Dancing with the Stars season 20 is underway. The premiere provided an interesting glimpse into what this season will be like, with harsher judges and a clear frontrunner in the form of Rumer Willis.

'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: My Jam Monday and the First Elimination

Week 2 will reveal which stars were a one-hit-wonder and which stars can improve as they go. It will also give us the first elimination of the season. I predict that dubious honor will go to Charlotte McKinney, marking the second season in a row that pro-Keo Motsepe gets ousted first.

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This season they have changed the format. Instead of getting results throughout the show, finding out who is safe and who is in jeopardy right before they dance, it seems everyone will dance and THEN we get results. I like this a lot better because it doesn’t add pressure right before the dances.

Also, Tom Bergeron says that the bottom two couples were separated by less than 0.1% of the vote, which is going to be a crushing blow to the eliminated pair.

Chris Soules and Witney Carson: Cha-Cha-Cha

His jam is Pitbull. But choreography is definitely NOT his jam because the shortened rehearsal time for week 2 makes it harder. He does a lot of pelvic thrusts and he’s still kinda goofy, but it’s much sloppier than last week. His complete lack of dance experience is showing off now that he only has four days instead of two weeks to rehearse. The judges are polite, with Bruno Tonioli pointing out that he was much more “erect” this week. However, they all point out that he’s not great with the details of the technique.

Judges’ Scores: 5+6+5+5=21

Ouch, that’s lower than the lowest score from last week and down 5 whole points from his score last week.

Suzanne Somers and Tony Dovolani: Jive

Her jam is Jerry Lee Lewis and she’s cool with bringing more raunchiness by shaking her 68-year-old booty. I like the idea of her playing the role of a cougar sexpot and it’s a lot more fun than last week. She’s not that great when she has to shimmy her chest, but the rest was damn fine. The judges like it, especially since it was sexy without being sleazy.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28

She’s up 3 points from last week.

Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: Foxtrot

His jam is “You Make Me Feel So Young,” which is a little too on-the-nose for an older man dancing with a woman 14 years younger than he is. The producers bring up the rumors that they’re dating, but they act coy even though there’s definitely some heavy flirting going on. The dance is solid, it’s very fresh and airy and sweet. However, I’m distracted by the fact that he left his mouth open the entire time. It was weird. The judges find it very cute and sweet, which overpowers some of the mistakes.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28

Two weeks in and he’s received eight 7s.

Charlotte McKinney and Keo Motsepe: Cha-Cha-Cha

Her jam is Katy Perry,s “California Gurls,” because apparently everything she does has to be associated with the Super Bowl. She got a lot of negative feedback online and it makes her sad that she’s being bullied because she’s pretty and blonde. Yikes, she’s pulling a full-on Lolo Jones.

Her dancing is…OK? Honestly, I was so distracted by the dancing crabs in the background that I couldn’t pay attention to her (because they weren’t sharks). And then beach balls fell from the sky at the end. The judges like it more than last week and support her against the cyber-bullies. I’m sorry, but NO! This is not an example of cyber-bullying, this is people complaining that a no-name random model whose only claim to fame is her boobs is on this show and flaunting her sexuality. “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” is not a legitimate mantra and this is insulting to people who were genuinely cyber-bullied for being overweight, gay, or whatever else kids are teasing other kids for these days.

Judges’ Scores: 7+6+7+6=26

She’s up 4 points from last week.

Michael Sam and Peta Murgatroyd: Foxtrot

His jam is the NFL Combine which he did yesterday (and apparently he didn’t do very well). That was a distraction, but his dancing seems perfectly fine. I really love his extensions and lines. It’s well-danced, but kind of dull. The judges rave about it. Maybe he should stick with dancing, because the NFL doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out for him.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28

Wow, these judges are being extremely stingy with the 8s.

Rumer Willis and Val Chmerkovskiy: Cha-Cha-Cha

Her jam is “Rumour Has It” because it has her name in it. She thinks she’s a weirdo, so it’s odd for her to be praised as elegant and a frontrunner. Val is just scared that her dad is gonna make him die hard. But she’s more of a taskmaster in rehearsals than Val, so that perfectionism might be her secret weapon. I am so in love with this girl. She certainly has it, bringing fierce sexiness to her performance and crushing it. Her legs are amazing. The judges are wowed again, but give her some helpful critiques to get even better.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32

The same as last week, which is good since the judges seem to be locking down the 9 paddles until week 3.

Redfoo and Emma Slater: Jive

His jam is “My Sharona.” He is taking this competition very seriously and wants to do well, which unfortunately is his problem. He’s not having fun because he’s trying too hard to get the steps. He’s better than last week with more fun and energy, but he needs to watch Michael Sam to learn about extending his limbs. He seems to stop his extensions halfway through to move on to the next move. The judges like his improved energy.

Judges’ Scores: 8+7+8+8=31

Seriously, 8s? It wasn’t THAT good. But going up 9 points is kind of crazy.

Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: Argentine Tango

Her jam is “Somebody That I Used to Know,” so Mark is using the music video where the people blend in with a painting as his inspiration. They had a paint balloon war to design their outfits. The idea and costumes are super cool, but the dancing is just OK. I hate to keep bringing up her age, but her lack of maturity really shows with an Argentine Tango. It seemed a little stuttered at times and not very refined. The judges completely disagree with me, thinking it was amazing and mature. What am I missing, because I did not see a potential winner in this performance like the judges did.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32

That’s a 7 point improvement for them. I feel like the judges are either getting more generous, or they know that Willow and Redfoo were near the bottom in votes last week and want to give them a boost to keep them around because these scores seem overly generous to me.

Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: Samba

His jam is “Homegrown Honey” and it’s for his girlfriend who’s been in basic training for six months. So he’s a sweet guy and he opens his shirt to reveal his rock-hard abs. He’s the perfect guy and he’s very entertaining. I think I’m still adjusting to seeing a man with one arm dance because it still looks so different from what I’m used to. However, I’m getting used to it very quickly and he’s pretty darn impressive. As Carrie Ann Inaba said last week, he’s making me rethink what dance looks like.

Judges’ Scores: 7+6+7+7=27

Come on, he’s 4 points worse than Redfoo? But who cares, because he says he’s going to pick up his girlfriend in two days, but she’s there right now and comes out to hug him. SO! FREAKING! CUTE!

Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: Rumba

Her jam is Ed Sheeran, which makes her as boring as I think she is. The challenge is for her to show her emotion since this is a passionate dance. It’s a crisp and clean routine that seems more lyrical and artsy to me than Rumba. I don’t know if I see the emotion on her face, but her technique is great. The judges like her movement and acknowledge that she has the best raw talent when it comes to movement. They like that it blossomed after starting slow.

Judges’ Scores: 9+8+8+9=34

And Derek gets the first 9s of the season.

Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: Foxtrot

His jam is his floppy hair that gets into his eyes, so Allison styles it to make him look classy. His dapper dancing is pretty great. He’s slick and pointed and proves that he isn’t just a punk rock kid. The judges are sufficiently impressed that he was able to become elegant while remaining himself. If this was the test to decide whether he could be a serious contender, he passed with flying colors.

Judges’ Scores: 8+8+8+8=32

He’s up from last week as well. So far, Chris is the ONLY person who didn’t tie or improve on last week’s score..

Patti LaBelle and Artem Chigvintsev: Salsa

Her jam is “In Da Club” because it’s the song she wanted to hear on her 70th birthday. But her knee is hurt, which is a typical problem for older contestants. She still dances, and while it might not be technically that good, it’s kind of awesome. She’s treated like a bad-ass queen “in da club” and just struts her stuff. It’s more cool than good, although she does have surprisingly decent legwork for someone with a knee injury. The judges are all impressed with how cool Queen Patti is.

Judges’ Scores: 7+7+7+7=28

The judges are drunk on generosity.


Again, less than 0.1% separated the Bottom 2.

Redfoo and Emma, Charlotte and Keo, Suzanne and Tony, and Chris and Witney are…IN JEOPARDY!

The other eight couples are all safe.

Charlotte and Keo are…SAFE!

Wow, did not expect that.

Chris and Witney are…SAFE!

Redfoo and Emma Slater ARE ELIMINATED!

Aww, that’s kind of sad because he wanted it sooooo badly. Maybe that explains the overly generous scores tonight since they don’t matter.

Next week it’s Latin Night and another elimination. Based on the leaderboard, Chris and Charlotte should be shaking in their boots.


34: Nastia Liukin
32: Rumer Willis, Willow Shields, Riker Lynch
28: Suzanne Somers, Robert Herjavec, Michael Sam, Patti LaBelle
27: Noah Galloway
26: Charlotte McKinney
21: Chris Soules

(Image courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.