Nothing was going to stop Cody Rigsby from dancing to Britney Spears on “Dancing With the Stars.” Not even being quarantined after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Britney-loving Peloton instructor, who announced Thursday he tested positive for COVID-19, and his professional dance partner Cheryl Burke, also in quarantine after testing positive, found a way to perform on Monday. It was Britney Week, after all.
As judge Len Goodman said after watching the never-seen-before spectacle of two contestants dancing alone, remotely, but together through technology: “Strange times throw out strange scenarios.”
To pile on to the “DWTS” COVID-19 drama, host Tyra Banks announced at the start of the show that judge Derek Hough had to sit out Monday night due to possible COVID exposure in “an abundance of caution.”
Here’s what happened week three of the competition:
‘Dancing With the Stars’ COVID-19 drama: Judge Derek Hough sits out week 3 due to ‘potential COVID exposure’
‘DWTS’: Cody Rigsby and Cheryl Burke to compete virtually after testing positive for COVID-19
Cheryl Burke and Cody Rigsby didn’t let COVID stop them from dancing remotely
Last week when Burke tested positive before Monday’s “DWTS,” the couple was forced to hand in their recorded rehearsal footage in place of their live dance to stay in the competition.
This week, both Rigsby and Burke were quarantined separately. They turned their homes into temporary dance studios and performed their jazz routine to Spears’ “Gimme More” alone from their respective living rooms. The two were brought together on a split-screen, which was beamed directly to the judges and TV audience.
“I’m going to be performing from my home, Cheryl is going to be performing from her home,” said Rigsby in the taped introduction.
While the duo’s dance set-up was awkward, their skilled moves were as clean and tight as possible. Rigsby, a former professional dancer, and Burke, even appeared to pass a hat to each other using a camera trick. Miracle moves, but it still wasn’t their best.
“Bravo to both of you for dancing with COVID,” said an applauding judge Carrie Ann Inaba afterward. “But it wasn’t as great as I know you can do.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli added, “I admire your commitment, but that is very difficult to judge.”
All the judges gave them 6 scores. The duo ended up with an 18 out of 30 for the night.
Burke and Rigsby also made it through another elimination and will return, in some form, next week.
Olivia Jade wants ‘people to like me for me’
Jade, who turned 22 on Sept. 28, received birthday pastries from dance partner Val Chmerkovskiy in their taped video intro.
Referring to her involvement in the college admissions scandal, the polarizing contestant also said she’s used to hearing negative things about her. “I want people to like me for me,” she said in the video.
But there was plenty of love on the dance floor after her tango in a hot red gown. Old-school judge Goodman was nearly doing backflips. “Now that was a proper tango,” he declared.
“You are truly blossoming,” said Inaba, who called her “graceful and strong.”
The dance soared with straight 8’s from the judges for a total score of 24 out of 30.
Matt James kept his shirt on. A disappointed Bruno falls off his chair
The “Bachelor” star admitted to being the ultimate Spears fan. James shared he had a poster of the pop star in his bedroom growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina.
James showed his love for the pop star in an earnest tango with his pro dance partner Lindsay Arnold. One thing James didn’t do again, was take off his shirt, as he did last week. Previous shirtless images were broadcast on the screen above the dance floor, lest we forget. But Monday night, James’ abs went fully covered for an impressive routine.
“I’m a bit disappointed, you’re a bit overdressed tonight,” laughed Tonioli, whose support for James often edges into enthusiastic fandom. In fact, after his comments, the clearly shaken Tonioli literally fell off his chair. The off-camera tumble was so loud that Banks exclaimed, “Was that an accident? What the hell was that?”
There were a couple of foot faults in the routine, noticed by all judges. But the duo scored a total of 20 out of 30.
Watch out Channing Tatum, Magic Miz is losing his shirt
Pro wrestler Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is the wildest and perhaps the most exciting performer on “DWTS.” He seems like a regular guy busting it on the dance floor with a highly skilled dance class, all while maintaining his insane WWE personality.
Pro partner Witney Carson started on his shoulders, dismounted after some acrobatics and ripped open The Miz’s shirt. The two performed an infectious salsa routine to “Oops!… I Did It Again.” Towards the finale, the wrestler then spun Carson in the air with her legs, her head safely above the dance floor but still, just… wow. The routine ended with The Miz fully shirtless, flexing WWE style.
“Watch out Channing Tatum, we have Magic Miz here,” said Tonioli, who noted the lack of dance background. “To come out and perform to that level was fantastic.”
The duo scored a 22 out of 30.
Who went home? The ‘DWTS’ fairy tale ends for Christine Chiu
Alas, the story ended Monday night for the elegant Christine Chiu. The “Bling Empire” reality star, who’s not only a fantastic dancer but also a major fan of “DWTS” — so much so that she used to watch the show from the audience, had to say her goodbyes.
Last week, due almost entirely to a lack of viewer awareness, Chiu barely avoided elimination against ballroom underachiever Martin Kove. Tonight, Chiu knew the writing was on the disco ball. Shedding tears during this week’s introductory video (“I don’t want to blow it,” she said), Chiu vowed to do her best with pro partner Pasha Pashkov. Spears would’ve been proud.
The duo grooved (and Chiu smiled intently) to Spears’ 2000 hit “Stronger.” But even with solid scores — it was not going to be enough. Chiu ended up in the unprotected “bottom two” with “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kenya Moore.
The decision for who to spare was left to the judges. Both Inaba and Tonioli chose Moore. Chiu, ever gracious, was so busy hugging her fellow celebrity dancers that she missed her chance to give final words to Banks from the dance floor.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns Oct. 11 for a Mickey Mouse-themed episode (ABC, 8 EDT/PDT).
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