'Dancing with the Stars' recap: AJ McLean and Cheryl Burke eliminated on "Icons Night"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 11/10/2020
Dancing with the Stars eliminated AJ McLean and his professional partner Cheryl Burke from the Season 29 competition on "Icons Night" during Monday night's episode on ABC.
The Backstreet Boys member and Cheryl went home after they landed in the bottom-two couples along with Olympic medalist Johnny Weir and partner Britt Stewart based on the combination of judges' scores and home-viewer votes cast live as Dancing with the Stars aired in the Eastern and Central time zones on Monday night.
Bruno voted to save Johnny and Britt, but then Derek voted to keep AJ and Cheryl on the show. Carrie Ann had to cast the tiebreaker vote and decided to save Johnny and Britt.
"You know what? This has been one hell of ride," AJ said after his elimination. "And I could not have picked a better partner to go on this journey with. So thank everybody at home and thank [you, judges]."
Prior to AJ and Cheryl's ouster, each of the seven remaining celebrity and professional pairings performed a new dance on "Icons Nights" inspired by their favorite musical icons in pop, rock, hip-hop and R&B.
The couples also participated in a Dance Off round in which two couples danced at a time side-by-side in attempt to win two bonus points from the Dancing with the Stars judges.
Kaitlyn and Artem earned a perfect score from the judges for their first dance of the night -- an Argentine tango influenced by pop icon Britney Spears.
Derek said Kaitlyn had lacked "impact" in her dances up until Monday night's show and she executed "exquisite lines," and Bruno noted it was "a star performance" and she had more focus and intensity than ever.
Carrie Ann acknowledged it had been a rough couple of weeks, but then she gave the reality TV star a standing ovation and said Kaitlyn had reached her "ultimate" in the competition and the performed with passion.
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"Everything we've been wanting from you was in this routine!" Carrie Ann gushed.
Johnny and Britt received 30 points from the judges after paying tribute to the late singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse through their quickstep performance.
Bruno said Johnny and Britt's quickstep was "excellent" -- light of touch, precise and beautiful.
Neither Kaitlyn or Johnny won their respective Dance Offs.
Skai and Alan first took the stage with a 27-point worthy paso doble in honor of Skai's musical icon, singer Janet Jackson.
Carrie Ann said Skai's dance "channeled a new fierce" and was "amazing," and Bruno pointed out it was a very "grown-up dance" for the young actress. Derek just advised Skai to watch her arms going forward.
Skai and Alan also earned themselves two bonus points for defeating rapper Nelly and partner Daniella Karagach in a salsa Dance Off.
Nev and Jenna also received 27 points from the judges after they embraced the style of Elton John and danced the jive in the ballroom.
Derek said he would've liked a little more "pump and action" in the jive but it was a job well done, and Bruno complimented the theatricality of Nev's performance. Carrie Ann, however, reminded Nev to point his toes.
Since Nev and Jenna finished last week's show tied at the top of the judges' leaderboard and have the highest cumulative scores across the season as of last week, the pair won immunity from the Dance Off and didn't have to compete in the second round at all.
Nev and Jenna received an automatic two points for the Dance Off since they were immune.