“Dancing with the Stars” - Episode 2 Review

Story posted September 30, 2022 in CommRadio, Arts & Entertainment by Kaitlyn Murphy

“Dancing with the Stars” never fails to deliver exciting theme nights each season, and this week’s episode was dedicated to the music of the King of Rock ‘n Roll himself, Elvis Presley.

After the June release of Baz Luhrman’s extravagant biopic “Elvis,” the late icon has resurfaced in the media and reached a whole new generation of fans (partially thanks to Austin Butler’s incredible performance), so it was no surprise that “DWTS” incorporated Elvis’s music into an episode.

Elvis’s greatest hits were danced to throughout the night, including “Trouble,” “Hound Dog,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Viva Las Vegas.” Along with the dances, small segments were played during the episode discussing Elvis’s humble origins and rise to stardom.

It was great to see old footage of the King in the two-hour long episode, as younger fans of “DTWS” have likely never seen videos of him or fully understand how big of a cultural phenomenon he was.

While the judges were impressed with every couples’ improvement from week one, there were two that stood out among the rest.

“CODA” actor Daniel Durant and his partner Britt Stewart danced the jive to “King Creole,” and had judge Bruno Tonioli saying he could find nothing wrong with the performance.

Judge Derek Hough praised the musicality of the dance, which is extra special given that Durant is the third deaf cast member in the history of “DWTS,” and learns the dances based solely on muscle memory and cues Britt gives him.

Another standout performance of the night was “90210” actor Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater’s sensual rumba to Elvis’s ballad “Always On My Mind.” In seasons past, the “DWTS” judges tend to favor more intimate, emotional dances, and the pair delivered with this one.

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Donovan that he was going to be on a lot of people’s minds that night, and co-host Alfonso Ribeiro straight-up asked the couple if they were acting, or, if perhaps something real was going on between them.

Of course, viewers love the potential of a showmance between the dancer and pro on any season, and Trevor and Emma seem to be this years’ contenders.

*spoilers ahead for the elimination of the episode*

By the end of the night, there was a three-way-tie for first place between Wayne Brady, Gabby Windey, and Charli D’Amelio, and the judges said goodbye to “Real Housewives” star Teresa Giudice and her partner, Pasha Pashkov.

Overall, the music of Elvis made this episode more enjoyable than week one, and the level of dancing greatly improved. Some small mistakes by co-host Tyra Banks made the episode a bit uncomfortable at times, for example when she forgot to get head judge Len Goodman’s input on Trevor and Emma’s dance, forcing them to run back to the judge’s booth after walking away.

Mistakes happen on live television, and there were plenty of hilarious interactions between the judges, especially when Bruno got worked up about a performance and had Derek pull out a portable fan to cool him down.

There will likely be many more moments like these as the season progresses, which makes “Dancing with the Stars” all the more fun to watch.

Rating: 4/5


Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year studying digital and print journalism. To contact her, email kvm6255@psu.edu.