‘Dancing With the Stars’ Episode 3: A Very Timely Britney Night (RECAP)

'Dancing With the Stars,' Season 30, Episode 3, 'Britney Night,' Tyra Banks, Christine Chiu, Pasha Pashkov
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ABC/Christopher Willard

It’s Britney Spears night on Dancing With the Stars! The third episode of Season 30 paid (a very timely) homage to the pop music legend with an episode full of stunning outfits, memorable music, and exciting dances

COVID-19 continued to impact the season, as Cody Rigsby tested positive earlier in the week following partner Cheryl Burke’s diagnosis. In a DWTS first, the couple danced live from their homes, managing to escape elimination once again. Host Derek Hough was also absent from tonight’s episode following a COVID exposure and is quarantining out of an abundance of caution. With Derek out, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli got to relive their time together as the show’s original hosting trio.

Check out the night’s performances to some of Britney Spears’ biggest hits, including dances to “…Baby One More Time,” “Oops!…I Did It Again,” and “Toxic.”

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Amanda Kloots’ dance to “Circus” (Cha Cha)

Amanda Kloots kicked off Britney Night dancing the cha cha to Circus with partner Alan Bersten. Just like the pop star, Kloots began performing at a young age, having moved to New York City when she was 18 to audition for Broadway shows. Though the pair tied for the highest score of the night with 24 points, the judges didn’t hold back from critiquing her posture and lack of excitement.

Iman Shumpert’s dance to “Piece of Me” (Tango)

After receiving positive feedback for last week’s rumba, Iman Shumpert left a “piece of himself” out on the dance floor with partner Daniella Karagach. Now feeling like a dancer, the NBA star wanted to prove his place in the competition. Carrie Ann and Len gave some constructive criticism, commenting on his footwork and posture, but Bruno applauded the performance, calling it “a nice, solid piece of tango.” The pair walked away with one of the lowest scores of the night, with a total of 19 out of 30 points.

Christine Chiu’s dance to “Stronger” (Paso Doble)

Coming into Week 3, Christine Chiu was upset after landing in the bottom two during the first elimination of the season. After the judges voted to save her and partner Pasha Pashkov, she returned to the ballroom feeling “stronger” than ever, dancing the paso doble to the Britney hit “Stronger.” She recalled how her rough journey to become a mother strengthened herself, and the two shared an emotional moment as Pasha got to meet her son, Baby G. Luckily, the pair proved they deserved their place in the competition, earning a score of 21 points.

JoJo Siwa’s dance to “…Baby One More Time” (Argentine Tango)

Putting a twist on the music video’s iconic schoolgirl outfits, JoJo Siwa and partner Jenna Johnson dawned colorful plaid looks for their Argentine tango to “…Baby One More Time.” During rehearsals, JoJo expressed her connection to the music legend, having both grown up in the spotlight as child stars and having struggled with intense bullying from haters. Thankfully, she managed to make Britney proud, with Len stating that she is unable to “make a bad performance.” Their challenging lift-heavy routine brought them back to the top of the leaderboard with a total of 24 points.

Kenya Moore’s dance to “Womanizer” (Tango)

What does The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Kenya Moore have in common with Britney Spears? They both started out their careers in the pageant industry, as the reality star became the second Black woman to win the Miss USA title in 1993 (a year before partner Brandon Armstrong was even born)! Carrie applauded her “supermodel vibes” during the pair’s tango to “Womanizer.” Despite comments of being a bit loose, the judges praised how well she and Brandon were able to glide across the floor with elegance and poise. They earned a total score of 21 points out of 30.

Brian Austin Green’s dance to “Till The World Ends” (Tango)

Starring on the hit show Beverly Hills, 90210, Brian Austin Green talked about rising to fame around the same time as Spears while in rehearsals with his partner and girlfriend Sharna Burgess. After two weeks of lacking performances, Carrie Ann exclaimed that the actor had “finally arrived in the ballroom” after their tango to “Till the World Ends.” Bruno and Len commented on the pair’s improved body contact, though his footwork still needed improvement. Dropping to the bottom of the leaderboard, the pair earned one of the lowest scores of the night with 19 points.

Melora Hardin’s dance to “(You Drive Me) Crazy” (Cha Cha)

Actress Melora Hardin felt a little “crazy” coming into the new week after some tough comments from the judges. During rehearsals, she admitted to feeling overwhelmed, as she found it harder to connect to dancing the same way she can connect to a role. Little did the judges assume that of her, as her vulnerability and passion earned the pair a solid score of 23 for their cha cha to “(You Drive Me) Crazy.” Bruno said the performance was like watching her in “full focus for the first time,” with Carrie Ann praising her ability to make the difficult steps look effortless.

Melanie C’s dance to “Toxic” (Tango)

As a ’90s pop star herself, Melanie C was excited to dance the tango to the Grammy Award-winning hit “Toxic” for Britney Night. Just like Melora, Melanie was feeling the pressure from the judge’s previous comments, as her perfectionist nature makes her strive to improve each week. Bringing her and Britney’s girl power to the dance floor, Melanie and partner Gleb Savchenko incorporated the music video’s airline outfits and setting into their performance, with Bruno calling the dance “first-class.” Though Len and Carrie Ann believed her performance was stiff at times, the pair walked away with smiles on their face after receiving a score of 22.

Jimmie Allen’s dance to “Outrageous” (Salsa)

Jimmie Allen was inspired by his wife and son for his salsa to “Outrageous.” He chatted with his family over a video call during rehearsals, shedding a few tears over how much he missed them. With emotions running high, Jimmie brought his passion to the ballroom with partner Emma Slater, but it wasn’t enough to escape criticism from the judges. After Len and Carrie Ann called out some rough lifts and odd hand movements, Bruno disagreed, stating “they must have been watching another show.” Like all of the contestants, Jimmie and his wife are huge Britney fans, having seen her in concert 8 times! With a surprise 8 from Bruno, the pair escaped the bottom with a total score of 20.

Olivia Jade’s dance to “Hold It Against Me” (Tango)

Heading into Britney Night, Olivia Jade was surprised by partner Val Chmerkovskiy with a cake during rehearsals to celebrate her 22nd birthday. As a major fan of Britney Spears and her status as a fashion icon, the social media star worked hard to “bring a better version of herself” to this week’s performance. Len praised the routine, calling out the other pro dancers by saying, “This is what I want to see!” Called a “goddess” by Bruno, Carrie Ann expressed her joy in watching her blossom as a dancer. The pair ended the night with the best birthday present of all, becoming the third couple to earn a score of 24 points.

Cody Rigsby’s dance to “Gimme More” (Jazz)

Stuck at home with COVID, Cody Rigsby was not going to let the virus make him miss Britney Night. He and partner Cheryl Burke made the best out of a bad situation by dancing a jazz combo live from their homes to “Gimme More,” proving that COVID won’t stop them from competing. Despite their best efforts to pull something together remotely, the pair earned the lowest score of the night with a total of 18 points out of 30. The circumstances of the performance worked against them, as the judges found it difficult to score the routine in its unusual format. Despite the results, the judges applauded the two for doing what they could.

Suni Lee’s dance to “I’m a Slave 4 U” (Foxtrot)

Despite juggling DWTS, gymnastics, and college all at once, Suni Lee managed to pull off another amazing performance with partner Sasha Farber, dancing the foxtrot to “I’m a Slave 4 U.” Suni looked to “channel her inner Britney” for the more mature routine, but the judges noticed her discomfort with some of the choreography’s sensual moves. To no surprise, Bruno loved seeing Suni embrace a role during the dance, though Carrie Ann stated that she could learn to balance her innocent persona during saucier routines. With some more comments from Len claiming the dance didn’t include enough foxtrot elements, the pair earned a solid score of 21 points.

Matt James’ dance to “Scream & Shout” (Tango)

Having learned what makes a strong woman from his mother, The Bachelor star Matt James dedicated this week’s performance to her, as she is a longtime fan of the show. Following his popular shirt rip from last week, his tango to “Scream & Shout” with partner Lindsay Arnold was accompanied by shots of the pair projected across the set’s screens, heavily featuring his beloved set of abs. With minor critiques regarding his footwork, the judges loved the passion and attack he brought to the routine, with Bruno even falling out of his chair to “find his shirt” after joking that Matt was “overdressed.” Earning his first 7 of the season, the pair received a score of 20 out of 30 points.

The Miz’s dance to “Oops!…I Did It Again” (Salsa)

The Miz brought the heat with the final dance of the night to the Britney Spears classic “Oops!…I Did It Again.” After receiving a 5 from Len last week, the WWE pro studied his fellow competitors’ performances during rehearsals. His partner Whitney Carson was particularly excited about this week’s theme, as Britney Spears was the reason she began dancing in the first place. He certainly didn’t let his super-fan partner down, as the pair received their first 8 of the season from Bruno, earning them a total score of 22 points. Finally earning a 7 from Len, the judge commented on how far he has come for not having any dance background prior to the show. Thrilled by the performance, Bruno exclaimed, “Watch out Channing Tatum, because we’ve got the magic!”

Results

In a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard, leading this week were Amanda and Alan, JoJo and Jenna, and Olivia and Val with 24 points each. Despite having the lowest score of the night with 18 points, viewers managed to save Cody and Cheryl from elimination, along with the night’s other lowest couples, Iman and Daniella and Brian and Sharna with 19 points. Christine and Pasha returned to the bottom two this week alongside Kenya and Brandon. With the judge’s vote determining which couple would be sent home, Carrie Ann and Bruno both chose to save Kenya and Brandon, though Len stated he would have voted the opposite way. While she didn’t last as long as she would have liked, Christine’s dream of competing on DWTS still came true, no matter how short it lasted.

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC