Break out the leather jackets and poodle skirts, “Dancing With the Stars” fans! It’s “Grease” night.
The hit ABC reality dancing competition continued Monday, with celebrity contestants and their professional dance partners taking on routines to tunes from the classic 1978 movie musical, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
But it wasn’t all smiles and hand-jives.
In a shocking turn of events, Olivia Jade, one of the season’s highest scorers, found herself in the bottom two at the end of the night, leaving her fate in the hands of a nail-biter judges’ vote. And Amanda Kloots, who has consistently wowed with her technique, missed out on getting the first perfect score of the season, thanks to Derek Hough.
Here’s who struck “Grease” lightning with the season’s highest score so far… and who winded up a ballroom dropout.
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Olivia Jade lives out high school memories she never had
Before her performance, Jade confessed to her pro-partner Val Chmerkovskiy that “Grease” is her “favorite movie of all time” and that she’s seen it “probably upwards of 45, 50 times.” But because she went to an all-girls high school, Jade said she never got to have a high school romance like Sandra Dee and Danny Zuko’s.
So she channeled that fantasy into a bouncy foxtrot to “Summer Nights,” impressing impressed all four judges.
“Your frame is unbelievable,” said Derek Hough. “What a great way to open the show.”
Len Goodman said Jade’s becoming “one hell of a dancer,” while Carrie Ann-Inaba remarked the YouTuber’s technique “was amazing.”
“Your starry nights are more than summer nights,” raved Bruno Tonioli. “You captured the sweet innocence of Sandy… OIivia (Newton-John) would be proud of you.”
The routine earned a total 36 out of 40 score from the judges. But was the high praise enough to keep Jade safe from elimination?
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Amanda Kloots misses out on first perfect score, thanks to Derek Hough
Kloots came so close to receiving the first perfect score of the season, but Hough stood in her way.
“The Talk” co-host and her pro-partner Alan Bersten practically glided across the dance floor in a soaring Viennese Waltz to “Beauty School Dropout.” And to make it even more special, the song was sung live by Frankie Avalon, the former teen idol who played Frenchie’s guardian angel in the original “Grease” film.
Kloots also got some advice on channeling Frenchie from Didi Conn, who played her in the movie.
“Frenchie just wants everybody to be not only beautiful on the outside but to know that they’re loved,” Conn told Kloots over video chat.
Inaba called the performance “magic,” while Goodman quipped, “You’re not going to be a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ dropout, because I thought that was just fantastic.”
But though Hough complimented Kloots on her leg extensions, he was the only judge to give her a 9 instead of a 10, keeping her one point shy of the season’s first perfect score.
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JoJo Siwa overthrows Kloots for season’s highest score
Still, Kloots and Bersten’s 39 out of 40 was the highest score of the season… until JoJo Siwa and her pro-partner Jenna Johnson took the dance floor with a foxtrot to “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee (Reprise).”
The show’s first same-sex dance pair reflected on their friendship and the confidence Siwa has gained from working with Johnson.
“When I came here week one, I came here in full pants, a full hoodie, a full jean jacket,” Siwa confessed, prior to the performance. “I was very self-conscious about myself.”
But Johnson “gave me the confidence and the courage to be more OK with myself,” Siwa added. Johnson said she’s come to see Siwa as a little sister.
“This is the most connected I’ve ever felt with a partner,” added the pro-dancer.
And the duo’s connection wasn’t lost on the judges, who awarded them the first perfect 40 out of 40 of the season. Even the normally harsh Goodman rose to his feet for a standing ovation.
“You affected my brain with the quality of the technique,” he said. “You affected my heart with the artistry you produced. It was superb.”
Tonioli added: “That was the most exquisite interpretation of the importance and power of friendship.”
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Olivia Jade lands in bottom two in shocking twist. But was she eliminated?
The most dramatic twist of the night, however, came at the very end, which saw frontrunners Jade and Chmerkovskiy land in the bottom two beside former “Spice Girl” Melanie C and her pro-partner Gleb Savchenko.
Hough voted to save Jade, while Inaba gave her vote to Melanie C. Though Tonioli called Jade the “surprise of the season,” he opted to save Melanie C.
That meant it all came down to Goodman, who chose to give Jade another chance. And because Goodman’s the head judge, his vote broke the 2-2 tie, meaning Melanie C was eliminated.
“Don’t let success go to your head, and don’t let disappointment go to your heart,” he told the contestants right before delivering his vote as the credits rolled.
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“Dancing With the Stars” returns Oct. 25 for a horror movie-themed episode (ABC, 8 EDT/PDT).