Instead, the Olympic champ was ready to aim for the top of the rankings.
"[Partner] Anna [Trebunskaya] and I have been in second place two weeks in a row," he said in rehearsal. "Hopefully our quick step will give us an edge."
"I totally got the story," judge Len Goodman told Evan and Anna. "It cheered me up. You've got to work on your feet – that's my only negative."
Evan told co-host Brooke Burke after the performance that not even his toe injury, which occurred last week, was going to stop him from performing.
"Nothing was going to keep me from dancing with Anna tonight," Evan told co-host Brooke Burke after their performance, which earned a 26/30 from the judges – the week's highest score.
Kate Gosselin and partner Tony Dovolani danced the paso doble to Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi" – a song the reality mom took personally.
"That song speaks directly to me because every day I walk outside my door and the paparazzi follow me," Kate said in rehearsal footage, which also showed Tony bringing in an acting coach to help Kate bring out her emotions.
"You are free to let it out," the coach told her.
"I'm not allowed," Kate said, tearing up, later telling the cameras, "It's not only survival for me, it's survival for my kids."
The two hit the dance floor with Kate playing the star and Tony playing the photographer in matching red-and-black outfits – but the judges didn't feel the heat.
"That was odd," judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. "It was very hard to watch."
"You look as if you overcame your nerves to a certain degree," Len told them, adding, "It wasn't very good, and I'm sorry."
"To bring it out here is a lot harder than I ever imagined," Kate told Brooke after hearing from the judges. The two scored 15/30.
Here's how the rest of the stars did:
Buzz Aldrin and his partner, Ashly Costa, danced to "What a Wonderful World" with the story of a father returning to his daughter from war.
"It was royal, dignified," judge Bruno Tonioli told the pair. "[But] it didn't really flow."
They earned a total of 13/30, the night's lowest score.
Jake Pavelka and partner Chelsea Hightower took the floor with a quick step set to "Walk Like an Egyptian" – but in rehearsals, Jake was quick to walk out on his partner during a tense moment.
"You're not focusing enough," she told him. "It's not improving. I need to see some will power – don't just shut down."
"There are points with Chelsea where I just need to walk away and calm down," Jake told the cameras, though the two soon hugged it out.
The pair earned 21/30 for their performance, which concluded with Jake landing in a sarcophagus.
Niecy Nash broke down during rehearsals with partner Louis van Amstel, crying over the story the pair were trying to tell with their dance – that of a couple falling in love against all odds.
"If I couldn't be with my boyfriend, I would be devastated," she told Louis, who responded, "We've come a long way… but I'm still fighting my battle [for same-sex marriage]."
Once they hit the floor, the passion was contagious.
"Niecy, you are one emotional dancer," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told the star, though the judges criticized her footwork when she stumbled during a twirl.
"I feel strongly that people should have the right to choose. I stumbled a bit tonight because I'm not used to having people see me cry," Niecy told Brooke after the performance, which earned 21/30.
Chad Ochocino and partner Cheryl Burke danced a paso doble, which earned their strongest praise to date from the judges.
"Chad, you released the kraken!" Bruno told the two, referencing "Clash of the Titans." "But at times, you still danced like a kraken."
"You were focused out here like a laser!" Carrie told Chad.
The two earned 20/30, their best score yet.
Pamela Anderson and partner Damian Whitewood also took on the paso doble.
"You have this certain artistry to all your movements," Carrie Ann said. "I think this time though, you threw a little too much into it."
"You were completely focused between each other, you need refinement in the dance, that's all," Len told them.
The two also earned a 21/30 after landing in the bottom two the previous week.
Aiden Turner and Edyta Sliwinska did the quick step, which the Irish actor found strenuous.
"It's killing me!" he said during rehearsals.
The star lost his mic during one quick move, but still earned praise from the judge's table.
"Your confidence is growing," Carrie Ann told him, with the pair earning 20/30.
Erin Andrews and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the waltz, with Maks blindfolding Erin during rehearsals to help her trust the pro.
On the floor, Maks blindfolded her mid-performance – drawing huge applause from the crowd.
"Erin, you kinky thing," Bruno began. "It starts with a blindfold and you end up in handcuffs!" The duo earned 23/30.
After notching the first 10s of the season last week, Nicole Scherzinger and partner Derek Hough started their quick step rehearsals on a boat and dove into their nautical-themed performance in sailor suits.
"That was not a quick step, it was a load of vaudeville," Len told the surprised pair, who still earned 23/30, a bit of stumble for the former frontrunners.
Host Tom Bergeron also added that next week, contestants will be judged on both dance and overall performance.
Tomorrow night, the second pair will be kicked off of season ten.
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