Dancing With the Stars: Athletes premiered last week, with 10 champions and Olympic stars competing for the coveted mirrorball trophy. This season is a special edition of the show and only runs for four weeks. So, what does this mean? It means that on the premiere, along with tonight, it was a double elimination. Generally, there aren’t eliminations on the first night, especially not a double one, but this is a condensed and more intense season. In addition to the increased eliminations, tonight, each contestant had to learn TWO routines. This is something that contestants usually have to deal with much later in the season.
Each contestant performed an individual dance, along with a team performance. But, two of them danced their last dances in the ballroom tonight.
So, who were the contestants that were sent home? These are the results, reporting live … And, the first couple reported as being in jeopardy was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Lindsay Arnold, followed by Chris Mazdzer and Witney Carson. The third couple announced as being in jeopardy was Arike Ogunbowale with pro partner Gleb Savchenko. And the couple who was safe was … Mazdzer and Carson. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Arike Ogunbowale were both eliminated tonight.
One of tonight’s team dances was based on tennis. The team consisted of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Josh Norman, Chris Mazdzer and Tonya Harding. The other team was focused on a football theme. Jennie Finch Daigle, Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon and Arike Ogunbowale were a part of Team Football. Team Tennis used Abdul-Jabbar as its main focal point for the first half of the routine, as he played the tennis coach. To the song “Baby One More Time,” each couple got to showcase their moves. Team Football’s dance took on more of a disco theme.
Former Dancing With the Stars winner, athlete Rashad Jennings, stepped in as a guest judge tonight. He also gave a performance with former pro partner Emma Slater. Slater and season 26 contestant Johnny Damon were eliminated on the premiere last week, as was snowboarder Jamie Anderson.
Unlike usual seasons of DWTS, there is real-time voting involved during the live broadcasts of the show. According to ABC, there is live voting for eliminations during the east coast and central time zone airings. Unfortunately, west coasters may not be able to participate in the live voting. These votes are combined with the judges’ scores during each episode of the show this season and the couples with the lowest combination of scores and votes are eliminated.
Voting for contestants this way is via a live, online-only voting method during the show’s live airing. The remaining couples move on to the next episode based on the results. Live voting ends shortly after the last couple performs on the show during the episode.
Season 26 of DWTS airs on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT and 8 p.m. PT. American Idol previously aired in this time slot and changed its schedule to only air live on Sunday nights on the ABC network, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and 7 p.m. CT. The finales of both Dancing With the Stars and American Idol both air on May 21, 2018. The DWTS finale will air from 8 – 9 p.m. ET/PT and 7 – 8 p.m. CT, while the Idol finale will air from 9 – 11 p.m. ET/6 – 8 p.m. PT/8 – 10 p.m. CT.