SAN DIEGO, April 16, 2012 – Latin Week brought the party back to the ballroom this week on “Dancing With The Stars.”
The contestants are at the halfway point and things are starting to click with several of the couples. This was the first show where the judges actually underscored a few of the dancers; they’re getting to be truly good.
The trio of Argentine tangos stole the show, each in a different way. Katherine Jenkins was a bit of a question mark after her passable but not passionate paso doble last week. She was much improved with her Argentine tango. Pro Mark Ballas used choreography to play to Katherine’s strengths, her beautiful legs and stretched lines. They did more lifts and less of the leg kicks and flicks. Even her dress played up a Grace Kelly coolness. It paid off in a wonderful dance that scored a 29 – judge Len Goodman holding out with the nine. This is the reason she has been the top scorer this season.
Donald Driver’s lifts are the best of any contestant ever on the show. He has strength, snap, and control, and the perfect partner in Peta Murgatroyd to show what he can do. But when he danced in between, he was flat-footed, which must be why judge Len Goodman only gave him an eight.
To the William Levy fans: now I get it. Cheryl Burke has a special way with the Argentine tango. She’s made several contestants contenders with this dance, and Levy is no exception. His lifts were excellent, but it was his posture, beautiful frame and elegant feet that made it all come together. His 29 should have been the first 30 of the season.
The salsas were a notch below the tangos. Two were quite good but not spectacular. Roshon Fegan needed a good week to bounce back from near elimination, and his sparkling salsa with more than a little touch of Michael Jackson was charming. He has by far the best arms of all the contestants. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough brought the heat in her salsa from her bright yellow-fringed costume to her shimmys and shakes. The judges praised her and gave her three 9s for a 27.
Melissa Gilbert posted on Twitter she was “going to get back on the horse” during tonight’s salsa. At the end of the dance, she and Maks did the same spin that caused her injuries last week. She gave it good energy but Melissa simply isn’t at the skill level of the other competitors. The judges gave her three 7s for a 21.
The sambas were the most erratic group. Jaleel White and Kym Johnson got things smoking with a rhythmic, crowd-pleasing samba to Miami Sound Machine. The judges praised his hip action and it was a major improvement over the past two weeks, with three 8s for a 24.
Gladys Knight was fun to watch as she worked the crowd and worked the hip action. She is the only competitor who did honest-to-goodness samba rolls and they were first rate. Those alone rate her a trip back next week. She finally got out of the cellar with a 22.
Then there was Gavin DeGraw, who may have had the most fun but who seemed to just throw himself at some version of whatever dance he learned. His energy helped him get by, but his 19 was the low of the night. If he doesn’t get a lot of help from his fans, he’ll be going home.
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. With next week being Motown Week, it would be a shame if Gladys Knight didn’t come back. Let’s hope in the unlikely event she’s in the dance-off that the judges agree and save her.
“Dancing With the Stars: The Results” airs on Tuesday night, April 17 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:
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (134 season total)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (128 season total)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (126 season total)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (125 season total)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (126 season total)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (119 season total)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 22 (108 season total)
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy: 21 (107 season total)
Gavin McGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (107 season total)
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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