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Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 04/24/2012

‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2012: Time for Motown Week

Motown night kicks off with a Smokey Robinson performance and a history lesson from Tom Bergeron, who fills us in on the genre. This includes a shout out to the competition’s own Gladys Knight as one of the most influential Motown singers. And speaking of which...

Singer Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus

Dance: Rumba

Gladys is thrilled that it’s Motown week, and Tristan is rather starstruck. “It really is surreal to think I’m dancing with a Motown legend,” he gushes during rehearsal. This week, Motown stars will be performing the songs live while the couples dance, and Gladys and Tristan will be grooving with the Temptations. Gladys reveals that she’s done many, many, many, many concerts with the Temptations, and also used to play softball with them (her team would always win). Will this help with the dancing?

Gladys and Tristan do a perfectly pleasant slow rumba, but it’s hard to concentrate on anything except how much phenomenally better the Temptations sound performing live, rather than the uber-cheesy “DWTS” band that usually takes some liberties with the songs. It immediately enhances the dance, which isn’t quite technically proficient, but it’s hard to root against Gladys when she’s clearly so thrilled to be there.

Len doesn’t think Gladys is the best dancer (the audience boos, but hey, it’s true), though he says she makes up for it with charisma. “You have star quality,” says Bruno, who wasn’t a huge fan of the performance. “If any night is going to belong to anyone, tonight is going to belong to you,” exclaims Carrie Ann. “I would pay so much money to see that dance again.” Despite all this, Carrie Ann notes that Gladys forgot some steps. Scores: 7, 7, 7, but does anyone really think Gladys is going home?

‘Extra’ co-host Maria Menounos and Derek Hough

Dance: Fox trot

Maria and Derek stole the headlines last week with a steamy kiss during Latin Week. However, the name of the game is “classy” this time, and Maria visibly struggles with this concept — her excuse is that she grew up with all boys. We see their flirtatious banter as Maria struggles through the dance, but Derek is too nice to get annoyed when she messes up the steps.

Martha Reeves provides the tunes, performing “Jimmy Mack” as Derek and Maria emerge in formal wear. They run up and down the steps during the dance, and Maria almost falls when she slips on her long dress, but recovers. Derek spins her around as Maria moves gracefully, though it’s one of their least exciting dances.

Still, the judges seem thrilled. “Gleaming blend of sophistication with elegance — what a shame you lost your footing,” says Bruno, adding that the movement was fantastic. Carrie Ann agrees that Maria’s slip made her lose steps, but the performance was still beautiful. Len, on the other hand, has no criticism, proclaims the dance a joy to his eyes. Scores: 8, 9, 9 for a total of 26 points.

Disney star Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower

Dance: Rumba

Chelsie has one question for Roshon in rehearsal: “When you hear the word sensual, what do you think?” Roshon’s response: Hugs! Okay, so not exactly ideal for a rumba. Roshon explains that because he’s so young, such thoughts of sensuality don’t happen easily. “Getting deep into romantic moments could be awkward at times,” he admits. Chelsie is convinced that he has a strong, sensual side, and is determined to find it. Turns out it’s a harder task than she thought.

Smokey Robinson sings “Cruisin’,” and Roshon tries his best to look like a suave leading man. He moves rather stiffly, much more robotic than a rumba is supposed to be, with a very intense look the whole time.

Carrie Ann reluctantly calls Roshon’s moves “over-exaggerated,” noting his foot came way off the ground at one point. “No, no, no! It was brilliant! That was supposed to happen!” protests Chelsie. Len likes the dance, but wishes it that it was smoother: “The movement was clipped and jerky.” Chelsie fights back, arguing that it was a slow song. Bruno says Roshon wants to hit the beat all the time, but his movements have to be more fluid with a rumba. Scores: 7, 8, 8 for a total of 23 points.

Opera singer Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas

Dance: Samba

Katherine and Mark are on cloud nine after their nearly-perfect Argentine tango last week. This week, she struggles with “bounce,” which Mark explains is everything in the samba, though Katherine claims she feels more confident at the end.

The Temptations rock out to “I Can’t Next To You” as Katherine and Mark show off their bouncing skills, moving swiftly through the upbeat song. Mark looks Gavin DeGraw-esque in a fedora, but thankfully, has much, much better dance moves.

“Katherine, I’m going to call you the midwife — you keep delivering week after week,” says Len, trying to steal Bruno’s thunder with the best line of the night. Bruno strikes back too, though: “The marriage of Brazil with funkytown has never been more exhilarating,” he roars, complimenting Katherine’s bounce. Carrie Ann loves it, too, though she doesn’t get in a witty line. Scores: 10, 9, 10 for a total of 29 points.

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd

Dance: Fox trot

Donald loves Motown and is psyched to reminisce about his childhood days of his mom blasting the Temptations on the radio. But first he has to conquer the fox trot, and he really, really wants a score of 10 from Len. To inspire him, Peta brings in a creepy cardboard cutout of a disappointed-looking Len holding a “10” sign.

The Temptations perform “The Way You Do the Things You Do” as Donald and Peta twirl around, looking like they’re genuinely having a blast. The whole dance creates a very patriotic effect, as Donald and Peta are dressed head to toe in bright blue, and the Temptations in matching red jackets.

Bruno approves, calling Donald a showman, and says his performances get better and better. Carrie Ann tells Donald he’s in his zone. But what about Donald’s nemesis, Len? “I know you were disappointed with me last week,” Len starts. “I thought you were going to come out this week and show me some fireworks — you didn’t.” Uh oh. But hold on...Len continues: “You came out and exploded!”

A classic fake out! Donald falls on the floor in gratitude. Len tells Peta to work on creating a dance that matches Donald’s potential talent, because he could be a great dancer. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points, just missing that elusive 10.

Actress Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Dance: Viennese Waltz

The mood drops immediately with Melissa and Maks, as Maks immediately starts snapping at her during rehearsal for not getting the moves. He gets repeatedly bleeped as Melissa can’t master the moves. “This is impossible,” he mutters. Melissa accuses him on not inspiring confidence, and that he’s driving her crazy. But Maks has a bright side: “It could be worse,” he says. “You could have an ugly partner.”

Smokey Robinson croons “Ooo Baby Baby” as Melissa and Maks spin carefully around the dance floor, Melissa more cautious as usual. She does look more comfortable on the dance floor than in past weeks.

The judges are very complimentary, starting with Carrie Ann. “You work so hard,” she says, “And it is finally paying off...I see poetry starting to happen in your movements.” Len likes it, even though she lost energy a bit at the end. Bruno loves the extended lines, and tells Maks whatever he did, worked. So Melissa can look forward to many more stressful rehearsals as long as she’s on the show.

Though Melissa counters in the Celebriquarium that Maks really isn’t all that bad, even nicking the show’s editors while talking to Brooke Burke Charvet. “I have to say that 85% of our experience last week was fantastic, and what you saw was not that percentage,” she explains. We’ll take her word for it. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.

Actor Jaleel White & Kym Johnson

Dance: Cha Cha Cha

Jaleel is shaken after last week’s trip to the bottom two, and the stress is starting to show as he struggles in rehearsal. Kym gives him a pep talk, encouraging Jaleel to step outside of his personality.

The Temptations are back with “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and Jaleel is back with a vengeance. He bursts on to the floor with lots of energy, quickly moving through all the steps, and seeming like he’s actually having a great time.

Len says though Jaleel has been off his game the last few weeks, this cha cha cha brought him back tonight. Bruno agrees that he’s back big time, and Carrie Ann is thrilled that he brought his A-game to the dance floor, finally. Scores: 10, 9, 10, for a total of 29 points, which shocks even Kym.

Actor William Levy and Cheryl Burke

Dance: Rumba

William “Latin dancing James Bond” Levy has been tasked by Cheryl to make the rumba the hottest one ever. She wants him to slow down the dance and show his sensuality. William is determined to bring fire to the dance floor, which should be easier for him than others.

Smokey Robinson is on stage with the background music and sings “Being With You” as Cheryl and William slow it down with a smoke-covered floor. William gazes into Cheryl’s eyes as he goes through the movements of the rumba, gliding along the floor.

Bruno sums up the steamy performance: “You two are wired for sex.” Tom Bergeron cuts him off before he can go any further. Carrie Ann is also approving of the sensual dance, but still doesn’t think it was his best performance, given that there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect. Len criticizes the dance for being too raunchy, and didn’t like the hip action. Scores: 9, 8, 10 for a total of 27 points.

At the end, there’s a bonus cha cha cha marathon, as everyone dances at the same time, and the judges send one couple off the floor at a time. Each couple gets a few extra points, with the last couple getting the highest amount, with 10 bonus points. The dance pros warn their partners it’s rough: They could have to dance for four consecutive minutes.

Tom Bergeron does hilarious color commentary as each couple takes their place in individual spotlight and tries their best to impress the judges. Jaleel and Kym show off with a lift right away.

The judges send Gladys and Tristan off the floor, followed by Maria and Derek. Sadly, Roshon and Chelsie are next to go, and Tom Bergeron admires Mark’s lime-green outfit.

Melissa and Maks say goodbye next. Then Donald and Peta. Then Jaleel and Kym. Finally, Katherine/Mark battle William/Cheryl. Ultimately, the marathon winners — with 10 extra points — goes to high-energy Katherine and Mark, who immediately collapse with exhaustion.

Related reading:

Last week: Gavin DeGraw is eliminated as the dance duel is introduced

Last week: The competition gets steamy on Latin Night

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 04/24/2012

 
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