SAN DIEGO, May 1, 2012 – As judge Len Goodman said Monday night, dance is a marriage of movement and music. The marriage was on the rocks during Classical Week on “Dancing With The Stars.”
The competitors seemed slightly off kilter. I blame the classical music theme. After 14 seasons, the show is reaching for new ways to present novelty to keep viewer interested. It doesn’t work for me. Give me ballroom dancing to the music that matches and tells the story about what the dance signifies.
But there were highlights, including the first perfect score of the season. Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli gave three 10s to Maria Menounos and Derek Hough for a brilliant paso doble with a vampire theme. It was intense, sharp and perfectly executed in character right down to Menounos wearing fangs, and dragging her “conquest” Hough along the floor to the judges after the end of the dance.
Hough is a brilliant choreographer and adds this to a body of work on the show including one of the best dances ever, his paso doble with Nicole Scherzinger, as well as memorable tangos with Ricki Lake and Joanna Krupa in much the same vein (pun intended).
Just behind Menounos and Hough were Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas, who performed a rumba. They received three nines, which seemed high. The execution was perfectly fine but lacked a spark. It seemed slow, in part due to the music which seemed like a mismatch. “Game of Thrones” fans will love the costumes with Katherine playing Daenerys Targaryen.
The same score of 27 was given to Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd, and but for some minor issues footwork mentioned by Len Goodman, it was a strong and dynamic waltz, perfectly suited to Driver and Murgatroyd. This score seemed low. Driver is still chasing that elusive 10.
William Levy and Cheryl Burke danced a sensitive, lovely waltz filled with romance. It scored a 26, which didn’t make the audience too happy.
There is a gap between the top group and the bottom three. In their individual dances, Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower scored 25 and Jaleel White and Kym Johnson scored 24 for their dances. Fegan did a respectable Argentine Tango. He seemed wobbly at times with his lifts although he executed them cleanly. White performed a handsome waltz with clean lines, but the judges critiqued him for his arm movements.
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy landed at the bottom with 21 points for a tango that received a tepid reaction. The pair seemed surprised and visibly upset although they managed to keep their comments to themselves. The score was fair. Gilbert’s physical skills are simply more limited than many of her competitors. She’s working hard and she’s shown great improvement, but probably not enough to keep up.
The team dances were great crowd pleasers, well choreographed and executed with style and energy. Team Tango including Katherine Jenkins, Maria Menounos, Roshon Fegan, and Jaleel White received scores of 27. Team Paso including Melissa Gilbert, William Levy, and Donald Driver received scores of 26, which met with loud boos from the audience.
The scores: Maria and Derek in first with 57 points; Katherine and Mark second with 54 points; Donald and Peta and William and Cheryl tied with 53 points.
Then we drop to the bottom three: Roshon and Chelsie and Jaleel and Kym are tied with 51 points; Melissa and Maks have the low score of 47 points. These are your three who will have a chance of being in the dance duel. The rest are likely to be safe.
Gavin DeGraw fans, don’t miss Tuesday’s show. He’ll sing his new single “Sweeter” on the show. On Tuesday’s elimination show, the two lowest scoring contestants will face off doing the Rumba.
See “Dancing With the Stars: The Results” on Tuesday night, May 1, at 9 p.m. Eastern/Pacific Time, on the ABC Television Network.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30/27 (213 season total)
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 27/27 (227 season total)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 27/26 (217 season total)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27/26 (212 season total)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25/27 (206 season total)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24/27 (207 season total)
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy: 21/26 (190 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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