After finishing second on the leaderboard for the past two weeks, Zendaya Coleman is back at the top of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
The Oakland-born Disney Channel star returned with a vengeance Monday night as she and partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy delivered a knockout Argentine Tango that earned them the first 10s of the season – not to mention, a score of 29 out of 30.
Judge Len Goodman challenged each of the nine remaining couples to perform their respective routines alongside a professional couple this week. For their Tango, Zendaya and Chmerkovskiy performed next to Anna Trebunskaya and Val’s older brother, Maksim.
Known professionally by her first name, Zendaya thanked the Chmerkovskiy brothers after the dance for their help and support:
“They really took me in and helped me, and I’m very thankful for that. You guys are awesome.”
Goodman simply compared the performance to a lemon tart:
“Sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty down below. Well done. That’s a gem of a dance.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli told the 16-year-old Shake It Up star that she performed well next to Trebunskaya, while judge Carrie Ann Inaba said that every move Zendaya makes has a story:
“It’s like watching stylized life happen, and I love it.”
Country music singer Kellie Pickler and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones continued to wow the ballroom Monday night as they earned their highest scores of the season so far.
American Idol alumna Pickler and three-time DWTS champion Derek Hough earned a 27 out of 30 for their charming Foxtrot, while Jones and partner Karina Smirnoff earned a 26 out of 30 for their crowd-pleasing Jive.
Pickler and Zendaya will lead opposing teams during next Monday’s team dances as a part of “Stevie Wonder Night,” which will feature live performances by the Motown icon and Rock and Rock Hall-of-Famer, himself.
Monday night was also emotional for host Tom Bergeron and Olympic gymnast Alexandra Raisman, as the show took place just hours after the tragic Boston Marathon bombings.
Burgeron tweeted before the show that his family in Boston was okay. He and co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet opened the show by sending their thoughts to everybody who was affected by the senseless tragedy.
Raisman, a two-time gold medalist at the 2012 London Olympics, tweeted that she was dedicating her Samba with partner and two-time DWTS champ Mark Ballas to the city of Boston.
After earning a 25 out of 30, Raisman, who was born in Needham, Mass., told Burke-Charvet how heartbroken she was by the situation:
“The Boston Marathon is such a special day – it’s where everyone comes together. So it’s just so heartbreaking that this happened, and my heart goes out to everyone back home and anyone else who was affected.”
Valentin Chmerkovskiy dedicated his and Zendaya’s 10s to the victims and said he hoped he and his fellow castmates were doing something special in light of the tragedy.
Comedian D.L. Hughley took his final bow on the dance floor during Tuesday night’s results show, as he and San Francisco’s own Cheryl Burke were eliminated from the competition.
Though he received some harsh criticism from the judges for his previous performances, Hughley was a fan favorite from the start and took time to show appreciation to his fans:
“Thank you Team D.L. and Cheryl for keeping us in this long. I’ve had a ball.”
He also amiably told Goodman that he was willing to help him with his hip action:
“The hip replacement that Bruno said I should have [after my Week 3 Salsa] I’m willing to [give to] you.”