Brant Daugherty landed at the top of the “Dancing with the Stars” leaderboard, but on Sept. 30, the most improved honor went to Nicole Polizzi, who is best known as “Snooki” from MTV’s “Jersey Shore.” The tiny dynamo packed a powerful punch on Hollywood Night when she danced a lively and entertaining Quickstep with Sasha Farber. Last week, Snooki received a low score of 20 for her Rumba, but her score soared five points on Monday. No other stars saw their scores rise as much. For this fact alone, Nicole was this week’s most improved “DWTS” celebrity.
Len Goodman exclaimed, “You surprised me!” Bruno Tonioli noticed a big difference and added, “You were on fire.” Carrie Ann Inaba called Nicole a superstar and said that she deserved a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her Quickstep. For her much improved performance, Nicole received two eights from Len and Bruno and a nine from Carrie Ann, for a total of 25, landing her in a tie for third place with early frontrunner, Elizabeth Berkley. Last week, Nicole told “People,” “I'm really excited because this dance is fast and happy, and I'm all about being happy!” That excitement certainly translated well on the dance floor.
The top point earner was Brant Daugherty, who scored three nines for his Quickstep with Peta Murgatroyd. Last week, he injured his foot and was robbed at gunpoint, but he couldn’t be slowed down. Len stated, “You’re the no-stress express.” His score of 27 was the highest of the night. On Monday, the “Huffington Post” called Daugherty “the surprise frontrunner” of season 17. “Despite everything he'd gone through in the past week, Brant still managed to pull out a stellar performance.”
Corbin Bleu and Christina Milian tied for second place with scores of 26. Corbin and Karina Smirnoff danced a Quickstep that was praised for its intense speed and synchronicity. “This is one for the record books!” Bruno exclaimed. Len was a bit more critical and stated, “Speed came in and style went out.” Christina and Mark Ballas, donned in clown makeup, performed the Charleston. All three judges loved Mark’s inventive choreography and Christina’s full body performance.
Elizabeth Berkley, who tied for third place with Nicole, danced a Foxtrot with Val Chmerkovskiy on Monday night. Her score of 25 could have been much higher, but she made a small mistake in the middle of her routine.
Like Nicole, Bill Engvall was also one of the night’s most improved stars. Last week, he received a 21, but this week he added three points for a total judges’ score of 24. His Lone Ranger Paso Doble was well received. Len told Bill that he came out “all guns blazing.” Bruno liked his attack and Carrie Ann said that he nailed the dance.
Leah Remini and Amber Riley also earned scores of 24. Leah and Tony’s James Bond inspired Rumba to “Skyfall” earned praise from the judges. Len loved the chemistry, passion and drama of the dance. Bruno exclaimed, “You devilish seductress!” Amber Riley and Derek Hough performed a “Great Gatsby” inspired Charleston. Bruno loved Amber’s ability to “create rip-roaring excitement.” However, Carrie Ann told Amber to work on her footwork and timing.
The news on Monday night was not so good for Jack Osbourne, Valerie Harper and Bill Nye, who landed in the bottom three positions on the “DWTS” leaderboard. Jack’s Cha Cha Cha fell a bit flat. Valerie Harper lost her way throughout the dance. Bill Nye, who tore 80% of his quadricep muscle during a fall last week, landed at the bottom of the leaderboard. He was forced to perform in a leg brace and could move very little on the dance floor. He received a low score of 16, but the judges applauded the Science Guy for his tenacity and spirit. Len stated, “My scores don’t reflect my admiration.”
Bill Nye was eliminated on Sept. 30 and said it might be a blessing in disguise. “I’m not going to be able to keep up,” he stated. He went on to thank his partner and added, “It’s been a great experience.”
“Dancing with the Stars” leaderboard from Sept. 30, 2013:
- Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd: 27
- Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff: 26
- Christina Milian and Mark Ballas: 26
- Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy: 25
- Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Sasha Farber: 25
- Bill Engvall and Emma Slater: 24
- Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani: 24
- Amber Riley and Derek Hough: 24
- Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke: 22
- Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus: 16
- Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein: 16 (eliminated)
“Dancing with the Stars” combined leaderboard after three weeks of competition:
- Corbin Bleu: 24 + 26 + 26 = 76
- Amber Riley: 27 + 24 + 24 = 75
- Elizabeth Berkley: 24 + 25 + 25 = 74
- Christina Milian: 22 + 25 + 26 = 73
- Brant Daugherty: 22 + 23 + 27 = 72
- Jack Osbourne: 23 + 24 + 22 = 69
- Leah Remini: 21 + 24 + 24 = 69
- Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi: 23 + 20 + 25 = 68
- Bill Engvall: 18 + 21 + 24 = 63
- Valerie Harper: 21 + 19 + 16 = 56
New episodes of “Dancing with the Stars” air at 8 p.m. EST on Monday nights on ABC. To see Nicole Polizzi’s much-improved Quickstep from Sept. 30, be sure to check out the video (above and to the left). Next week, Julianne Hough steps in for Len Goodman to serve as a guest judge. It’s the first time in the history of “DWTS” that a past pro grabs the paddles and sits behind the judges’ table.
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