“Dancing with the Stars” 2012 Cha Cha’d onward on May 5 with another night of hoofing. In addition to the usual individual couple dances, week 8 of the competition featured a little trio action as well. Did Katherine Jenkins re-claim her spot atop the judges’ leaderboard? Did William Levy take off his clothes? Did Maks Chmerkovskiy roll his eyes at the panelists? Read on for a recap.
The Ballroom Round opened with a Tango by NFL star Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd. Peta told Donald that Tuesday’s double elimination made it a “crucial” week for the couple, and Donald seemed ready and rarin’ to go. But when the ‘Oh My Gosh My Choreography Is So Hard’ Blues kicked in, Donald admitted to feeling a lot of “frustration”.
There are two ways to describe Peta’s outfit: S&M-inspired or Cat Woman. That should give a good enough visual to go on. As for the dance, it was good. Not perfect, but good. There’s just something stiff about Donald. I think his shoulders ride up every now and then and it makes him look like a stuffed shirt.
Len Goodman declared “ding dong Donald, a first round knockout” and “you set the standard and you set it high”. Bruno said “beware of the killer stilettos” and loved how he went for it “like there was no tomorrow”. Still, he admonished Donald to watch his shoudlers. Carrie Ann Inaba gushed “you are in the zone” and appreciated his “dynamic” shapes. However, she told him to add “a little bit more drama”, which naturally sent Bruno into a tizzy. Nothing like a catfight to start the evening.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd’s week 8 scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27.
TV personality Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were up next with a Viennese Waltz. Derek remarked during rehearsals that Maria had a hard time with matching the music with the technique. She got frustrated and there was practically a beep-a-thon (nice job, guys), but they kept it going, even if Maria did call their time together a “rollercoaster”. And the segment ended with a “good girl” and an air kiss. Aw, how demeaning. Or maybe just cute. I dunno.
Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” and a bunch of steam served as the backdrops for their dance. It was solid with good doses of emotion sprinkled throughout. She’s good in hold for sure.
Bruno said she had “heavenly fluidity” and appreciated her “total emotional involvement”. Carrie Ann said “I was hearing angels singing while you danced” and praised the couple’s connection. Len scolded Derek for not keeping Maria in hold more often, and another catfight was born. And then there were gasps of shock (Carrie Ann) when he declared “you’d disappointed me”. Oooh.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough’s week 8 scores: 10, 8, 10 = 28.
Keeping the action moving forward were actress Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy with a Foxtrot. Melissa called the competition stressful and noted a considerable “uptick in headbutting” between herself and Maks. And the Ukrainian honey was certainly impatient during their pre-dance segment and cursed at Melissa. He accused Melissa of making him look “like a terrorist”, but Melissa expressed that only Maks can make himself look like a bad guy. Still, she promised to “nail this Foxtrot”. Melissa looked great in a brown striped number that I’d usually find atrocious, but there was, as always, something very forced and unnatural about the dance. She just seemed too tentative and uncertain and rushed.
Carrie Ann praised her for keeping her shoulders down and called it “your best dance ever”. She noted “a few mess-ups” at the beginning, but enjoyed it. Len agreed, but noted the mistakes. Bruno quipped “the cougar got prize in a much smoother ride”. He called the “presentation the best you’ve done to date”. Maks looked… odd as the judges spoke. Dude, make eye contact. You’re a good dancer, but have a little respect.
Melissa made light of the rehearsal segment, calling it a “bad day”. Maks said he loves Melissa “with all my heart” and affirmed to his tearful partner that “I would do anything for her”. He promised to not lose it on her again. Aw.
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s week 8 scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24.
Fourth in line were classical singer Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas with a Viennese Waltz. She worried about her future on the show, noting “I have to come out and give a stellar performance” to survive the double elimination. She insisted on “going for it” even when Mark gave her chances to take breaks.
I didn’t love Katherine’s overly matronly gown, but the dance itself was lovely. She has a floating, ethereal quality about her movements that is unmatched by the other gals in the competition this season.
Len enjoyed “plenty of content” but didn’t like the “spinny thing”. He called the overall effect “terrific”. Bruno called it “a tale of upstairs and downstairs” referring to the choreography, and appreciated her technique, but knocked her for losing it for a moment. Carrie Ann agreed that her technique was “astounding” and nailed her for losing her footing. What? Bruno shook his finger at her aggressively. I agree, Bruno. What the deuce is she talking about? Why is she trying to get rid of Katherine? Insanity. Maybe she’s jealous because Katherine is better-looking? Oh, the mysteries.
Katherine once again thanked everyone who’d voted for her, and said she never thought she’d make it so far.
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas’ week 8 scores: 8, 9, 9 = 26.
Really, Carrie Ann? The same score you gave Melissa? What the heck is wrong with you? Jealous, nasty woman. But moving on.
Disney star Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower, aka the Dance Duel Master, followed with a Foxtrot. He admitted to “feeling very discouraged”, but called the “smiling faces of my grandmothers” his inspiration. He dedicated his performance to his grandmas, too. Aw.
The pair’s “Sweet Pea” performance was all sorts of cute, theatrical and lighthearted. Roshon was a little pancake-handed and stiff-armed at times, but all in all, it was lots of good, squeaked clean fun.
Bruno called them “the sweetest of sweethearts” and appreciated their hold and lines. He likened Roshon to “a young Mickey Rooney”. Carrie Ann first addressed his tearful grandmas, and said “you made your grannies proud and you made us proud”. Len called them “two little dancing munchkins” and “good job, dawg”.
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower’s week 8 scores: 10, 9, 10 = 29.
Last to dance during round one were the chronically overscored (did I say that?) telenovela star William Levy and Cheryl Burke. During rehearsals, William brought Cheryl a big, colorful bunch of flowers for her birthday. He didn’t like all of the rules involved with performing the Foxtrot, but he appreciated Cheryl’s patience.
William was “on” as far as William goes, probably as “on” as he’s been this season. His kid looked bored in the audience. Oooh.
Carrie Ann said “all I can say is meow, meow, meow” and likened it to a “hot sexy Pink Panther”. The she gushed on and on. Len called it “a mix of care and flair”. Bruno growled “you heartbreaker, you couldn’t be more debonair and suave if you tried… I hate you even more”.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke’s week 8 scores: 10, 10, 10 = 30.
He may well be the most overscored contestant in “DWTS” history. It was good, but dude, that dance was not perfection. What an insult to Katherine and Mark’s entire season.
With that nonsensical round one in the rearview, we moved on to the first-ever trio round. Peta and Donald met up with reigning pro champ Karina Smirnoff for their trio Jive. Karina called a three-person Jive “a first for all of us” but was confident in Donald’s ability to “handle three women”. Har de har. Peta called the choreography “absolutely crazy”, but Donald pushed through in good spirits, claiming “I’m not ready to see Jimmy [Kimmel].”
I gotta say, Donald had his Twinkle Toes mojo workin’. And he didn’t take Karina’s head off during his big jump at the end!
Len declared “fun, fun, fun! I liked it!” Bruno thought Donald handled the challenge “beautifully”. Carrie Ann said “you never missed a step!… I loved your three-way!” Man alive, the sex jokes are going to get old fast.
Donald Driver’s round two scores: 10, 9, 9 = 28.
Next up with their trio were Maria, Derek and Troupe member Henry Byalikov, who Maria claimed was picked for his “amazing” abs. Derek then unveiled his plan for the theme: Bollywood. Dum da dum! A first on “DWTS”. Maria noted that it was weird to hold someone else, and planned to use it to her advantage, whatever that means. She hoped the risk would pay off.
Maria started off the trio’s Samba with asome good booty shaking, but i was once again reminded that she’s much better in hold than free willy. It was certainly an innovative and creative performance, but it was a little… weird. Yeah, weird.
Bruno called Maria the “jewel” of the number but noted that she’d lost timing. Carrie Ann agreed that she was well-showcased in a “feast for my Asian senses” but noted some problems. Len called it “false advertising” and missed the actual Samba components.
Maria Menounos’ round two scores: 9, 7, 9 = 25.
It was also trio Samba time for Melissa and Maks, who selected the other Chmerkovskiy brother, Val, to complete their unit. Maks said he wanted the Samba to be “empowering” for Melissa and that he wanted her to “shine” between himself and his bro. Melissa planned to bring the “sizzle” to the stage. Mmm, mmm, and that Samba was hella “Hard to Handle”. In a good way! It was Melissa’s best dance of the season. By a lot. For once, she looked relaxed and confident. Good for Half Pint! Carrie Ann called her “a very good little cream filling” and called it her best by a lot. Len agreed, calling it her best dance, “well done”. Bruno purred “is it Melissa or is it Ms. Rita Hayworth?” and “it takes two to get the best out of you”. Risque!
Melissa Gilbert’s round two scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27.
They were uber pumped.
Cha Cha was the word for the next couple, Katherine and Mark, who opted to invite Tristan MacManus to join them. Oh la la! Katherine hoped to just “let loose” and called the dance “fun”. Sounds fun to me! It was fun, but poor Katherine’s pants got stuck on her foot! She handled it like a pro, though, and kept on going til she managed to shake ‘em off. It was fun, and she was spot-on. This girl is the real deal. Len called the dance “clean, clear and clever”. Bruno called it “sexy and cool” and likened her to Charlize Theron in her “Hitchcock blonde coolness”. Carrie Ann declared “bring on the fire!” and praised her for keeping it together despite the wardrobe issue.
Katherine Jenkins’ round two scores: 10, 9, 10 = 29.
Roshon and Chelsie were up next with their trio Paso Doble. They selected troupe member Sasha Farber as their third party, because, as Roshon said, “he’s really good at being masculine”. Er. Sasha promised him he wouldn’t be in the bottom two because he never loses anything. Uh, okay. Sasha helped Roshon with lots of good Paso moves, but wow, tough beans being right next to a pro of the same gender.
The synchro wasn’t perfect, but that’s what you get when you dance next to a pro! But it was good. Bruno appreciated his “Spanish lines” but said there were “moments” when he couldn’t distinguish between Sasha and Roshon. Still, he noted there were synch problems. Carrie Ann felt conflicted over the performance. Len said “you were like two skinny fries chasing the ketchup”. And he appreciated Roshon’s “tight buttocks”. Uh, Lennie?
Roshon Fegan’s round two scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27.
Closing out the show were William and Cheryl, who worked with Tony Dovolani on a Paso Doble. Cheryl explained the choice, noting that she wanted to show William holding his own by a pro. She admitted it was a risky move, but William said he “likes challenges”.
My initial thought about their little battle of the matadors was that William stuck his butt out too much. My second thought was that there was an awful lot of Cheryl dancing around the guys and not a lot of actual William dancing.
Carrie Ann called William’s lines “incredible” but noted that they went out of synch once. Len saluted all three dancers, calling it a “great mix of steps together and apart”. Bruno praised the performance value, noting that they’d used Cheryl beautifully, but he smacked their wrists for losing synch.
William Levy’s round two scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27.
Tony’s little “please vote! I don’t want to be eliminated twice” schtick was cute.
So that’s it for week 8. Who gets the boot? That’s a toughie. I’d say Melissa should be a gimme, based on entire-season performance, but it doesn’t always go that way. Anyone at all could be in trouble. I know that’s a lame cop-out, but I have no idea other than guessing that Roshon will finally fall, despite a pair of good dances.
The “Dancing with the Stars” 2012 week 8 results show airs Tuesday at 9 PM on ABC, so tune in. Or you can just check in with me. You know I’ll be watching.