(ABC/Eric McCandless)(NEW YORK) It was an intense episode of Monday’s Dancing with the Stars. Shortly before the start of the night’s episode, it was announced that Ray Lewis would be withdrawing from the competition.
Lewis later revealed that an old injury from 2010 flared up during rehearsals, which caused three of his tendons in his foot to rupture. When seeking medical advice from a doctor, he was encouraged to bow out of the competition because the injury required surgery.
Still, audience members — with artist Demi Lovato spotted in the crowd — was treated to his cha-cha-cha routine when season 24 Mirror Ball winner Rashad Jennings stepped up to perform “Twist and Shout” from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Because Lewis and partner Cheryl Burke could no longer compete, no one was sent home.
Despite the happy news, there is one competitor feeling the pressure. NBA star Lamar Odom and partner Peta Murgatroyd were in the bottom two alongside Kel Mitchell and partner Whitney Carson. Odom is, habitually, the lowest scoring performer of season 28.
On the flip side, the night produced the season’s first two-way tie for first AND second place. Tying in first was Ally Brooke and Kate Flannery — earning an impressive 24/30 score.
Brooke, with partner Sasha Farber, paid tribute to her childhood hero Selena by performing an elegant and sensual rumba to the late Tejano singer’s “Dreaming of You.” Brooke revealed that Selena, starring Jennifer Lopez, is her favorite movie. She also wore one of Selena’s hairpieces during her performance, loaned to her by the Quintanilla family, whom she is close with.
Brooke also accidentally created the most awkward moment of the night when she attempted to high five judge Len Goodman, who icily quipped, “Don’t touch me again.”
Flannery, who was assigned the movie 9 to 5, proved on Monday that she’s a force to be reckoned with in the race for the Mirror Ball Trophy. Her quickstep to “9 to 5” with partner Pasha Pashkov consisted of hilarious facial expressions along with crisp and precise steps, to which the judges raved about in their scoring. Her performance ended with her “killing” Pasha, who assumed the role of her boss for the comedic routine.
Sailor Brinkley-Cook and James Van Der Beek tied in second by scoring 23/30 — just one point shy of leading the pack.
Brinkley-Cook, who represented the movie Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, demonstrated the most improvement since the start of the season. All three judges praised the model for listening to their constructive criticism from last week’s show and turning those weaknesses into strengths. The model channeled Amanda Seyfried as she grinned through her jovial tango to “Mama Mia” with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
The worst dance of the night — again — came from Odom, who struggled to recreate Tom Cruise’s famous dancing scene from Risky Business and Cruise’s infamous couch-jumping incident. The NBA star was clearly uncomfortable with dancing in white and blue-striped boxers and his rigid performance earned him 12/30 score for a second week in a row.
If Odom wants to add that Mirror Ball Trophy to his awards collection, he needs to listen to Kobe Bryant’s stern advice, which he received during rehearsals. When Odom told his former-teammate over the phone that he practiced his routine every day for three hours, Bryant ordered him to bump it up to seven.
We’ll find out if he follows that advice when Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday, October 7 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. The night will also feature celebrity guest-judge Leah Remini.
Here are the current standings:
Tied for first:Kate Flannery, actress from The Office, with Pasha Pashkov — 24/30 Ally Brooke, former Fifth Harmony singer, with Sasha Farber — 24/30
James Van Der Beek, Dawson’s Creek actor, with Emma Slater — 23/30Sailor Brinkley-Cook, model, with Val Chmerkovskiy — 23/30Hannah Brown, The Bachelorette star, with Alan Bersten — 21/30Kel Mitchell, actor and stand-up comedian, with Whitney Carson — 20/30Lauren Alaina, country singer, with Gleb Savchenko — 20/30Karamo, Queer Eye reality TV personality, with Jenna Johnson — 16/30Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, with Lindsay Arnold — 15/30
Lowest score:Lamar Odom, NBA Lakers star and ex-husband of Khloe Kardashian, with Peta Murgatroyd — 12/20
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