Empress of Soul Gladys Knight started off the Dancing with the Stars 2012 campaign with a bang during the season premiere, but lost steam with a March 26 Quickstep that fizzled more than it popped.
Feeling the pressure of competing against a herd of impressive dancers, including week one co-leaderboard toppers Katherine Jenkins and Jaleel White, the 67-year-old musical legend and her pro partner, the hottie Irishman Tristan MacManus, worked during rehearsals to step up their game. Despite the challenges, Gladys said she was “very happy” to feel the push to improve her skills.
The duo, who danced fifth, hit the DWTS ballroom on March 26 to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” Although Gladys looked lovely in her gown and her eyes sparkled with enthusiasm, the routine itself represented a step down from her debut Cha Cha Cha. Her movements often looked tentative and weren’t as crisp as the precise Quickstep demands they be.
Bruno Tonioli appreciated Gladys’ “natural feel for the music” and how she’d lost herself in Tristan’s eyes, but criticized her frame. Carrie Ann Inaba agreed that her frame was “a little bit off.” Head judge Len Goodman drew boos when he congratulated her for completing the dance, but said he wasn’t “one hundred percent” pleased with it.
Gladys and Tristan earned just 19 points for their Quickstep, which places them just two points above the week’s lowest scoring couple, tennis legend Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani. With a two-week score of only 42 judges’ points, Gladys and Tristan could well find themselves headed home following the first elimination.
To see if Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus survive America’s vote, watch the Dancing with the Stars 2012 week 2 results show on Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. on ABC.