The horrifying events at the Boston Marathon on Monday cast a pall on the night’s “Dancing with the Stars” live broadcast.
“Our thoughts are with everyone in Boston tonight," host Tom Bergeron announced at the top of the show. "I have family members and many friends there. My heart is with you."
Bergeron, who got his start in show business on Boston’s “Evening Magazine” in the ‘80s, tweeted his conflicted feelings about going forward with the show in light of the tragedy.
“Just finished a strange dress rehearsal. Here and not here. My heart is in Boston."
WCVB, the ABC affiliate in Boston, suspended the broadcast of the dance competition, opting instead to continue with live news coverage of the two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the 26.2 mile race, which killed at least three people and injured more than 130.
Fans of “Dancing with the Stars” in Boston were split over WCVB’s decision, which directed viewers on its Facebook page to tune into the show on its digital broadcast channel and various cable channels.
“Thanks for the notice. I'll pass,” posted one person on WCVB’s Facebook page. “I just can't get into DWTS tonight after the day's events.”
But others had hoped for a temporary escape from the tragedy.
“I personally like the diversion,” another “DWTS” fan posted. “My 10 year old daughter and I watch DWTS every week, and she has seen enough ‘breaking news’ today.”
Aly Raisman, who grew up in Needham – not far from the Boston Marathon’s halfway point – tweeted, “Dedicating my performance tonight to everyone back home in Boston & anyone affected by this horrible tragedy... Love you all”
When host Brooke Burke-Charvet asked Raisman about her tweet, the Olympic gymnast responded, “It’s so devastating. The Boston Marathon is such a special day – it’s where everyone comes together. So, it’s just so heartbreaking that this happened and my heart goes out to everyone back home and anyone else who was affected.”
Raisman, who earned the top score last week, clearly had lost some of her focus, placing 4th with a score of 25.
Zendaya Coleman, on the other hand, performed a sizzling Argentine Tango with moves that were well beyond her sixteen years.
“It was like a lemon tart,” marveled judge Len Goodman. “Sharp and tangy at the top, crisp and tasty down below.”
Judge Bruno Tonioli declared that the Disney star was “up there with the best we’ve ever had.”
The judges awarded Coleman and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy with 29 points–including the first 10s of the season.
“These are our first 10s,” an emotional Chmerkovskiy told Burke-Charvet after hearing the results. “I don’t want to overdo the subject, but I want to dedicate these 10s to everybody in Boston. Honestly, this is a difficult show to be a part of right now, and I just hope we’re doing something special for everybody.”
The celebrities and dancers were challenged on Monday to perform alongside a pair professional dancers who also perfomed the same routine at the same time.
Country star Kellie Pickler and partner Derek Hough fared well in the matchup, landing in 2nd place with their Foxtrot. Tonioli was so wowed with a sparkling and seductive Pickler that he compared her to ‘30s blonde bombshell Jean Harlowe.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones also delivered, earning a standing ovation from the studio audience for his action-packed Jive. Jones performed several bold moves, including a giant leap over partner Karina Smirnoff’s head, which earned him 4th place for the night.
“Bachelor” star Sean Lowe, “General Hospital” hunk Ingo Rademacher and boxing champ Victor Ortiz all danced capably enough, earning scores to place them in the middle of the pack.
The two comedians of “Dancing with the Stars” landed at the bottom of the leader board, each earning 18 points to tie for last place.
An off-beat D. L. Hughley plodded along with partner Cheryl Burke, which prompted Goodman to note that Hughley’s dance “lacked that attack that you want to see in a Tango.”
Meanwhile, Andy Dick failed to make a mark with his Zorro-inspired dance.
“When you think of the Paso Doble, you don’t think of Andy Dick – but you will after this dance,” warned Dick during rehearsals.
Dressed in a black mask, cape and pencil mustache, Dick’s daring entrance on a zip line did little to distract from his pedestrian dance moves with partner Sharna Burgess.
“It was more Pasadena than Paso Doble,” quipped an unimpressed Goodman.
Both Dick and Hughley are now in real danger of joining “Real Housewives” star Lisa Vanderpump, who got the boot last week for her tepid performance of the Cha Cha.
Next Week: It’s “Stevie Wonder Night” as the Grammy-winning artist performs live.