Atlanta’s NeNe Leakes tackled the fast-paced jive Monday night, with faint praise from the judges, on the second episode of ABC’s ballroom reality competition “Dancing With The Stars.”
Before the show aired the Atlanta Housewife tweeted: “The jive kicked my butt this week!! Helppp and #VOTE tonight!"
Her scores fell in the bottom three of the celebrity pairings, while Olympic gold medal ice skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White both earned scores of 25, as did singer James Maslow. Paralympic snowboard Amy Purdy was right behind with a score of 24.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta” series star took to the ballroom floor with professional partner Tony Dovolani. Other celebrity contestants in Season 18 include “The Price is Right” host Drew Carey and “Star Wars” actor Billy Dee Williams.
This week the show began with host Tom Bergeron warning that two couples would be eliminated at some point in the show. Those exiting turned out to be endurance swimmer Diana Nyad and former professional hockey player Sean Avery.
Before tonight’s show began, Leakes tweeted: “The jive kicked my butt this week!! Helppp and #VOTE tonight!”
Leakes and Dolovani danced the jive, which she said her husband chose. Her performance was sassy, with lots of smiles for the crowd. Last week the judges commented that Leakes was taller than her partner, so her hot pink dress dripping with fringe was matched with ballet flats.
The judges were not thrilled with the dance, with criticisms about Leakes’ arm movements and footwork.
All three judges gave them a 7 out of 10, for a total of 21 points out of a possible 30.
Judge Bruno Tonioli urged Leakes to be “much, much sharper on the footwork.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Leakes’ arm movements were too small and controlled. She pushed her to go for big arm movements to match her out-sized personality.
As they waited for their scores, pro partner Dolovani said he disagreed with the judges’ comments about NeNe’s arm movements. He said they were controlled as prescribed by the rules of the dance.
Last week the pair also scored a 21 out of 30 possible points for their cha-cha-cha.
Leakes’ TV Background
Leakes has branched out into acting on shows like "Glee," “The Game” and “The New Normal.” She is also the author of “Never Make the Same Mistake Twice,” discussing her fractured childhood, abusive relationship and struggles with being a single mother.
Other celebrity contestants include:
· Former professional hockey player Sean Avery
· Actress and former “Full House” star Candace Cameron Bure
· Heartthrob singer with Big Time Rush James Maslow
· Author and former child star of “The Wonder Years” Danica McKellar
· Endurance swimming legend Diana Nyad
· Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy
· Teen singer Cody Simpson
· “Star Wars” actor Billy Dee Williams
Tune in to “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on WSB Channel 2 to find out which couple is the first to get the boot.
How to Vote for NeNe
New to the show’s format this season, a twist called “The Switch Up” has been added. This lets viewers vote to change the pairings of celebrities and professional dancers, says ABC.
Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the “Dancing with the Stars” broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at https://apps.facebook.com/votedwts/ is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m., ET.
Earlier DWTS coverage on Patch: