Is the honeymoon already over? The performances on Dancing With the Stars Season 14 are still at an exceptionally high level, but after such a strong premiere, Week 2 was a little more like... a normal Week 2.
A few cracks in the foundation are emerging — and one of them is sitting at the judges’ table. Len Goodman gave Gladys Knight a 5 for her Quickstep and after that he had no choice but to give Martina Navratilova a 5 when she faltered through her Jive. So now, after a Week 1 with no 5s, we have two 5s on Week 2. Thanks, Len. At least Grumpy actually — gasp! — apologized for under-scoring Donald Driver’s Cha-Cha-Cha last week. Well, we all make mistakes. And there were plenty of them tonight.
Jaleel White, who was tied at the top last week, lost his “sparkle” in a Jive that lacked kicks and flicks. Most of the Jives had kick problems this week, for some reason. Melissa Gilbert got the same 20 she got last week, despite her very difficult Quickstep choreography. But the judges were willing to ignore less-than-perfect technique when it came to crowd-pleasers like Sherri Shepherd, who got a 23 for a Jive that even Len admitted could’ve used more actual Jive content.
On the upside, the night started strong with Roshon Fegan emerging as a serious contender; and after two weeks, Roshon is now tied with matinee idol William Levy in second place with a combined score of 49 out of 60. Right now, it looks like The Welsh Wiggler may wiggle away with a season win, provided Katherine Jenkins can win over viewers as easily as she’s winning over the dance floor. Her two-night score is 52 out of 60, which is darn near perfect and much higher than Martina’s bottom-of-the-leaderboard score of 37. Will Martina and Tony Dovolani be the first couple to go home, or are we in for a surprise elimination tomorrow night?
Read on for a full recap of the Week 2 action:
1. Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower — Quickstep to "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" by Good Charlotte — Chelsie wants Roshon to be “prince-like.” Not Prince-like. He wants her to upgrade her swagger skills. Chelsie has an adorable stuffed dog in her hand at the start of their paparazzi dance. Is that Giggy from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Roshon and Chelsie look classy and gorgeous; that is quite a white dress. They move so confidently together, as if this is Week 5.
JUDGES: Head judge Len Goodman told Roshon to look at his smiling face. “I liked it!” It had good movement. He liked how Roshon did his “slows” on the heel at points. It went a little wild, but it was young and fresh. Bruno Tonioli told Roshon, “You’ve got more sparks than a bolt of lightning!” Pert, alert, precise, traditional but with a cheesy swagger that he finds delicious. Carrie Ann Inaba said it had fantastic technique and he turned his swagger into sophistication and elegance. We had a feeling these two would be good this week!
SCORES: 9, 8, 9 = 26 out of 30. That was the top score last week and it’s already here after the first dance of Week 2.
Vote for Team Rochee: 1-800-VOTE4-05 or 1-800-868-3405
2. Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy — Jive to "Proud Mary” by Ike & Tina Turner — Sherri thinks the Jive would be great for her if she was 20 lbs. lighter. It’s going to be “Dead Sherri” instead of “Proud Mary,” she says. Her stamina needs work, Val says. They are already doing lifts on Week 2? She has lots of energy but she’s not doing enough kicks and flicks. Her moves aren’t sharp and she forgot a step. But she does have the fun factor.
JUDGES: Bruno stands up and says she knows how to work all her “magnificent equipment.” Tina Turner would be proud. She missed a part but he didn’t care. Carrie Ann said it was a f--king good routine. Bleep! No one cares that Sherri got disconnected at one point. Len said she felt good, the audience felt good, everyone felt good. She put the fun in funk. He would’ve liked a bit more Jive content, but he loved watching her. Fair enough. It could’ve used more actual Jive.
SCORES: 8, 7, 8 = 23 out of 30. Overscored. Sorry. Remember last year on Season 12 when the judges were so hard on Mark Ballas and Chelsea Kane for their amazing Jive? They only got an 18 for that. The judges also said J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff’s Week 2 Jive on Season 13 had too much Lindy Hop. They only got a 22 for that and it was a much more impressive Jive than Sherri and Val’s. Love Team SherVal (we even picked them to win before the season started) but the talent level this season is already high; the judges shouldn’t feel like they have to keep the scores up if the marks aren’t earned.
Vote for Team SherVal: 1-800-VOTE4-06 or 1-800-868-3406
3. Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Quickstep to "Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol — Melissa dated Billy Idol too? Who hasn’t this girl met or dated? Amazing. Melissa calls DWTS practice more difficult than childbirth. When Maks said one of her moves was “literally excellent,” she burst into tears. “I can’t win,” Maks said. "This guy makes ‘em cry no matter what he says!” Ha! Great footwork and movement. He’s making her do a lot. When she smiles it’s so great but most of the time she looks like she’s concentrating and nervous.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said Melissa had a tiny little slip but she recovered well and Carrie Ann liked her performance more after the slip ‘cause it’s like she let go. But she needs to work on her shoulders. Len said she lost a bit of energy toward the end and her posture went away. Len said it was a tad hectic and a little bit loose. Bruno said when Melissa doesn’t think about it she relaxes into it and her lines get longer. When she tightens up he can see her thought process. (Yes.) But she coped well with a difficult dance. (Yes.)
SCORES: 7, 6, 7 = 20 out of 30. Underscored. This probably deserved a 21, but so did Sherri’s 23-scoring Jive. This routine was more difficult than Sherri’s too. As a bonus, Maks reveals he cried the first time he saw The Lion King. Now we know!
Team MGMC: 1-800-VOTE4-07 or 1-800-868-3407
4. Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya — Jive to "Gimme Some Lovin" by Steve Winwood — Anna is tough on Jack, but he likes it. He sweats like a triathlete in rehearsals, so at least he’s getting a major workout. Their costumes scream tacky ‘70s. Anna, darling, didn’t you learn from Carson Kressley last season? The routine has tons of energy and fast movement. But, once again, the actual flicks and kicks of the Jive are getting lost.
JUDGES: Len liked the content and the attitude and the energy. Jack attacked the dance and because of that he lost some control. Jack did two dances of “acceptable standard” to get to next week, Len said. Not exactly a rave. Bruno said Jack gave his all, but his kicks and flicks have to be right on and they weren’t quite on the beat. You have to be sharp and clear in the Jive and they weren’t quite there. Carrie Ann thought Jack “overdanced” it and got out of sync. Yes. He was ahead of the beat the whole time, but he’s fun to watch.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Fair.
Vote for Team Wagannbuns: 1-800-VOTE4-02 or 1-800-868-3402
5. Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus — Quickstep to "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder — They don’t want to just pass, they want to be “top of the class” this week. Tristan and his tongue are out in full effect! Interesting choice to have a blue shirt with that tux. Love her natural smile through the whole routine. That’s what Melissa Gilbert needs.
JUDGES: Bruno said Gladys played her role well and looked like she was lost in Tristan’s eyes. She has a natural feel for the music. But she has to be careful about her frame. Carrie Ann said she was extremely light on her feet but it was a little too casual for the Quickstep. She needs to work on her form. She got lost staring into Tristan’s eyes, which no one can blame her for! Len wanted them to stay in frame and keep posture and not get cute and wiggly. He didn’t 100% appreciate Gladys’s dance, despite how much he admires her. Not worried about these two, though. They are going to be here for a while.
SCORES: 7, 5, 7 = 19 out of 30. Wow! Tom said Len wondered why the audience was booing him and it prompted Tom to want to go home and watch, what’s that movie, “Clueless.” Ha!
Team Gladys: 1-800-VOTE4-11 or 1-800-868-3411
6. Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas — Jive to "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph — Katherine is shy and giggles that Mark wants her to shake her “naughty bits.” She’s the Welsh wiggler! Mark is not anyone who stands for limp kicks and flicks in a Jive, so this had better be good. They have a nice gambling intro. LOVE her cocktail dress. That thing is so cute. Want. Immediately their kicks are better than everyone else’s. This is already above a score of 26. Love the cherry and bananas and other gambling lights on the floor. Jackpot! It’s a shame she’s not more famous because she has chops to spare.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said she’s all hot and bothered by that. The tone and extension in Katherine’s legs is something she’s never seen before. Katherine has the lines, the hot, the sexy, the damn good choreography. Len said he knew she could do grace and elegance but she can do this too. He didn’t like the “wild and wacky” middle section. What does this man want in a Jive? Bruno said, “the blonde bombshell is unleashed for your viewing pleasure!” He knows sexy when he sees it and she’s got it. “That’s how you do flicks,” he said. Yes.
SCORES: 9, 8, 9 = 26 out of 30. Probably deserved more, but that’s two 26s in a row. Good sign for them.
Team KMark: 1-800-VOTE4-10 or 1-800-868-3410
7. Jaleel White & Kym Johnson — Jive to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars — Jaleel talks about Kym’s “crazy eyes” look where she’s pleased but not satisfied. Interesting. They have a song about wanting to marry each other. The set-up is cute at a kind of ‘50s soda fountain. The choreography is cute but she’s not making him do the serious kicks and flicks. He can probably do them as well as Katherine, so where are they? Not enough Jive content.
JUDGES: Len said it lacked real attack and speed. It wasn’t sharp and didn’t have a crispness. He’s a little disappointed. It wasn’t terrible. He would’ve liked more punch. (But he gets mad when they have so much attack that they lost control.) Bruno said his performances are well thought out. It was quirky and slightly different. But he has to be sharper on his kicks and flicks. Carrie Ann said last week he blew the socks off the place and this week it was solid but it didn’t have that “sparkle.” He was flat-footed.
SCORES: 7, 7, 8, = 22 out of 30.
Team Jaleel: 1-800-VOTE4-12 or 1-800- 868-3412
8. Maria Menounos & Derek Hough — Quickstep to "Sexy, Sexy” by Brian Setzer — Is Maria playing up her laugh? She has to know it’s annoying by now. The theme of their dance is Bonnie and Clyde. They have a ton of fun together. Derek said her rib was strained in a move they did, so that does go along with a rumor that came out that she “broke” her rib during their Cha-Cha-Cha rehearsals a while back. They wear bandit badges over their eyes. This isn’t up to Derek’s usual polished standard. Guess his BFF Mark got the better partner this season.
JUDGES: Bruno said “That frame, where did it come from? That’s a frame you can frame.” He said it was nearly spotless but she lost a step at one point. Carrie Ann said that is what they are looking for when they talk about frame and hold. But they got out of sync in the middle there. She saw huge improvement. Len said there was a little incident but he wouldn’t have made a big deal out of it. The Quickstep is about balance — speed and control and she had both of those. He would’ve liked more body content, but this was an improvement over last week.
SCORES: 8, 8, 9 = 25 out of 30. There was some kind of issue with their voting number, so they flashed it again after Martina’s dance. Eek.
Vote for Team Menough: 1-800-VOTE4-01 or 1-800-868-3401
9. Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani — Jive to "Tell Her About It" by Billy Joel — Martina was insecure in practice and also injured. Her tentative nature showed up on the dance floor. Their outfits had lots of life and personality, though, and the bookends of the routine were cute, flirting with the judges. She did the best she could, but this is a step back.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said she loved the approach to the routine but it’s sad. She missed a few counts during the dance. “It was Jive on a diet,” Tony said. Len said Martina made an old man happy with his kisses, but it was “too neat and too precise.” Not sure that’s the issue. Too precise? The Jive is supposed to be precise. But it was too “careful” again and needed more attack. Bruno said she got on the wrong foot and couldn’t keep up with the dance. But when she lets her hair down it’s good. He wants her to stay around and come back and hit it out of the park.
SCORES: 6, 5, 6 = 17 out of 30. Yikes. That’s a Week 1 score right there.
Team Sweet Spot: 1-800-VOTE4-09 or 1-800-868-3409
10. Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd — Quickstep to "Stay the Night" by James Blunt — Peta has given Donald an extremely difficult routine this week, she said. She’s pushing him because she knows he can do it. They look cutesy and sweet and do lots of skipping and bouncing, but stay in hold like they’re supposed to.
JUDGES: Len said that performance was up there with the best he’s seen tonight. He also apologized, saying he watched last week’s show back and he under-marked Donald. YES! Is that the first time he’s admitted that? Good for him. It’s true, they only have a few seconds to make a decision. Bruno said he was refined and elegant and took their comments and proved them wrong. Carrie Ann said all those years of watching DWTS have paid off. His hold was beautiful. Smooth, elegance, charm.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. They wanted 8s and they got them. But he wants more next week. That’s how it should be.
Vote for Team Driving Miss Peta: 1-800-VOTE4-03 or 1800-868-3403
11. Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff — Jive to "Wild One" by Wakefield — Gavin wants to quit the Jive cold turkey. You can tell by Karina’s face she’s tired of all the jokes. “Have you ever seen smoke stacks come out of people’s ears?” he jokes. That’s when he knows he has to take things more seriously. He sits on a motorcycle on stage and wears a leather jacket with his usual hat. He looks like one of the Village People. He does a jump off the stage…and she makes him do some kicks, but all you have to do is watch Karina with J.R. Martinez last season on Week 2 to see the difference. At least he is trying, though. The kicks are there, they just aren’t that good. But some of the other couples didn’t even include many kicks.
JUDGES: Bruno says leather does wonders for him “and for me.” He likes the “Brando does Pelvis, I mean Elvis.” Naughty! These two should get a room. Bruno said Gavin messed up a lot of his kicks and flicks. But at least he tried them! Carrie Ann said he’s definitely pushing his boundaries. But he gave an animated and lively performance and really went for it. Len liked the feel of the dance and liked Gavin’s energy and attitude. For him, this is an improvement on last week.
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. So that’s one point over last week.
Vote for Team Gavin: 1-800-VOTE4-04 or 1-800-868-3404
12. William Levy & Cheryl Burke — Quickstep to "Nice Work If You Can Get It” by George Gershwin — Even while Gavin & Cheryl were getting their scores you could hear the screams start for William Levy. They have a cool black-and-white old-fashioned intro. The girls scream through Loverboy Levy’s routine. He wears that tux well and keeps a strong smile on his face. He actually looks better here than he did in his Cha-Cha, which was sexy but showed some of his nerves. Is that his on-again-girlfriend Elizabeth Gutierrez there in the audience with one of their kids?
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said William knows how to turn the heat up in the ballroom. But the Quickstep is about technique. She has to scream over the women in the ballroom to be heard! “You’re like the Harry Connick Jr. of the ballroom!” He’s debonair. Len liked his posture and movement but he needed cleaner footwork and they lacked body contact. His frame started great then it started to go away. “It was good, not great.” (Like tonight’s entire show!) Bruno said even fully clothed he has the ability to dazzle. He played it like a matinee idol. Bruno compared him to Jean Dujardin of The Artist.
SCORES: 9, 7, 9 = 25 out of 30. You can tell who was dazzled by Prince William’s looks and who wasn’t!
Vote for Team Fuego: 1-800-VOTE4-08 or 1-800-868-3408
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