Dancing with the Stars took a night off on Monday, but now it's back with its first elimination episode! We thought we had a pretty good idea of which couples were safe and which needed to be shaking in their dancing shoes, but Season 29's second episode turned everything on its head. Stars we'd put at the back of the pack showed up with some awesome routines, and others we'd planned to keep an eye on kind of failed to impress.
Between Skai Jackson's major mess up and Kaitlyn Bristowe's last-minute injury, this elimination just got seriously interesting. Find out how all the couples cha-cha'd, foxtrotted, and tangoed their way through this episode below, and then brace yourself to learn which duo is going home!
Nev Schulman and Jenna Johnson
Cha Cha / "Dynamite" by BTS
How They Did: Can we just say, Nev has hips that DO NOT QUIT. The judges only had a few bad notes for this couple, and Carrie Ann Inaba even complimented his arms, which is something that stars almost always get wrong. And Derek Hough wasn't wrong about this guy's ample chest hair — maybe he should get some bonus points for that?
Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten
Samba / "Miss Independent" by Ne-yo
How They Did: It's beyond obvious that Skai has been in the biz her whole life because she knows exactly where those cameras are and how to work them. Unfortunately, one lift/twist gone wrong turned a hell of a performance into a bit of a cringeworthy moment. Not to worry though, Derek Hough was there to inspire her with the perfect saying: "A setback sets you up for a comeback!"
Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart
Tango / "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga
How They Did: For a guy who glides so easily on ice, Johnny feels a little jerky on the dance floor. That being said, he and Lady Gaga go great together, and he had the exact right attitude working for him in this routine. He made a minor mistake at the end, which landed him a lower score than you might have expected.
Justina Machado and Sasha Farber
Rumba / "When You Believe" by Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey
How They Did: Honestly? I'd watch Justina Machado dance all day long, simply because her smiles are so infectious it's insane. Technically speaking, she's good but not great, but every single one of the judges praised her for dancing with her heart and connecting with the audience. Maybe that's why she'd tied at the top of the leaderboard?
Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy
Jive / "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift
How They Did: If you watched Cheer, you know Monica is used to winning and getting huge scores. Dancing with the Stars is going to be a challenge for her because even though she danced with so much more energy and enthusiasm this week, she still wasn't rewarded for it. I sympathize because girl, those toes were pointed, so you made your squad proud! The judges... didn't agree. We're with Val on this one, Monica got robbed in the scores.
AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke
Foxtrot / "Ain't That a Kick in the Head" by Dean Martin
How They Did: If you thought AJ's Backstreet Boys dance history wouldn't prepare him for something as formal as a Foxtrot, you'd be dead wrong. Carrie Ann said it all, AJ was smooth in every part of this dance, and all his nerves from last week were long gone. The judges dinged him for a couple of technical mistakes, but his tribute to his wife after the performance should win him back any votes he lost because that was freaking adorable.
Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe
Cha Cha/ "Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa
How They Did: Plain and simple, Anne Heche killed it. The footwork was there, the turns were tight, her lines were gorgeous! Are we sure she's not a professional dancer? The judges had a few notes about her frame (and yeah, her shoulders need a little work), but it's already obvious that she's going to be one of the contestants that just gets better and better each week.
Nelly and Daniella Karagach
Cha Cha / "Let's Grove" by Earth, Wind & Fire
How They Did: Nelly may have had the hips of this dance down, but his arms were all over the place and his turns were just not there. Bruno Tonioli had great things to say about his musicality — which we always knew Nelly would have no problem with — but the real winners of this week are his custom-made dance shoes, which were refitted to look like sneakers. Now that's genius.
Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko
Rumba / "This Is Me" by Keala Settle & "The Greatest Showman" ensemble
How They Did: After a truly touching intro-package, the intimate and emotional choreography of Chrishell's routine really packed a punch. Yes, her foot did come off the floor during that lift, making it illegal, and she had some trouble getting through Gleb's leg that one time, but overall this dance was a winner. Even if the scores don't reflect it.
Charles Oakley and Emma Slater
Cha Cha / "Never. Too Much" by Luther Vandross
How They Did: When you're at the bottom, the only place to go is up! Unless... you're Charles Oakley. To be fair, he brought a hell of a lot more spice into the mix this time around. The GIF of him swaying back and forth with Emma is going to be all over the internet tomorrow, mark my words! Charles Oakley's scores might still be at the back of the pack, but at least it's an improvement on last week's!
Jesse Metcalfe and Sharna Burgess
Foxtrot / "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac
How They Did: This just in, Jesse Metcalfe can dance. He was smooth, his footwork was damn near perfect, and the only issue he had this week seemed to be that he was either concentrating too hard on the steps to perform with his face, or he was relying on the sexy stare a little too much. Though, that moment where he leaned down and kissed Sharna's hand? Like, if you weren't even a little turned on by that, I don't know what to do for you. Even Bruno called him dreamy!
Jeannie Mai and Brandon Armstrong
Cha Cha / "Roses" by SAINt JHN
How They Did: Jeannie is much better suited for the Cha Cha than her Salsa of last week, probably because she got to let her personality out a lot more in this routine. The judges wanted a little more polish, which really couldn't hurt because there were definitely some things that need improvement. With any luck, they'll break into the 20s in next week's score — if they don't get eliminated!
Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov
Viennese Waltz / "What's New Pussycat" by Tom Jones
How They Did: Carole danced much better this week, probably because things were simplified and slowed down. Not to mention, her nerves were much less noticeable. There's no delusion here, she's absolutely never going to win that mirrorball, but this does feel like a comeback for her. And no joke, Dancing with the Stars should check her bags for that costume before she leaves because she'd be crazy not to try to sneak that thing out with her.
Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd
Foxtrot / "We Found Love!" by Rihanna and Calvin Harris
How They Did: Wow, so this routine started out full-blast and literally never slowed down! Like many football players who join this show, Vernon's footwork wasn't awesome, but his frame was actually nothing to turn your nose up at. The judges still scored him low though because, and I quote his "booty" was out.
Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev
Foxtrot / "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack
How They Did: After the announcement that Kaitlyn had been having injury issues before the show went live, it's safe to say, expectations were low for this duo. So naturally, they were blown out of the water by a nearly perfect routine! If she can keep her injury in check, Kaitlyn's dance background and clear comfort on the stage might just win this whole season for her! When the judges use words like graceful, beautiful, and effortless, you know you're doing well.
Elimination: Between injuries and screw-ups and a ton of low scores tonight, there was really no telling who would get sent home when all was said and done. Sadly though, someone had to go and those someones were Charles Oakley and Emma Slater. Carolin Baskin nearly went home this week though, so she needs to dance her butt off next week!
Dancing with the Stars Season 29 premieres Monday, Sept. 14 at 8/7c on ABC.