It’s Latin Week, and according to Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet, things will get steamy in the ballroom. So far, the only things of note are a Carlos Santana performance and Maria Menounos wearing a comically giant headdress, so we’ll see.
Actor Jaleel White & Kym Johnson
Shaken after scoring in the lower range last week, Kym and Jaleel discuss strategy for the samba. This includes a lot of “booty shaking,” and Kym planning to rip away Jaleel’s shirt to reveal an apparent eight-pack. Basically, Kym doesn’t want Jaleel to have to participate in this week’s dance duel (which ABC swears is happening this time, for real) if they’re in the bottom two.
So Jaleel focuses on his booty shaking, and even throwing in some technical ability so Len will be pleased. Plus, there’s fire everywhere, so it officially qualifies as steamy.
Len appreciates Jaleel’s rhythm, particularly as he moved his hips around. “You got the party started,” roars Bruno. “That wiggle!” Carrie Ann pulls a Len, and offers a criticism — Jaleel needs to watch his arm movements. Jaleel has high hopes, and is in a super-cheerful mood, even telling Brooke Burke Charvet in the Celebriquarium that he joined Maks for a spray tan this week. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Actress Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
“Last week our star suffered a ballroom mishap,” Tom Bergeron intones. “After a trip to the hospital, and only a few days to train, is she ready to win back the judges and your votes?” We see some slow motion footage from last week, and see Melissa hit her head against Maks’s leg during a spin move, which is apparently what caused the concussion from last Monday. Maks seems dubious about this. Meanwhile, Melissa scores a few points during rehearsal when she tells Maks that she can perform as long as she doesn’t get headaches — and magically, her headaches stop when Maks stops talking.
Anyway, Maks is horrified by Melissa’s attempts to dance a sexy salsa as she timidly shimmies around the dance floor. He tries to convince her to unleash her wild side, but she still moves carefully during the performance. That is, until the end, when they throw cautioun to the wind and Melissa does a spin move around on the floor.
The audience gives Melissa a standing ovation, and Bruno starts things off. “Maximum thrust and plenty of fire,” he growls. Still, Bruno says, she has to have better control. Carrie Ann is more sympathetic. “It’s beautiful to see how much confidence you’ve gained over the last four weeks,” she says, and adds that Melissa looked fierce and sexy.
In the Celebriquarium, Brooke points out that Melissa asked Maks to use the same floor move in this week’s performance that caused her concussion and whiplash last time. “That’s how bad of a concussion she had,” says Maks dryly, either implying that Melissa still hasn’t fully recovered from her head injury, or that TMZ report about her injuries being “exaggerated” was very true. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
‘Extra’ co-host Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
While trying to amp up the steamy moves in rehearsal, Derek pulls Maria through his legs during one part of the dance. This goes from from sultry to terrifying when Derek drops Maria’s head, leading to a very unpleasant sound as Maria’s chin hits the floor hard. She breaks down crying, but feels better when she sees her jaw is still attached to her face. In the smartest move yet, she returns to rehearsal covered in bubble wrap.
The couple kicks off the dance as Maria shimmies with Dr. Drew, who happens to be in the audience. Derek tears off his shirt (his own shirt, not Dr. Drew’s), and then the two share in a longer-than-expected kiss as the audience screams.
Carrie Ann loves the dance, except for one part: “I don’t think you needed the kiss — I think it was a sell-out,” she proclaims. “Dance is about the illusion of passion. Don’t go at it right there in front of all of us!” The audience seems to disagree, because don’t we all need a couple to root for? Len says Maria’s a very talented dancer. Meanwhile, Bruno has three questions for Maria: “Was it legal? Want me to get you a room? Can I join in?!” he yells. The look on Tom Bergeron’s face is priceless. Score: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points.
Opera singer Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Dance: Argentine Tango
Katherine had a minor panic attack when she mis-heard the results last week and assumed she was going home. Now she’s more determined than ever to learn the steps. Mark lectures her on getting her kicks right — though the lesson backfires when she kicks him in some unfortunate places. Or as she giggles, “Let’s just say I’ve been doing damage to Mark’s naughty bits.”
She tells us she’s going to channel that energy on the dance floor, and she and Mark spin smoothly together. Plus, she appears to get all the kicks and flicks right without doing him any bodily harm.
Len builds a complex metaphor, comparing the dance to a rose, beautiful on the outside and sharp on the inside, “bittersweet” in a good way. Bruno and Carrie Ann are both thrilled, calling the dance perfection. Carrie Ann especially raves about Katherine’s legs, which she calls the best legs she’s ever seen in the show’s history, proclaiming the performance “poetry in motion.” Scores: 10, 9, 10 for a total of 29 points.
Pop singer Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff
Gavin has some awkwardness issues with the samba, as he can’t quite grasp the hip movements. He even compares learning the sultry dance to the least sexy thing ever: taking the SAT. Gavin says he’s going to rely on fan votes more than ever this week, and on cue, we see concert footage as he pleads for votes at one of his latest shows.
Gavin looks more goofy than sexy, as he and Karina play out some sort of strange story that starts with him in a boat desperately paddling to woo Karina out of her hammock to do a samba. Basically, it’s a mess.
Sure enough, the judges are laughing so hard they can barely talk, which isn’t a good sign. Carrie Ann struggles to find a compliment, admitting it barely looked like a samba, but says she appreciates Gavin’s joy through the dance. Len is also very kind after calling it “more of a sham-ba than a samba,” but that he liked Gavin’s effort. Scores: 6, 6, 7 for a total of 19 points.
Actor William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Argentine Tango
Everyone seems to think that Latin Week will be perfect for telenovela star William, but he gets easily frustrated during rehearsal. “I don’t want to be the only Latino going out on Latin Week,” he confesses, nearly falling off a chair. Also not helping: A hurt right ankle, which William has been tweeting about all day and causing him to miss rehearsal. (The MRI prognosis was apparently a torn ligament, according to William.)
William and Cheryl play a couple having dinner who get the urge to dance, as William tangles up Cheryl in the tablecloth as they spin around during the tango. Still, he is pretty flawless, even dancing through an injury.
Carrie Ann can barely catch her breath as the audience predictably goes crazy. “That was ridiculously amazing...the Latin dancing James Bond!” Carrie Ann exclaimed. Len and Bruno are also thrilled. Scores: 10, 9, 10 for a total of 29 points.
Singer Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus
Tristan advises Gladys that now that she’s survived low scores from last week, it’s time to shake everything she has been hiding during the samba. It’s a tough schedule as Gladys has concerts in four different states over the week but she squeezes in rehearsal time late at night, and is determined to break out of the bottom of the pack.
Gladys shimmies on the dance floor, taking a slower pace while trying to keep up with Tristan’s footwork.
Len calls it easy on the eyes, and compliments Gladys’s musicality — though noting it was a very simple performance. “You play to your audience, you have incredible stage presence,” raves Bruno, without saying much about the actual dancing. Carrie Ann points out a few small mistakes, but agrees that Gladys commands the stage. Scores: 7, 7, 8 for a total of 22 points.
Disney star Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
Roshon says he’s trying to act like a sex symbol for the seductive dance, but he’s just too adorable to pull it off. Instead, he turns to William Levy for help in the “sexiness” department, trying to emulate a shirtless, posed picture of the actor. Levy stops by and gives Roshon some tips, as Roshon tries to show off his muscles.
Roshon attempts to channel William during the salsa, which is made more challenging by the fact that Chelsie is dressed up as a tropical bird. Still, he manages to grasp all the steps as they fly around the floor.
Bruno thinks Roshon’s timing is fantastic. “You were kind of sexy in a Disney way,” Carrie Ann says, though clarifying first that she’s not a cougar. Len says Roshon is like a young guy with his first car, but he needs to calm down and enjoy the ride — less is more, sometimes. Scores: 9, 8, 9 for a total of 26 points.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Dance: Argentine Tango
Donald calls the routine “crazy,” as he spins around until he’s dizzy and they twist in pretzel-like shapes. He studies tape of his dance as intently as he would for football film, and is determined to get all the steps without falling over.
The couple starts as Donald seduces Peta from a card table, doing a complex move where he drops her head, and then catches her right before she hits the floor. Later, he proves that it pays off to have a football player as a dance partner, as he effortlessly picks Peta up and smoothly twirls her at lightning speed as the audience cheers.
“That was divine,” says Carrie Ann, clearly impressed, complimenting the lifts. Len agrees the lifts were spectacular, but wasn’t a fan of the rest of it. Bruno, however, thinks it was fanastic, and that the build-up was especially excellent. Scores: 10, 8, 9 for a total of 27 points.
Tomorrow: The long-awaited dance duel.