Just one week before the competition’s semifinals, high-scorer Elizabeth Berkley Lauren was tonight eliminated from the “Dancing With the Stars” dance floor.
The show’s cast appeared stunned when co-host Tom Bergeron announced Lauren’s name, and the audience gasped indicated its displeasure with loud boos.
Lauren said she was grateful for her time on the show, adding that it had rekindled her love for dance and performing.
“I am honestly, like, beyond grateful for this, like, this was one of the biggest gifts and blessings in my life and I want to thank everyone, especially Val,” she said, referring to her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy.
Engvall, who has consistently been at or near the bottom of the leaderboard, had the lowest score from judges tonight, while Lauren scored a perfect 30 for her trio dance and got the second-highest judges’ total for the night.
Elimination is based on combined judges’ and viewer votes. Typically, audience votes from the prior week are combined with the judges’ scores from the live performance, and the star with the lowest overall total is sent home.
Actor Brant Daugherty was eliminated during last week’s show.
During tonight’s episode — the ninth in the ABC show’s 17th season — each celebrity performed two rounds of dances – an individual a routine with their pro partners, and the second, a trio dance performed with their pro partners and a second dance pro.
The Routines (Individual, Trio)
Amber Riley: The “Glee” actress danced with a knee injury this week, and the judges acknowledged that her performance suffered as a result. Head judge Len Goodman gave Riley an 8, telling her the performance needed more polish and she was loose in her upper line. Bruno Tonioli agreed with Goodman’s critique, although he commended the actress for always giving her best effort on the dance floor. Carrie Ann Inaba said Riley herself had set the bar so high in the competition that she now had to live up to that standard, and she too, believed Riley messed up during the routine. Tonioli and Inaba also scored Riley with 8s, for a total of 24 points.
The actress’s spicy trio salsa – performed wither pro partner, Derek Hough, and dance pro Mark Ballas – wowed the judges, each of whom gave her a 9. Tonioli and Goodman both said Riley could have done some more hip action, but they said they understood that she was dancing with an injured knee. Inaba said the dance was terrific, and said she didn’t see much trace of an injury during the routine. Riley earned 27 points, for a grand total of 51 out of 60 points.
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Leah Remini: The “King of Queens” actress wowed the judges with her tango, drawing 9s from each judge. “That was a badass proper tango, danced like a red hot diva!” Tonioli said, and encouraged the actress to keep improving her skill so she could make it to the next week’s semifinals. Goodman said he loved the routine, and Inaba said she was truly impressed with the growth in Remini’s skill compared to last week’s performance. “You were dancing like you were four inches taller,” she said, while cautioning Remini to allow the passion in her movement to extend beyond her arms and legs. Remini earned 27 points.
The actress’ trio dance – with partner Tony Dovolani and dance pro Henry Byalikov – parodied the judges’ table and, despite seeing themselves parodied on the dance floor, the three judges said they loved the concept. “It was uncanny. It was like watching a mirror. That was the most witty dance routine I have seen in a very long time,” Tonioli said, although he pointed out that Remini did miss some of the kicks and flicks in the routine. Inaba said she thought Remini’s choice of routine was good strategy, while Goodman said he loved the concept. “It was fantastic entertainment and good fun. Well done!” he said. Remini earned 27 points for a grand total of 54 out of 60.
Corbin Bleu: Unlike the actor’s previous performance of the Viennese waltz, his Bleu impressed judges tonight with his elegant traditional waltz. Inaba gave him a 9, telling him it “was so close to perfection.” She noticed two points where he appeared to be off his center. Goodman said he would have liked more rise and fall in the routine, but called the number a great one, also giving it a 9. Tonioli found the routine “enchanting,” giving it a perfect 10. “It was an incredible voluptuous fluidity of movement, flawless musicality, the continuous changes of shape, one more beautiful than another. For me, it was breathtaking,” he said. Bleu earned 28 points.
The actor’s trio jazz routine – with partner Karina Smirnoff and pro Witney Carson — won him a perfect score and rave reviews from the three judges. A thrilled Inaba compared Bleu favorably to dance legend Bob Fosse, calling the routine’s choreography “insane,” and Goodman said Bleu came out and “exploded.” Added Tonioli: “For my generation Bob Fosse was the absolute top. (It’s) something that I always thought was unbeatable and nobody kind of lived up to that standard. You did tonight.” Bleu earned 30 points, for a grand total of 58 out of 60.
Jack Osbourne: Osbourne’s expressive Viennese waltz won him high acclaim from the judges, as well as two 10s and a 9. Goodman beamed with delight when he told Osbourne how much he loved the natural turns into pivots and reverse turns in the routine, while Inaba said Osbourne had built his skill on a foundation of sound technique. Tonioli, who gave the 9, said ballroom flowed out of Osbourne but he had one critique: “There’s one thing: watch your hands, you know, because you know sometimes when you do these lines your hands go a little bit like, you know, “The Matrix.” Keep those under control.”
‘Dancing With the Stars’: Actor Brant Daugherty Booted From Ballroom
The TV personality’s trio jungle-inspired samba – with partner Cheryl Burke and pro Sharna Burgess – was bubbly and entertaining, but judges said the technique was lacking. “It wasn’t your best dance, but it was certainly fun,” Inaba said. Goodman agreed that the dance was fun to watch. Tonioli, who gave Osbourne a 9 when his fellow judges awarded 8s, said Osbourne captured the essence of the samba as a party dance. Osbourne earned 25 points, bringing his night’s total to 54 out of 60.
Bill Engvall: The comedian and fan favorite’s quirky Charleston didn’t impress the judges, who each gave Engvall a 7 and told him he was off-beat during the entire routine. While she acknowledged that she liked seeing Engvall dance, Inaba said he didn’t perform as well on the dance floor as he did in the rehearsal video. Goodman said the routine had no swivel and called it “wooden.” Envgall earned 21 points.
The comedian’s Willy Wonka-inspired salsa – with partner Emma Slater and pro Peta Murgatroyd – was quirky fun but judges again faulted Engvall for his timing. “Listen, Bill, I love the lunacy of it all, I love the slapstick, always entertaining,” Tonioli said, but he then added: “Rhythm. Rhythm and timing.” Goodman and Inaba agreed that the performance was entertaining but lacked technique. Each judge gave Engvall 7 points, for a total of 21. His grand total for the night was 42 out of 60.
Elizabeth Berkley Lauren: The actress’s unconventional Viennese waltz drew mixed reviews from judges. Goodman, who called himself “a wind-up watch in the digital age,” said the unconventional approach that included jerky movements weren’t his cup of tea, although he acknowledged that he though Lauren was the best dancer of the season. He gave her an 8. Inaba said Lauren had a few small flaws but also had beautiful lines, and Tonioli liked that Lauren took risks in the routine, adding that it was “very well done.” Tonioli and Inaba both gave her 9s, for a total of 26 points.
Lauren’s rapid trio salsa – with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy and pro Gleb Savchenko – pleased judges so much they each gave her a perfect 10. Inaba said the routine was her favorite of all of Lauren’s routines. Goodman called it hot, spicy and full of rhythm and Tonioli said it was her best dance. She earned 30 points, for a grand total of 56 out of 60.