Judge Carrie Ann Inaba isn’t the only one whose heart got all fluttery over Dancing With the Stars Season 14 Week 3: Performance. The Most Memorable Year theme gave our tickers a workout too — from the sexy and sweet to the simply heart-wrenching. The high level of emotion gave us the highest scores of the season so far, including the first 10s. Three of them!
Len Goodman said the show was “awesome” — and some of the routines definitely earned 10s on The Tissue and Sex Appeal scales — but in terms of technique? You have to wonder, do the judges feel compelled to be especially kind on Personal Story Week, since the stories are sensitive and family members are in the audience? No one wants to be the bad guy. Len chose to be passive-aggressive instead of openly aggressive against Mark Ballas’ leaderboard-topping Waltz choreography. And Carrie Ann Inaba didn’t even play lift police. Bruno Tonioli, on the other hand, was so 10-happy he was willing to give William Levy top marks just for flashing some chest and abs. He really should’ve saved that 10 for a FULL shirtless dance, but whatever.
It was a positive night ... and that’s just going to make tomorrow so much harder. Right now, the bottom is a five-way tie of 24 out of 30, which is the judges’ way of saying “We’re staying out of it. You get to be the bad guys this time.” So it’s up to us. Who are we breaking up with this week?
Read on for a full recap of the Week 3 action:
1. Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya — Samba to "Lighting Up the Night" by Jack Wagner — Jack chose last year as his most memorable year, because a miracle happened. Randomly, at a concert in Florida in 2011, he met his long-lost daughter, Carrie. He cried talking about it. Jack and Anna dance to one of his songs in celebration. Hey, a happy Samba worked for Hines Ward on Season 12.
JUDGES: Len Goodman said he had a couple of happy pills before he came on. He saw a totally different side of Jack and liked his rhythm in the hips. He liked the choreography and mix of steps. “For me, your best dance.” Bruno Tonioli said Jack got the party started. It was uplifting and joyful and he was in the driver’s seat this time. His timing was better and rhythm was good. Carrie Ann Inaba said all his moves were clean and neat and he’s effervescent in his dancing. She wants to see more of him. (Shirtless? No, just more of his dancing.)
SCORES: Carrie: 8, Len: 8, Bruno: 8 = 24 out of 30. His highest score so far.
Vote for Team Wagannbuns: 1-800-VOTE4-02 or 1-800-868-3402
2. Maria Menounos & Derek Hough — Rumba to “Material Girl” by Madonna — Her most memorable year was 1988. She was 10 years old. Her parents were immigrants from Greece and worked as janitors at nightclubs all over Boston. She looks back on it and sees how hard her parents worked to put food on the table. She tears up talking about it. She’d go to work with them and whenever she found a quarter on the floor she’d put it in the jukebox and watch “Material Girl” on the video. “Pretend I’m William Levy,” Derek tells her in practice, obviously fishing for he’s got nothin’ on you compliments (which he gets). Love this slow version of “Material Girl.” Glad they aren’t doing a cheesy ‘80s version. The lighting is great and both Maria and Derek look amazing. This is fantastic. Very sexy. They seem to kiss on the ground, too. Oh, the many benefits of dancing with Derek.
JUDGES: Bruno felt it. “I felt it too,” Derek said. “I bet you did, you naughty boy!” Bruno shot back. Hee hee! Bruno said Maria danced all of it with a melodic line, which is apparently good. There was no hard beat. Carrie Ann said that was the vertical and horizontal expression of the true horizontal desire. Carrie Ann calls Maria an exquisite dancer. The cameras have issues at this point for some reason, but Carrie Ann says she’s speechless. There was no evidence of a hurt rib. Len said it was a mix of the ballroom with a little touch of the bedroom going on in there. It had “smoldering intensity” but at points she was a tad hesitant.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. Highest score this season so far. (But considering two other routines got 10s tonight, this was probably underscored, comparatively.) They play coy about the kiss. They also show footage of Maria as a wrestler on Wrestlemania 28. So much for that broken rib.
Vote for Team Menough: 1-800-VOTE4-01 or 1-800-868-3401
3. Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus — Foxtrot to "Cupid” by Sam Cooke — 1957 is her most memorable year. It was Gladys Knight & the Pips, their nationwide tour. It was the beginning of her education. She was 13 and performing with so many great artists. They taught her how to talk and walk and treat her audience. The set-up is cute, but Tristan dancing with Gladys on a date. She does have such a beautiful smile and it’s a sweet routine, if not a gangbusters dancing performance.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said last week her frame was a little out of whack and she showed improvement this week. “You dance like you sing. It’s sensuous and soulful and rich and divine.” Len said he and Gladys are the same age (!) and he knows the work and dedication it takes to do this and he couldn’t do it himself. He wants to be a Pip! Bruno said she has grace and finesse and great fluidity. Her frame was better and she was absolutely gorgeous.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. She gets a standing ovation in the Celebriquarium. Her fellow competitors are happy for her. No 5s this week!
Team Gladys: 1-800-VOTE4-11 or 1-800-868-3411
4. Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower — Samba to "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5 — Roshon’s most memorable year is 1996 because it’s the first time he saw Michael Jackson on stage. At 6 years old he tried to sing and dance like Michael. Travis Payne, Michael’s choreographer, came in to teach Roshon some moves. He’s doing MJ with a Samba twist. Love the huge Mirror Ball on screen. Roshon makes that ‘70s afro look cool. Roshon dances with a lot of confidence. He looks like he’s been doing this dance for months. Audience loves it!
JUDGES: Len loved the exuberance, flair and devil-may-care attitude. He liked the MJ stuff but he would’ve liked to have seen a little more traditional Samba in there (true) but Roshon came out and gave it 100 percent. Bruno said “Michael Jackson would love it and so do I.” He saw MJ rehearsing many years ago and it felt like he was watching Michael again. Carrie Ann thought it was a great tribute to MJ but it wasn’t Roshon’s best dance. Len loved that the audience booed another judge for a change!
SCORES: 8, 8, 9 = 25 out of 30. Definitely deserved a “9” for performance power, but he lost an opportunity for triple 9s by focusing so much on MJ moves instead of basic Samba content.
Vote for Team Rochee: 1-800-VOTE4-05 or 1-800-868-3405
5. Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff — Rumba to “New York State of Mind” by Billy Joel — Gavin remembers leaving a Billy Joel concert and telling his family that’s what he wanted to do. It encouraged him to move to NYC in 1998, although it was tough to book gigs. His dad came down to the city and said he’s going to get him a gig. Dad went from door to door to try and tell everyone how great his son was. (Aww!) His family was very supportive and allowed him to dream. We finally saw under Gavin’s ever-present hat. He starts the routine at the piano. They are definitely close up in the sexy dance. He smiles through part of it. Did he intend to or was that just a happy smile because they pulled off a move.
JUDGES: Bruno said Gavin has hips and got his premature stiffness under control. (Hello!) Bruno wants him to work on his turns, but he’s getting better all the time. Carrie Ann said her heart is going all fluttery for Gavin. “That was really sexy.” She knows he’s struggling to dance but it didn’t look that way. She has “Gavin fever”! Len said he was disappointed because he thought Carrie Ann’s heart fluttered for him. (Len fever?) Len saw good hips and good musicality through his arms. He didn’t mind Gavin’s pivots. He sees progression in Gavin week after week. Karina is thrilled.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. Gavin gets emotional in the Celebriquarium and can’t talk. It’s sweet. His dad is in the audience, too.
Vote for Team Gavin: 1-800-VOTE4-04 or 1-800-868-3404
6. Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas — Slow Waltz to "To Where You Are" by Josh Groban — Katherine picks 1996 as her most memorable year. That was the year they found out her father had lung cancer. She was 15 and her sister was 13. They pulled her out of school to tell her that her father went into a coma. It happened so quickly. She said goodbye quickly and he passed away the next day. She wouldn’t be where she is without her dad. This song makes her think of him. She cries talking about him. The story is so moving and the song is beautiful (although it would’ve been nice to hear Josh sing it) and both Katherine and Mark bring so much emotion to the performance. Still, was the story better than the dance?
JUDGES: Carrie Ann, crying, said her dad was definitely smiling down on her. “That was magic. And it was almost like you had two partners.” Katherine cried hearing the critique. She’s such a sweetheart. Len said she danced with grace and elegance. Since he’s in a good mood he says he’s not going to do what he does — mention to Mark that there wasn’t enough dancing in ballroom hold. He said Katherine is so good in hold so next time he should make sure to add that. What is his problem with Mark? Every season he seems to target something by Mark or Derek Hough, whereas Carrie Ann tends to challenge Maks. Bruno simply said “Sensational!”
SCORES: 10 (wow!), 9, 10 = 29 out of 30. Those are the first 10s of the season. They are probably more for the story and concept than the actual dance. Sorry, but 9s were probably more fair.
Team Welsh Wiggler: 1-800-VOTE4-10 or 1-800-868-3410
7. Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy — Rumba to “If I Could” by Ray Charles — Sherri’s story is about her son, Jeffrey, who was born at only 25 weeks. The prognosis was that he’d have paralysis and cerebral palsy. She never thought she could smile again. But now Jeffrey is not paralyzed and he does not have cerebral palsy. She struggles through rehearsals, until Jeffrey comes in. He’s her miracle baby. What a cutie! There’s a heartbeat start to the dance.
JUDGES: Len said he appreciated the emotion she put into the dance. It was heartfelt. He thought she did a great job. He loved the triple spins. “Mama can move,” Bruno said. It was deeply felt and well expressed. Carrie Ann said the reason she falls in love with Sherri is she’s so true to herself when she dances, she lets every emotion show. Her lines tonight were the best Carrie Ann has seen.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30.
Vote for Team SherVal: 1-800-VOTE4-06 or 1-800-868-3406
8. Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Jive to “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + The Machine — In 2010 she was touring in The Little House on the Prairie musical and broke her back. She could hardly walk, let alone dance, and never expected to get here. She cries in rehearsal, from happiness. The dance is a celebration about the dog days being over. We also get to celebrate a mostly shirtless Maks. Her kicks aren’t sharp, which was last week’s major issue too.
JUDGES: Bruno said Melissa is on a mission to to bring the raunch into the Jive. The opening sequence was excellent. But watch out when she’s on her own. Carrie Ann loved it and saw no nerves. “You’re a survivor and girlfriend you can rock the hair!” Len said it’s a story that had a happy ending and comments that will give her a happy ending too because “You have come into the competition.” Speaking of happy endings, maybe thats when they should’ve cut to the Happy Endings folks in Plug Row promoting the season finale on Wednesday night. Instead, they did that after the last dance.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. Lots of 24s tonight. That’s the default score tonight.
Team MGMC: 1-800-VOTE4-07 or 1-800-868-3407
9. Jaleel White & Kym Johnson — Rumba to For The Cool In You” by Babyface — His most memorable year was the year she played Steve Urkel’s alter ego, Stefan Urquelle. People started treating him differently ‘cause they saw he had more to offer. Very smooth, cool, sexy dance. Dang, Kym looks good. That last leg move was killer.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said he’s back in the game. He glided through the Rumba like it was nobody’s business. Len said it was “a very competent performance.” He worked his hips but the melody has to come out through his upper body and it was a bit stiff in the arms. The audience booed him into silence. Bruno said he played cool and smooth but Len was right that he shouldn’t have thrown out his arms.
SCORES: 9, 8, 8, = 25 out of 30. Jaleel said Kym has been strong for him all week. He gets emotional in the Celebriquarium, after talking about his old friends. He cries pretty hard. “I love entertaining people and I’ve done it since I was 3. I just wanted to just complete this week. I just wanted to complete this week.” Extreme close-up of that awkward moment for some reason. Is there any truth to that rumor of him fighting with Kym?
Team Jaleel: 1-800-VOTE4-12 or 1-800- 868-3412
10. William Levy & Cheryl Burke — Salsa — His most memorable year is 1995 because that’s the year he came to the United States. You have no future in Cuba, he said. They were very poor and had eight people in one house. When he got to the USA he couldn’t stop eating apples and thought the butter on pancakes was ice cream that wouldn’t melt. He wants his Salsa to represent not only his past in Cuba but his future in America. Everyone is already on their feet at the start of the dance. He dances in an open shirt. AB ALERT! Cheryl’s outfit is distractingly odd, but so what. He needs to just wear the pants and bandana.
JUDGES: Len said “Will, you put a whole new meaning into Free Willy.” It was loose and oily. Back in 1066 they had William the Conqueror and William conquered the Salsa. As Tom Bergeron quipped, “He knows. He actually met him.” Had to know it was coming! Bruno beckoned William closer. Bruno just touched his hand and put it down. “I hate you. That was AMAZING!” Love Bruno. Carrie Ann said it was ridiculously hot. There was a little bit of an issue when he got stuck at one point with Cheryl but no one seems to care.
SCORES: 9, 9, 10 = 28 out of 30. That’s their highest score of the competition. Not really 10-worthy but Bruno was judging the hotness.
Vote for Team Fuego: 1-800-VOTE4-08 or 1-800-868-3408
11. Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd — Rumba to "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men — Donald chose 2010, when his best friend passed away from cancer. He died in Donald’s arms. He grabbed his friend’s hand and all he could do was look at him. The positive side he takes from it is that you never know, so you have to cherish each moment. Peta looks like a Grecian goddess. The smoke machine is working overtime again.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said the passion that he just expressed was mesmerizing. She felt the love emanating from his body. She’s not calling lifts tonight! Len didn’t expect a great big “hunky dunky” football guy come out and dance with such warmth and emotion. It was a little hectic here and there, though. He added that the whole evening was “awesome.” Bruno likes that he pushes himself to the limit every time. The content was so difficult and he was always in control. “I think this is going to turn out into the battle of the hunks.” Is that what he said? Hope so!
SCORES: 9, 8, 9 = 26 out of 30. Donald had trouble speaking in the Celebriquarium.
Vote for Team Driving Miss Peta: 1-800-VOTE4-03 or 1800-868-3403
Don’t forget to also vote for your favorite couple here at ABC’s official DWTS site.
For more news about Dancing With the Stars, Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.