SAN DIEGO, April 10, 2012 – Rock Week is a regular feature every season on “Dancing With The Stars,” and it often reveals the flaws and challenges of each competitor. It did once again in Monday night’s “Dancing With The Stars.”
Dancers need a lot of attack and crispness for passionate, powerful dances like the tango and paso doble, all performed to rock anthems of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Not many of the dancers were able to demonstrate these qualities successfully. And if for whatever reason they’ve never heard of Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister due to youth or culture, it’s even tougher.
Donald Driver rose to the top of the leaderboard with the performance of the night, a paso doble with aggression tempered by a sense of metal mania humor to “Purple Haze.” It didn’t hurt that Driver got to show off his chiseled professional football player’s physique and tattoos. We knew judge Bruno Tonioli would love it, but judge Carrie Ann Inaba raved that the performance was “psychedelic, bizarre, sexy, raunchy hot damn!” It earned him the week’s top score of 27.
Maria Menounos showed a similar attack in her tango. She is dancing on stress fractures but didn’t let this stop her. The judges praised her posture with good reason. She and partner Derek Hough scored 26.
Also scoring a 26 was Roshon Fegan, the odd man out dancing a charming Viennese waltz with Chelsea Hightower. The dance seemed so out of place among the hair band anthems, but Fegan has beautiful lines and extension. To hit the very top levels he needs to move a little more sharply, but he was pleased with his score.
Katherine Jenkins channeled her aggression to score a respectable 24 for her paso doble. The score seemed low as she performed her dance with plenty of energy, speed and precision. The judges criticized her form, and it was her lowest score so far. It still put her in the top group of performers.
The rest of the pack was stuck between 20 and 23 points. Gavin DeGraw danced a decent enough tango with Karina Smirnoff, but he seemed to lack energy and extension. He’s stil wearing the hat, too. He danced well enough to score 23.
Melissa Gilbert and William Levy both earned scores of 22 points. Melissa seemed a bit underscored. She doesn’t have the extension of dancers like Maria or Roshon, but she gives it everything she’s got. Maks Chmerkovskiy fell at the end of the dance, but this wasn’t Gilbert’s fault. At the end of the show, host Tom Bergeron announced that Gilbert had been injured and taken to a local hospital to be checked out. She has reportedly suffered a mild concussion and whiplash. It’s unknown how this might affect the show, particularly if she is one of the couples who would face a dance-off Tueday night.
Levy danced the jive this week, and while he kept up the energy it had numerous problems including some mishaps including a big problem failing to step over his partner Cheryl Burke, and out of sync timing on footwork. Burke nearly lost her shoe halfway through and finished the routine with the shoe hanging off her foot. But it’s not a bad week to have a bad week. Levy will learn from the mistakes and he showed a good attitude, saying that when you make mistake you simply have to keep on going.
Sherri Shepherd and Gladys Knight both performed tangos. They made it through their routines and showed some style, but their scores have them at the bottom of the rankings with a 21 and a 20. What Shepherd and Knight lack is speed. The best professional dancers perform their moves with incredible speed and precision. Shepherd and Knight are dancing at a much slowed down speed so they can complete their moves compared to the other competitors, and it hurts their performances overall. Partner Tristan McManus had a death grip on Gladys manhandling her through the performance. Still, we are reminded that Gladys is 67 years old and she’s performing quite respectably. There is no question she is the best performer over age 60 who has ever appeared on Dancing With The Stars.
Whether she goes home or not depends entirely on the fan votes, and whether she escapes Tuesday night’s dance-off. With the three lowest scores, Melissa Gilbert, Sherri Shepherd and Knight are likely to be in jeopardy of going home by the end of the show. If Gilbert’s injuries prevent her from competing in a dance-off, it’s unknown whether she will be disqualified or be judged on another basis such as rehearsal footage.
The results show on Tuesday features the first “dance off” in which the two couples with the lowest scores will dance for the judges one more time. The judges will then decide who goes home.
“Dancing With the Stars: The Results” airs on Tuesday night, April 10 at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, on the ABC Television Network. A recap of the Monday night show airs one hour earlier at 8 p.m. Eastern/Pacific.
The scores so far:
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd 27 (98 season total)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower 26 (100 season total)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough 26 (99 season total)
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas 24 (105 season total)
Gavin McGraw and Karina Smirnoff 23 (88 season total)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke 22 (99 season total)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson 22 (95 season total)
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy 22 (86 season total)
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy 21 (91 season total)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus 20 (86 season total)
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Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.
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