Tom Bergeron, Erin Andrews, Barbara Corcoran, Keo Motsepe.
Tom Bergeron, Erin Andrews, Barbara Corcoran, Keo Motsepe. (Eric McCandless / ABC)

This week's "Dancing With the Stars" is all ballroom and our first elimination of the season. Let's get straight to the dances.

Debbie Gibson and Alan Bersten



It's lively, like you want a quick step to be, but there are several times when it feels like Debbie is very unsure of her choreography. No visible slip-ups, so she should be ok.

Len Goodman says the speed was there, but it was lacking in control a little bit. Bruno Tonioli says their chemistry was sizzling, but he wants Debbie's footwork to be a little bit more exacting. Carrie Ann Inaba likes the execution of Debbie's shapes throughout the dance.

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Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 6; Bruno: 7

Nikki Bella and Artem Chigvintsev


Fun fact: Nikki has a twin sister, Brie, who was at the premiere last week. Nikki tells us she'll be channeling her grandmother's elegance for tonight's dance.

They've done a very cool effect for this dance, where the stage looks like a universe of stars and Nikki and Artem seem to be floating in it. I wish they'd use more of the floor, since they seemed to not stray too far from their starting point.

Bruno says their moves were less jagged and more in control. Carrie Ann likes the trust Nikki is showing in Artem. Len praises Nikki for keeping her head up throughout the entire routine but he'd have liked to have seen more of the dance in hold.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Lindsey Stirling and Mark Ballas


They're using the metamorphosis of a butterfly as their theme, and Lindsey's relating it to her struggles with depression. As the dance starts, it's clear Mark is indulging his quirk to maximum effect.

Lindsey's dress that she's when they emerge from the "cocoon" is STUNNING, evoking a monarch butterfly. The costume department for this show never fails to amaze me.


Carrie Ann likes Lindsey's natural elegance. Len praises the creativity but does get a little persnickety about the amount of the dance that was not in hold.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Barbara Corcoran and Keo Motsepe


Barbara relates finishing in last place last week to the feelings she had when she struggled in school because of her dyslexia. So this week, she's got something to prove.

Barbara smiles through the whole dance, when she probably should have Serious Sultry Tango Face instead.

Len gives her notes about her topline but says she's improved since last week. Bruno also compliments her improvements. He calls it a proper tango. Carrie Ann says Barbara was very smooth and improved from last week.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 5; Bruno: 6

Nick Lachey and Peta Murgatroyd


Apparently, Nick and Vanessa have decided that whoever comes in lower each week has to give the other a foot rub. That's motivation right there.

It's a simple dance but well executed, except for a minor dress issue, which I couldn't detect even on replay.

Bruno points out that Nick's movement during the spin was a little jagged. Yes! I thought so too. Carrie Ann tells Nick he's stiff, like his brother was. Len says this dance was too fragile.

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Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 6; Bruno: 6

Drew Scott and Emma Slater


During rehearsal yesterday, Drew injured his hamstring, so we'll see how well he copes with it .

When you've got long, long legs like Drew, it really magnifies all your movements. It's an energetic number, and I like how Drew throws himself into it.

Carrie Ann calls it a showstopper. She says Drew has the highest knee kicks she's ever seen. Len says it was too loose and gangly but he likes Drew's enthusiasm. Bruno says Drew really held his own, especially during the side by side work at the end.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 6; Bruno: 7

Vanessa Lachey and Maksim Chmerkovskiy


Vanessa is used to being bossed around by a military dad, so Maks doesn't faze her. She injures her toe during rehearsal but is ready to push through.

She's wearing a dress that's all covered up in giant gold paillettes, so it's pretty much my ideal dress. She looks like a million bucks and dances with that attitude, too.

Len liked it very much. Bruno compares her to Ava Gardner and Jessica Rabbit. Carrie Ann says Vanessa's movements are stunning.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8

Frankie Muniz and Witney Carson


Frankie admits to serious nerves before last week's performance. Witney is pushing him hard because she sees his potential but his back injury is acting up a lot.

They've been hampered with a modern song that doesn't really feel like a ballroom dance song. They're also another couple who stays in a very limited space instead of using the full stage.

Bruno says it was difficult music and is impressed Frankie didn't miss a single step. Carrie Ann says it was clean and strong. Len says Frankie went for it "like a boiling kettle." He then tries to give some specific criticisms and the crowd boos.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7; Bruno: 8

Terrell Owens and Cheryl Burke


Terrell says learning the foxtrot is like learning a foreign language. He and Cheryl are fighting a bit in rehearsal. Don't fight with Cheryl; she's not going to put up with it and she knows what she's doing.

Case in point, Cheryl rips open Terrell's shirt halfway through the dance. She's not at all above pandering for some votes.

Carrie Ann says Terrell was committed to the dance this week. Len is cranky because ballroom night is supposed to be about elegance and sophistication and this was too raunchy. Bruno says he couldn't think about the dancing at all and calls the dance a "sextrot straight into the bedroom."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 6; Bruno: 7

Sasha Pieterse and Gleb Savchenko

Viennese waltz

Sasha says her nerves got the best of her last week, especially in her lack of ballroom face. Sasha's parents, both professional ballroom dancers, come to visit and they're still in top dancing form.

I do like a good Viennese waltz, and Gleb has choreographed a classic one here. It's elegant and swooping.

Len tells Sasha she has a nice position in hold but then fusses at Gleb for not doing a proper enough dance in hold. Bruno wants Sasha to watch her free arm, not dragging it like a plank. Carrie Ann disagrees and praises Sasha's natural flexibility.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 7

Victoria Arlen and Val Chmerkovskiy



Victoria's simple joy in her ability to move now is really endearing.

Bruno liked the concept and execution. Carrie Ann says every movement looked polished and elegant. Len liked the drama of the dance and the intensity. He gives her a very minor comment about her head placement in hold.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8

Derek Fisher and Sharna Burgess


Tom Bergeron has Derek Fisher's mom on the ballroom floor, welcoming her after we saw her enthusiastic reaction to Derek's involvement on the show last week. She's apparently been there the whole week and even gets to dance with Derek on the stage a bit during rehearsal.

They're dancing to "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" by Ray Charles, which makes me ridiculously happy. It's a cute routine, but I wish it'd had a bit more oomph.

Carrie Ann says that Derek dances a little too small, especially given his charisma and stage presence. Len likes that it was fun but wants Derek to work a little more on finesse and technique. Bruno says Derek and Sharna play off one another very well, but Derek does need to watch his technique, especially with regard to posture and his derriere.

In the skybox, Derek's mom tells Erin that the judges' critiques were spot on, even about his "boot-ay."

Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 7

Jordan Fisher and Lindsay Arnold

Viennese waltz

Jordan admits that he's pretty ambitious and wants to beat his Week 1 score right away.

I'm very impressed by the amount of work done either in hold or in close body contact during this number. Lindsay has really come into her own as a choreographer as she's progressed on the show.

Len liked it but said it was a tad staccato for him in places. He finishes by saying Jordan is a terrific dancer. Bruno compliments the attention to detail given to the musical interpretation. Carrie Ann wants to see more ballroom nuances alongside the lyrical nuances that Jordan naturally brings to the floor.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 8


The first couple revealed to be in jeopardy are Terrell & Cheryl. Joining them in the hot seat are Barbara & Keo. Then to save time, Erin tells us that everybody else is safe.

Terrell needs to learn the "ballroom face" they've been talking about all night. He looks ready to fight someone he's so angry while he awaits the elimination announcement.

To no one's surprise, Barbara & Keo are the first couple gone. The Curse of Keo strikes again.


Jordan & Lindsay: 24

Vanessa & Maks: 24

Victoria & Val: 24

Frankie & Whitney: 23

Sasha & Gleb: 23

Lindsey & Mark: 21

Nikki & Artem: 21

Debbie & Alan: 20

Drew & Emma: 20

Terrell & Cheryl: 20

Derek & Sharna: 19

Nick & Peta: 19


It's tough to make predictions as to who will go home when you have five couples clustered so close together at the bottom. My wildcard guess: Debbie & Alan.