thing any judge said and shortly thereafter this pair was sent home.
Score: 22 out of 40
Grade: C (Maybe next time she'll put down her phone!)
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