UFC fighter Paige VanZant and R&B singer Wanya Morris tied for first place
Actress Mischa Barton and retired football player Doug Flutie were almost sent home
Fox senior correspondent Geraldo Rivera was the first celebrity voted off “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night.
Both “The O.C.” actress Mischa Barton and former football player Doug Flutie were at risk of being eliminated but managed to stay in the game for another week.
Barton seemed to struggle during the show’s Latin episode, scoring just 15 points, the second worst score of the night.
“It’s been a really rough week,” she told the judges after her dance with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev. “This was a really bad rehearsal. It was tough to do it live when you haven’t done it right once.”
Rivera and his pro partner, Edyta Sliwinska, took on the roles of Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump and his wife, Melania, dancing a salsa on an Oval Office set.
Despite earning just 13 points out of a possible 30 and being voted off, Rivera seemed in good spirits.
“Whatever happens @DancingABC, I’m sure there’s no future for me either as a dancer or @realDonaldTrump impersonator,” he tweeted before the elimination vote was announced.
The judges didn’t spare him with the scores but cheered his attitude. “You’re the sort of person who is great on ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ ” head judge Len Goodman told him. “No dance background but you come out here and give it your best shot.”
That split between competitors with dance experience and those without was apparent in the latest #DWTS episode. The 72-year-old Rivera brought no dance experience – or even rhythm – to the competition.
But UFC fighter Paige VanZant and Boyz II Men singer Wanya Morris showed some moves and tied for first place.
VanZant, whose number was called the best of the season, grew up in her parents’ dance studio in Dayton, Oregon. Her pro partner, Mark Ballas, was injured during rehearsals, so she danced with troop member Alan Bersten after a few hours’ practice.
“Well-done to you for producing the best dance so far on season 22,” Goodman told them.
“You destroyed that number,” added judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “You’re so powerful as a dancer.”
Morris wowed the judges with his moves from decades of performing in the popular R&B group, which launched in 1988 and is still performing.
“That is how you salsa!” exclaimed judge Bruno Tonioli. “You’ve got all the moves from A to Z.”
Inaba called him “king of the ballroom.”
“Fuller House” star Jodie Sweetin and ABC chief meteorologist Ginger Zee tied for second place, each scoring 21 points.
There was a four-way tie for third place: Flutie, Denver Broncos player Von Miller, “America’s Top Model” winner Nyle DiMarco and Trump ex-wife Marla Maples all earned 20 points.
Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown and “Facts of Life” star Kim Fields each earned 19 points for their routines.