Last week’s season 22 opener of Dancing With the Stars didn’t go so well for former quarterback and current NBC Sports broadcaster Doug Flutie. At the end of week 2’s show when a pair had to be eliminated, Flutie and partner Karina Smirnoff were among the three dance couples in jeopardy. The other two on the verge of going home were Geraldo Rivera and Edyta Sliwinska and Mischa Barton and Artem Chigvintsev.

Though DWTS doesn’t reveal the voting totals, the guess here is that Flutie was in least danger among the three pairs of being eliminated. Rivera was awful and Barton is already so crushed by the judges’ criticism that she wants to go home and hide. Despite the late scare, Flutie lives on to dance another week, and his week 2 performance likely ensures that he’ll be sticking around for at least a few more weeks.

Here’s a look at how the four athletes did on Monday night.

Paige VanZant: Salsa

I’d find it difficult to believe that VanZant hasn’t had at least some dance training in her past. Of course, as a natural athlete, maybe it’s not hard to fathom that she could go from the MMA ring to the ballroom dance floor rather seamlessly. But VanZant is really good, looking very smooth and comfortable out there. Her performance was even more impressive, considering that her regular professional dance partner, Mark Ballas, injured his back during rehearsals and had to sit out. Ballas was replaced by Alan Bersten, a member of the DWTS troupe of pro dancers, and you would never have guessed that he and VanZant weren’t regular partners.

Results: The judges were rightly impressed by VanZant’s performance, each giving her an 8 for a total of 24. That tied for the highest score of the night. After just two weeks, she’s beginning to look like someone who could dance her way to the finals.


Antonio Brown: Rumba

The Pittsburgh Steelers receiver got steamy with partner Shauna Burgess, who was encouraging him to get into character and be more sensual on the dance floor. Brown was clearly a bit uncomfortable with getting into Burgess’ “personal space,” as she put it, but that made him a bit more endearing. In terms of body type and athleticism, Brown absolutely looks like he can become a better dancer, something all three of the judges mentioned. He has a dancer in him, but needs to learn proper technique to bring it out. Brown’s moves don’t look natural right now, and he lacks some grace because of it.

Results: Though the judges believe Brown will get better, the trio wasn’t too impressed with his routine. Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman gave Brown a 6, while Bruno Tonioli scored a 7, for a combined total of 19. That tied for the third-lowest score of the night.


Von Miller: Cha Cha

The Denver Broncos linebacker has shown a willingness to ham it up and get into the acting routines that set up the dance. But his footwork seemed a bit frantic out there, and while he and partner Witney Carson showed some impressive dance moves, the judges (especially Goodman) didn’t feel that Miller danced a true Cha Cha and he got dinged for it. However, Miller looked like he was enjoying himself, which goes a long way. (Far more entertaining was the pre-tape clip of Miller training and getting fined by drill sergeant dance instructor Carson each time he showed up late or farted during practice, which was apparently a frequent occurrence.)

Results: Miller drew a decent score, but the feeling was that he possibly could have done better had he followed the steps of the dance a bit more closely. Judges gave him a 7, 6, and 7 for a combined score of 20. That put him one point ahead of Brown in the competition between current NFL players, but tied him with three other dancers for third place on the night.


Doug Flutie: Paso Doble

Flutie needed a good performance after his shaky Week 1 showing, in which he looked like anything but a natural dancer and drew attention to his awkwardness by making goofy faces. It’s not a game out there, Flutie! The former Heisman Trophy winner got to show off his ripped body in his Latin dance attire, however, which made his Paso Doble look pretty good. He also showed off some impressive core strength, which the dance requires. (Choreographers did him no favors by putting other male pro dancers on the floor with him. Let’s make it obvious who isn’t the dancer!) Most importantly, Flutie truly committed to the dance, which was probably most important.

Results: Rebounding from last week’s subpar debut impressed the judges, as did acting more seriously on the dance floor. Flutie scored a 7, 6, and 7 from the trio, earning a total of 20 to tie him with Miller and two other pairs.

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.

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