You didn’t need the spooky music to figure out who was going home on Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
Bill Nye the Science Guy hurt his leg last week and plenty of bulletins went out suggesting he wouldn’t dance another week.
Highly aware of ratings, host Tom Bergeron pumped the drama, “He WILL dance tonight,” while co-host Brooke Burke Charvet hit the social media room and hinted that “Bill Nye” and “science” were trending.
And then? They showed that little pre-dance video that included a physician advising against any movement that wasn’t in a wheelchair.
Gamely, Nye went on, played a robot and barely moved. The judges choked out mediocre scores, praised his fortitude and, like the rest of us, figured his last day was here.
When it got down to two teams – one of them being Christina Milian and Mark Ballas – it was pretty clear the experiment was over.
Sure enough, Nye and newcomer Tyne Stecklein were banished to that great lab in the “Dancing” skies.
Interestingly, ABC Family actor Brant Daugherty had foot problems and did his best work yet. He looked every bit as professional as partner Peta Murgatroyd, moving him up several rungs.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was good, too, tossing in a cartwheel at the best possible moment.
Amber Riley and Corbin Bleu, two previous leaders, didn’t shine as brightly as they could have. And Jack Osborne lost whatever momentum he had last week.
Valerie Harper, another “Dancing” darling, moved haltingly, earning the night’s worst scores (tying Nye). That means she could be next week’s evictee. But that’s probably fine. She seems too fragile to carry this to the end.
Elizabeth Berkley and Bill Engvall were forgettable while Leah Remini could find herself in the bottom three (or out of the show) if Harper’s fans fail to keep her dancing.
This early in the show, it’s odd to see so many injuries. Usually they start dropping by the sixth week, not the third.
The choreography wasn’t much, either. But all that could change once we get the filler out of the competition.
Next week, look for Valerie Harper or Leah Remini to leave. If they’re not targeted, look for Engvall to make a move – out the door.
Monday's lesson: Nye probably wanted to succeed more than most. But a lifetime without dancing can’t be erased by a week or two with it.