Most Read: Entertainment

Trove link goes here
TV Column
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 05/01/2012

‘Dancing With the Stars’: One team gets a perfect score on Classical Night

Only seven couples are left in the competition — so that means lots of padding the two-hour results show with performances from lots of guest stars, including Joshua Bell and Jackie Evancho. Later in the night, it’s the debut of team dances, as everyone is pitted against each other to earn extra points.

And after the first performance from the superb Joshua Bell on violin, it’s time for regularly scheduled competing:

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas

Dance: Rumba

Will classical night hold the same fate for classical singer Katherine Jenkins that Motown Week had for Motown singer Gladys Knight? The parallels are similar — she’s even the first person to dance, as Gladys was last week. Tom Bergeron that Katherine appeared as a singer on Classical Week in the past, which could be how she landed this gig. Anyway, Katherine talks excitedly about her passion for classical music, and thinks she’ll have an advantage. Still, there’s a challenge — turns out pairing a sexy rumba with a highly sophisticated classical tune is more difficult than it seems.

Katherine moves as seamlessly as ever, and Mark goes without a shirt for the occasion. The pinnacle of the dance arrives when Mark holds Katherine foot delicately in the air as she leans away, and she doesn’t even fall over.

Len is pleased that Mark didn’t take the dance down the “raunchy” route (unlike Derek and Maria). Bruno believes Katherine belongs in a museum, because she is just that perfect, but that he actually wanted the moves raunchier. Carrie Ann says Katherine has the best lines of the competition, but that the dance lacked chemistry and passion. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.

Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Dance: Argentine Tango

Oh no — first Melissa, and now it’s Maks’s turn for the injury. He has an ankle injury and is in serious pain and looks miserable, so he recruits his already-eliminated brother, Val, to rehearse with them just in case Maks is unavailable on Monday. This means dealing with two members of the Chmerkovskiy family, and there’s some definite bleeping going on when things get stressful.

But Maks makes it for the performance, and gingerly spins around as he steals Melissa away from a mannequin groom at the altar in order to tango (at least, we think that was the storyline of the dance).

“You’re extremely brave,” Bruno admits to Maks, though ultimately thinks the dance got messy. Carrie Ann goes with “It’s like Cirque du Soleil went terribly wrong...it was just like a lift-fest, but it went terribly wrong.” Len throws them a compliment, saying they paired the dance with the music, but that it lacked some dance quality. Maks and Melissa are both visibly annoyed. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points. “What do you think?” Brooke Burke Charvet inquires in the Celebriquarium. “I don’t think. I just dance,” Maks says flatly.

William Levy & Cheryl Burke

Dance: Viennese Waltz

William got some criticism last week, which he’s clearly not used to hearing. Cheryl presses the importance of the Viennese Waltz, especially because Len has very high standards for this one. She’s tougher on him than usual, but his injured ankle is bothering him, causing Cheryl to re-think the choreography. “If he twists it on show night, our whole routine could fall apart,” Cheryl says anxiously.

Still, William manages to hold it together, even making collapsing on the floor at the end of the dance look grateful while Jackie Evancho -- the disturbingly talented 12-year-old singing prodigy from “America’s Got Talent” -- provides the music.

“THAT is what I was looking for,” says Carrie Ann approvingly, adding that William finds the story in the music. Len tells them he wasn’t exactly transported to Vienna, but it was still pretty good. Bruno points out that William showed vulnerability in the dance, and that it was clear he put his heart and soul into the dance. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.

Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower

Dance: Argentine Tango

The duo narrowly escaped elimination last time, and Roshon is confused about why he doesn’t seem to be connecting to the audience. He continues his “How to Be a Man” classes that he’s been taking all this season — last week, it was how to be a sex symbol. This week, the lesson is courtesy of Val Cherkovskiy, who’s turned into quite the utility player. Val tries to guide Roshon in the ways of masculinity, coaching Roshon about how to move his body and give intense looks.

Dancing to a classical version of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Roshon does his best impression of a leading man, doing all kinds of fancy footwork as the music speeds up.

Len compliments the transitions to the lifts, and ultimately proclaims it “clean and confident.” Bruno enjoys the seamless lifts, though he rambles through what sounds like constructive criticism. Carrie Ann is so moved that she stands up to give Roshon a hug, thrilled that he had a fantastic performance, and adds that Bruno and Len don’t know what they’re talking about. Scores: 9, 8, 8 for a total of 25 points.

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd

Dance: Viennese Waltz

Last week, Len criticized Peta for not giving Donald more complex moves. So this week, she’s turning up the heat. Donald claims he’s up for the challenge, because he’s so competitive he doesn’t even let his kids win when they’re playing games. Peta says this is a professional grade routine, and Donald better be perfect.

Vittorio Grigolo sings opera while Donald and Peta dance, and they start the performance as royalty sitting on two thrones. It’s a sharp, crisp performance. Plus, Donald shows he can pull off a shiny gold knee-length jacket.

Bruno immediately starts yelling that he loved it, and Carrie Ann adores the intensity, calling the dance “regal.” Len is quite pleased with the excellent footwork, even though he pokes fun at Donald’s jacket. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points. Donald is just thrilled that he’s not going backwards, score-wise.

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough

Dance: Paso Doble

The theme of the dance this week is love-hate, and it’s evident, as the normally jovial pair is all frowns this week. Derek starts getting more frustrated than usual when Maria keeps messing up in rehearsal. He tells her she needs to be more feminine, and she gets visibly upset, almost starting to cry during her on-camera interview.

Maria is terrifying in the beginning of the dance, showing off vampire fangs when Derek approaches her. Looks like all the animosity during rehearsal paid off, however, as they look more professional than ever, truly selling the intense performance.

“That didn’t suck, my friend,” Carrie Ann jokes. Len loves it. Bruno calls Maria the queen of the dance and the queen of the night, and invites her to bite him. She does not take him up on the offer, but instead beams as he goes on about how the dance was amazing. Scores: 10, 10 10, for a total of 30 points, and the first perfect score of the season. “Everybody will be wearing fangs now!” exclaims Tom Bergeron.

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson

Dance: Viennese Waltz

Jaleel wants to beat William and Donald at the Viennese Waltz, and he’s feeling super-confident after last week’s good scores. “I might not have any Super Bowl rings and I might not be a Latin heartthrob, but this week, I’m going to prove I’m the man to beat,” Jaleel boasts.

The dance starts off fine, but doesn’t make much of an impression as they glide around the dance floor.

Len says he liked it enough not to be cruel, but wasn’t impressed by the lack of footwork. “It didn’t quite work,” he confessed. Bruno is kinder, saying that Jaleel gave a good effort, though still made some mistakes. Carrie Ann encourages him not to lose his confident, and that he needs to pay attention to his arm movements. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.

With a half-hour to go, it’s time for the Team Dances, which splits up everyone into two groups to compete against each other.

Team Tango: Jaleel/Kym, Maria/Derek, Roshon/Chelsie and Katherine/Mark. There’s drama (or at least, complaining) when Katherine has never danced the tango. Still, the couples remain cocky that they can beat Team Paso.

Dressed in tuxedos, Team Tango still seems to have an advantage since they have the better dancers who also have fewer injuries. Each couple gets a chance to show off their moves individually, though they all start as a group.

Len says it was a mix of the good, bad and ugly, and that Roshon and Maria were the stand-outs. Bruno loves the choreography, and that Roshon “killed it.” Carrie Ann liked Jaleel’s skills, but agrees Roshon was the best of them all. Why couldn’t he dance like that earlier?! Scores: 10, 8, 9 for a total of 27 extra points for each couple.

Team Paso: William/Cheryl, Donald/Peta, and Melissa/Maks. The team members pride themselves on having the manly men in their group, even Val, who’s still on stand-by just in case Maks has to drop out because of his injury. The guys are also randomly excited they have one blonde woman, one brunette woman and one red-headed woman on their time. There’s some bickering about whether the men should go shirtless, but William seems against the idea. That does not seem like great strategy.

They compromise, as the men go shirtless under jackets, and start by dragging the women into a circle before the solo dances start. They’re also aided by bursts of fire that appear on stage, and soon, the jackets are gone.

Bruno compliments the men on the dance, calling them superheroes. Carrie Ann can barely control herself. “That’s going to go down in history as the fan-favorite paso doble!” Len loves it, even though the men pulled out all the stops when they “undressed to impress.” Scores: 9, 8, 9 for a total of 26 extra points for each couple.

So close — yet so far. Team Tango walks away with the Team Dance victory, but not by much.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 05/01/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company