Johnson, Kramer narrowly escape elimination on ‘DWTS’

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News

Billed as the hottest episode of the season, Monday’s Latin Night on “Dancing with the Stars” mixed fiery tangos, sambas and cha-cha-cha with looming elimination drama.

Three celebrities were flagged as “in jeopardy” of going home based on judges scores mixed with viewer votes. Former Detroit Lions player Calvin Johnson and actress and country music singer Jana Kramer of Rochester Hills were two of them.

The two stars with Michigan ties avoided elimination, though, as it was revealed that model Amber Rose and her pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy didn't earn enough combined votes to go on to the next episode. Johnson and pro partner Lindsay Arnold were the last couple to be called safe.

Both Johnson and Kramer fired up the judges by dancing the Argentine tango with their respective partners, but it was Kramer who got the only perfect score of the night.

She went into this week having told celebrity news website that the tango she was to dance with partner Gleb Savchenko was “out of my comfort zone.”

Kramer and Savchenko looked extremely comfortable with one another, however, as they danced to Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself.” The performance was so sexy that they literally started the number on a bed, and ended under a shower of water. Dripping wet, the pair earned a standing ovation from judges and perfect score of 40.

“Now that is chemistry,” judge Julianne Hough shouted. “I think you just set the record for the hottest Argentine tango for sure.”

Judge Carrie Ann Inaba added that if the couple kept dancing at this level, that the mirror ball trophy may be Kramer’s.

Johnson was having trouble feeling sexy at practice, and was encouraged by Arnold to get in the zone by taking selfies.

“I don’t ever think about having to feel sexy, so that’s weird,” said the NFL star, who was recently inducted in the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame. “It’s weird to have to try to get into that vibe.”

After their sensual tango to an abbreviated version of the Eagles’ “Hotel California,” Johnson and Arnold earned a score of 37 from the four judges.

“Twenty-three seasons ... never seen lifts like that ever,” said Inaba to Johnson. “You were large and in charge and there was this magnetic intensity that was sexy. You don’t have to try to be sexy, don’t give us your selfie face, just give us Calvin, cause that worked.”

“Dancing with the Stars” opened Week Six with a performance by Miami rapper Pitbull, who also served as a guest judge.

The first exciting moment came shortly after, when Olympian Ryan Lochte and his pro partner Cheryl Burke were announced as safe. They were tied for the bottom place last week. Their day-glow salsa dance to Celia Cruz’s “La Negra Tiene” earned a score of 30 from the judges.

(313) 222-2402

Twitter: @melodybaetens