[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Dancing With the Stars Season 31 Episode 2.]
It’s Elvis night on Dancing With the Stars. The September 26 episode kicked off with a raucous performance from the pros to Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel,” followed by a string of performances to the late crooner’s biggest hits from three phases of his career: the early years, Elvis in Hollywood, and Elvis during his Las Vegas concert era.
Just hours before the episode aired live on Disney+, the show announced that Joseph Baena‘s partner, Danielle Karagach, had tested positive for COVID-19 overnight. “She is completely asymptomatic and is self-quarantining. Everyone who has been in close contact with her has tested negative,” a representative for the show said in a statement. “Dance troupe member Alexis Warr will step in and dance with Joseph in Daniella’s place tonight. Following our strict protocols, those considered close contacts to Daniella will be masked on tonight’s show.”
After updating the audiences on their COVID-19 protocols and giving a brief history of the rock n’ roll legend, the dancing began. Being week two, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli wanted to see notes applied and big improvements. Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten performed first to “Trouble” and proved taking direction from the judges was no trouble at all, earning praise for the quick improvements made since last week’s premiere.
After Jessie was Jordin Sparks and Brandon Armstrong, Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke, Shangela and Gleb Savchenko, Teresa Giudice and Pasha Pashkov (wearing a mask, as he’s married to Daniella Karagach), Daniel Durant and Britt Stewart (with CODA co-stars Marlee Matlin and Troy Kotsur in the audience), and Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy. Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki, Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, and Selma Blair and Sasha Farber (visited by Cruel Intentions co-star Sarah Michelle Gellar in the audience) came next, with the final lineup being Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel, Joseph Baena and Alexis Warr, Heidi D’Amelio and Artem Chigvintsev, Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater, and Wayne Brady and Witney Carson.
One of the highlights of the night was Daniel and Britt’s jive. The deaf actor shared that training week was very frustrating due to the dance’s fast pace, but he oozed with charm and didn’t miss a single beat during the live show, wowing the judges. After that performance, Gabby’s opening package showed her fiancé, Erich Schwer, helping out in the studio for her performance to “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” At the end of the dance, Erich waltzed himself onto the stage to congratulate her.
For those really needing an improvement, the judges agreed that Vinny became a “contender” with his second performance. He improved a full 10 points from the week before. Trevor and Emma improved their score by nine points. All of the competitors either matched their week one scores or improved upon them, even those with the lowest scores. But that didn’t mean they maintained their places on the leader boards.
Wayne, Gabby, and Charli were tied in first place with 32/40 each. Despite matching their week one score, Cheryl and Louis’ 21/40 put them at the bottom of the leader board behind Teresa and Pasha’s 23/40. Cheryl and Louis and Teresa and Pasha were in the bottom two after the viewer votes, and then it came time for the judges to save one pair. There was a tie in the end, with head judge Len counting for two votes. Because of that, Teresa and Pasha were eliminated.
Next week’s theme? Bond. James Bond.
Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, Disney+