Toughest season ever?!
25 seasons in, Dancing With the Stars isn't joking around, with even host Tom Bergeron noting several times during Monday's episode that he can't remember a tougher challenge given to the ABC reality hit's celebs so early on. You see, all of the couples were asked to learn not one, but two dances in only the second week of the competition. And the toll the task had taken on the celebs was clear, as several contestants revealed injuries they were dealing with this week, including Property Brothers star Drew Scott, Frankie Muniz and Vanessa Lachey.
Still, the couples came to dance, delivering another week of solid performances. Dare we say this may be the best crop of contestants in the show's recent history?!
But at the end of the night, Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran and her professional partner Keo Motsepe were the first couple eliminated from the competition, receiving the lowest amount of votes.
Here's a rundown of the night:
Debbie Gibson and Alan Bersten: 20/30
The singer didn't want her health to be the focus this week, saying, "I don't use health stuff as an excuse," and the judges loved her confidence in her quick-step, through Bruno wanted her to work on her footwork.
Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvinstev: 21/30
Artem wanted to show off the elegant side of the Total Bellas star with their waltz, and Nikki channeled her Nana in her performance, calling her "elegant, classy and the most amazing woman that has ever walked this Earth." Awww! And the judges loved her "lady-like" turn, with Len Goodman calling the performance "great."
Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas: 21/30
OK, so clearly, they are the team to beat right? Their quickstep, with Lindsey transforming from a caterpillar into a butterfly (which she felt represented her struggle with depression), was so creative and fun aka Mark's specialty. "I have missed seeing you," Len admitted to the returning pro. (And we cheered!) But we actually think they deserved a higher score, just sayin'!
Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe: 17/30
After coming in last place in week one, the Shark Tank mogul struggled with self-doubt at first, before committing to proving she is "capable." And she did prove it, with Len calling her tango "a little bit of a bounce-back." But even thought she was eliminated, at least Barbara has her "love affair" with Keo to remember fondly?
Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd: 19/30
Unfortunately for the pair, Peta's dress got caught on the bench in the beginning of their fox-trot, throwing her and the 98 Degrees singer off for the rest of their routine. But ready to defend the pair? Peta's husband Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who started booing when Len criticized the dance for being "too fragile." And they also had a big fan in Nick's wife Vanessa Lachey, who was crying after their performance, saying she was so proud of Nick and had fallen in love with Peta.
Drew Scott and Emma Slater: 20/30
And we have the first injured celeb of the season! In a rehearsal for their jive, the reality star injured his hamstring and could barely walk on it. "It I can't perform because of this," he said, "that will tick me off!" Fortunately, he was able to dance through the pain, and definitely won our vote for most improved from the premiere, with Carrie calling it a "showstopper."
Of his injured hamstring, Drew told Erin Andrews after his dance, "It's a little sore...I felt really good."
Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24/30
Due to Maks' intense training and quest for perfection, Vanessa ended up experiencing a small injury, with the heel of the shoe cutting her left toe, lifting her entire nail. Ewww! "I don't want to be a wuss," Vanessa said, before going on to deliver a seriously impressive fox trot. She was even described as "Eva Gardner with a little bit of Jessica Rabbit." Dayummm!
Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson: 23/30
Franki's dealing with back pain after breaking his back in 2009. "I pinched," the Malcolm in the Middle star, who has been doing cryotherapy, physical therapy and yoga to treat his back, said during their rehearsal, admitting he was nervous about their routine. But he was worried for nothing, delivering a high-energy tango...which Len even called "too aggressive."
Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke: 20/30
Um, sexiest fox trot after?! Phew. After coming in second to last place in the premiere, Terrell's competitiveness kicked in, leading to some heated exchanges with Cheryl during rehearsals. But they turned that tension into a sexual one on the dance floor, with Carrie calling the performance "steamy." But it was, surprise surprise, "too raunchy" for Len.
Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko: 23/30
Another frontrunner for season 25, the Pretty Little Liars star snagged some tips on her "ballroom face" from her parents, both professional ballroom dancers, during rehearsals for their Viennese waltz. Bruno Tonioli called the dance "luscious" and "glamorous," with Carrie going on to say Sasha is "a star."
Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy: 24/30
The former Paralympic swimmer and ESPN host performed a "tough cookie tango" to Taylor Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do," bringing out an intensity that "scared" Bruno. Isn't is still crazy to think, as Victoria said, her legs weren't even moving "two years ago," and now she is tangoing like a pro?
Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess: 19/30
The five-time NBA champ took on the fox-trot, but Carrie felt he wasn't fully owning the ballroom yet, saying he was dancing "small." Len and Bruno said they hope Derek is back and want to see him work more on his "technique" because he has a lot of potential. Surprisingly, Derek's mom, a DWTS super-fan, agreed with the judges' low scores, but was confident her son will eventually get it. Tough crowd!
Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold: 24/30
The Hamilton star, who tied for the top spot last week, felt the pressure to live up to his amazing debut. "I'm pretty ambitious," he said, adding his goal was to have the best dance of the night. Their Viennese waltz ended the night on a high note, though Len said it was "a little sharp" for him. Still, they found themselves tied for the top spot once again.
So which couple were in the bottom with Barbara and Keo and in danger of going home at the end of tonight's show? Terrell and Cheryl! Here's hoping they can make it through tomorrow night's elimination, too.
DWTS' first elimination will air tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept. 26) at 9 p.m. on ABC.