Milo Manheim, the Disney Channel star who represents the younger demographic on “Dancing with the Stars,” took a giant leap on Monday’s show – a tribute to New York City.
Performing an exuberant Charleston, the 17-year-old never quit moving and got the night’s best score – a 26.
Manheim, however, wasn’t alone at the top. Juan Pablo Di Pace got his 26 for a quickstep that really showed his ability to lead. He whipped partner Cheryl Burke all over the floor and was rewarded for it – even though he was told to watch his posture.
Singer Tinashe was at the top, too, with an Argentine Tango that looked like a Broadway production number. It soared because it included lifts that looked extremely dangerous. She and Di Pace were leaders last week and should have a long run. Manheim could, too, if he wins votes from folks who never heard of him.
The bottom dwellers? Sadly, “Bachelor in Paradise’s” Grocery Store Joe Amabile eked out a 17 for his foxtrot. He’s a charmer (and skinnier than most male dancers) who could last because he’s likable. Danelle Umstead, the blind paralympian, had a little trouble with her cha cha. But she has a story that resonates. That should keep her ahead of Bobby Bone, the disc jockey, who was all over the place. He got a 20 and a bit of a scolding for going rogue at the end of his foxtrot.
If we’re looking for someone to go home, it’s either Amabile or Bone.
Nancy McKeon seems vulnerable, too, largely because she had an injury and looked pained during her cha cha. She said Extra-Strength Tylenol helped her. It also could provide her an easy out and give partner Val Chmerkovskiy a chance to concentrate on his other show, “Dancing with the Stars Junior.” If she goes home, there’s reason.
Alexis Ren, a social media maven, did well with her Argentine Tango and got a 25. It was a dumb thing done to “Swan Lake” that had lifts galore. As good as she is, she doesn’t appear to have the legs to last all the way.
Demarcus Ware kicked the show off and got a 24. He should be in for the long haul.
Mary Lou Retton is in the middle of the pack (she did a waltz and got a 22) and should continue until it’s down to the hard dancers. “Dukes of Hazzard” star John Schneider will cruise on the goodwill train, too. His Charleston was sufficient and earned a 23.
Evanna Lynch (from the “Harry Potter” films) should stay as long as fans keep her in. She did a samba and got a 24, even though her feet didn’t look like they were wizarding in the right ways.
Scores are way too high this early in the run. But that's "Dancing." Smoke and mirrors.