You can take your shirt off. You can kiss your partner. You can show off an unexpected eight-pack. You can dress like a bird. You can even wear half a bird on your head. But if you aren’t doing the Argentine Tango, you aren’t going to get top marks. That’s the story of Dancing With the Stars Season 14’s Latin Week, which gave most of its love to the three couples who Tango-ed to the top.
William Levy & Cheryl Burke and Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas tied with near-perfect Argentine Tango scores of 29 out of 30, with Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd pretty close behind at 27 out of 30. Maria Menounos & Derek Hough also got a 27 out of 30 for their shirtless kiss — with the rest of their Salsa ending up an afterthought.
Bottom two? For scores, it was Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff way at the bottom with 19 out of 30 for their “Shamba” of a Samba, with Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy right behind with a 21 out of 30 for their Salsa and Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus earning a 22 out of 30 for their Samba, mostly because Bruno Tonioli now judges purely on entertainment value.
So who will face off in tomorrow’s debut of the Dance Duel? Maybe Gavin and … Jaleel White? Jaleel go a 24 out of 30, putting him in the middle of the pack, which is a dangerous place to be. You get forgotten there. Plus, he and Kym Johnson danced first and that’s been the kiss of death in the past two weeks. But it’s possible that if Gavin does end up in the bottom two, his number may be up, no matter who he dances against. He’s not known for great technique and the judges don’t seem to favor him over anyone. But who knows — maybe we’re in for another bottom two shocker!
Read on for a full recap of the very colorful Week 5 action:
Carlos Santana: Guess we should just get used to Results Show-like performances during Monday’s shows. Last week we had KISS, now we have Carlos performing as the pro troupe dances. It’s all great stuff, but this time would be even better spent with the competing couples. Maybe add a minute to each of their behind-the-scenes rehearsal packages?
1. Jaleel White & Kym Johnson — Samba to "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" by Gloria Estefan — The last two couples to dance first were eliminated the next night. So … gulp for Jaleel & Kym. Kym wants Jaleel to shake his booty like he’s never shaken it before. The background is on fire. Stealing from Team Fuego! Jaleel has an open shirt — wow, he does have an eight-pack under there — and they look hot, but something about their orange and brown costumes looks more ‘70s than jungle, which the ballroom icons seem to be going for.
JUDGES: Head judge Len Goodman said one of the keys to Samba is rhythm and he had rhythm in abundance. Len actually stood up to say, “And your hips! Hip hip hooray! … Your bum was going like you were chewing a toffee!” Ha! What in heaven’s name does that mean? They took a few liberties with technique, Len added, but what fun. Bruno Tonioli said the rhythm got them all. “That wiggle! Have you got a Mini Me inside there operating it?” Bruno stood up and wiggled too and Len acted horrified. (Len and Bruno should do The Amazing Race together.) Carrie Ann Inaba said last week Jaleel was too laid back but this week he had attack and fire. She wants him to watch his arm when he’s out of hold. It goes dead every so often. Dead arm alert!
SCORES: 8, 8, 8 = 24 out of 30. Jaleel said he got a spray tan with Maks. He must be kidding since Maks claims he never gets spray tans. Or was Maks kidding when he said that?
Team Jaleel: 1-800-VOTE4-12 or 1-800- 868-3412
2. Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Salsa — She has to be careful of getting a headache. Great ammunition to use against Maks! Now she’s in charge. He gave her a crew helmet and neck brace. She shook for him and he made a noise. “What do you want from me?” “Sex,” Maks replied immediately. How many women would love to hear that? He jokingly calls her “Grandma” when she’s playing it too safe. Maks does seem to have a very dark tan this week. Did he sneak in a spray tan session? Their song is bouncy and fun and they do tons of tricks, so they are definitely not holding back. Love the mid-dance break where they stopped just to start up again. Tons of energy. She has lots of crowd support.
JUDGES: Bruno loves that she always gives maximum thrust and fire. It’s a very fast dance and she had to be on it. He stood up and whipped himself around, making Len cringe and move away. She lost some of the edges when she lost control. Carrie Ann said it’s beautiful to see how much confidence she’s gained over the past few weeks. She had some moments where she owned it and looked sexy but there’s an element of control that’s lacking. sometime she takes steps that are too big for her body type. Maks made a face while eating the feather in Melissa’s hair. Len said he saw great rhythm and feel but also parts that were untidy and rough. So it was a mixed bag, but overall he enjoyed it very much. Maks shaved. Does he do things like that for good luck? Team Sexy Scruff!
SCORES: 7, 7, 7 = 21 out of 30. Brooke Burke-Charvet asked Maks an odd question about being a street performer because he started the routine playing that role. Weird. Why not ask about his injuries from last week? Everyone has injuries this season, might as well discuss them all!
Team MGMC: 1-800-VOTE4-07 or 1-800-868-3407
3. Maria Menounos & Derek Hough — Salsa to "The Cup of Life" by Ricky Martin — Do we love or hate Maria’s gigantic yellow feathered headdress? They get very close and sexy in rehearsals. At one point she did a huge face plant and hurt her chin. But she was fine. Derek dressed her in bubble wrap as a joke since she seem to get injured by everything. She starts the routine by grinding against … Dr. Drew? Eek! These two have great chemistry — Derek took his full shirt off and they did a full kiss.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said they were hot, but … “I don’t think you needed the kiss. I think that was a sellout. Dance was about the illusion of passion. Don’t go at it right there in front of all of us. Save it for back there.” Shirtless Derek turned around with his hands out, like “Isn’t this what you wanted? Can you believe this?” Len said “Two things were revealed out there: Derek’s body and your talent. I wasn’t too impressed with your body but the talent was fantastic.” Bruno licked his lips. “Maria, Derek, three questions: 1) was it legal; 2) do you want me to get you a room; 3) can I join in?” Gross! “Saucy and hot — that’s the way I like it!”
SCORES: 9, 9, 9 = 27 out of 30. So the judges said three very different things but all gave the same score. Does it matter what the judges say now? It’s all about the votes.
Vote for Team Menough: 1-800-VOTE4-01 or 1-800-868-3401
4. Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas — Argentine Tango to "Tanguedia II" by Astor Piazzolla — That shade of pink is actually really flattering on Mark. Gorgeous on Katherine too. Katherine keeps kicking Mark’s naughty bits in rehearsals. Maybe it’s punishment for him slipping back into his British accent around her. This is a classic Mark routine — very creative, interesting choreography with great tricks, but she occasionally slips into that kind of nervous-concentration-face instead of being intense and passionate. She has perfect moves, but the mood doesn’t always reach her face. If they get to the end, they should maybe make this their Redemption Dance to just try and perfect it.
JUDGES: Len said, “This for me was like a rose, it had beauty but underneath the surface is the thorn — sharp, menacing. it was bittersweet. Well done.” Bruno said it had dancing and choreography of the highest quality but what really made him tingle of the acting and the storytelling. “It was played to perfection.” Not sure about that one. Carrie Ann said Katherine’s lunge was perfection. “Your legs are the best legs I’ve ever seen of any contestant in all the history of Dancing With the Stars.” Wow! Poetry in motion.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10 = 29 out of 30.
Team Welsh Wiggler: 1-800-VOTE4-10 or 1-800-868-3410
5. Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff — Samba to “Sweetheart From Venezuela” by Harry Belafonte — Gavin is very uncomfortable about hip shaking and being sexy. It’s a party dance and you have to look excited and happy but it’s a lot to remember, like a test. He feels like he’ll be relying on fan votes more than ever. We see him at a concert, talking about DWTS. That’s one way to stump for votes! The dance starts in a boat, with Gavin rowing up to the stage. Nice mock water! Great music tonight. Gavin does his shaking, but Karina does a lot more dancing as he steps around her.
JUDGES: Bruno said he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. “You should’ve stayed on the boat! … Are you suffering from tropical fever?” But with all the madness, Bruno actually enjoyed it. Carrie Ann said she loves the way Gavin just goes for it. But he was lacking a bit of form. It was hard to tell it was a Samba. “It was more of a struggle than a Samba,” Gavin offered. Len said “It was more of a Shamba than a Samba.” The crowd booed and Len said “Bring it on! Come on, I can take it!” Nice. “It was a gallant effort.”
SCORES: 6, 6, 7 = 19 out of 30. Yep, he’ll be in the Dance Duel tomorrow. Pretty much guaranteed.
Vote for Team Gavin: 1-800-VOTE4-04 or 1-800-868-3404
6. William Levy & Cheryl Burke — Argentine Tango to "Buttons" by The Pussycat Dolls — It’s time for The Latin Brad Pitt to show why we have Latin Week to begin with! They messed up a trick last week and this week they have even more tricks. A lot is expected of him and he had an ankle injury late this past weekend. He doesn’t want to be the only Latino going home on Latin Week. This is Cheryl’s dance so it should be very good. Remember her Argentine Tango with Gilles Marini? You know the one. Now these two have the right amount of passion and intensity in their faces. This is what Katherine was missing in parts. Mark’s choreography was a little more unusual but these two have that whole Tango feel. Sexy.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann had to gather herself as the crowd screamed. “That was ridiculously amazing. You are so convincing. All I could think of was ‘The Latin dancing James Bond is in the house!’” Len said he can only say what he saw. He saw mood, he saw passion, he saw sensuality and color. Well done. Bruno stood up and said “Pulsating passion. Throbbing intensity. Slick, sexy …” did he say Clooney-licious? What was the last part? He liked it, anyway.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10 = 29 out of 30. William is usually overscored but this was better than Katherine’s Tango, so it was underscored by comparison. But he is the only Latin guy so it’s almost unfair to have a week devoted to his hotness. William had an MRI today on his ankle. The doctor said his ligament was ripped up?
Vote for Team Fuego: 1-800-VOTE4-08 or 1-800-868-3408
7. Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus — Samba — They traveled a lot this past week. One night in Oklahoma, one night in Louisiana, one night in Texas, one night in Mississippi. Busy! Late nights of rehearsals as they tour. Plus rehearsals for the Dance Duel. Gladys looks cute in her Samba skirt but those colors are like the bottom of the sea. Why the dark shirt, Tris? More to the point, why the shirt at all, Tris? (Kidding! Except, not kidding at all.) Tristan owns this dance. Technique-wise, Gladys isn’t great, but they are so cute to watch and Lucky Charm singing along makes the world a better place. Love when she pushes Tristan away with her butt.
JUDGES: Len said she is easy on the eyes. She has a naturalness about her. It was simple but effective. She was still dancing during judging! Bruno said she has incredible stage presence and played to the audience. Carrie Ann said she had a few tiny mistakes but there’s something about watching her dance — there’s a reason she is the legend she is. She commands the stage and has her own sweet little Samba-licious style.
SCORES: 7, 7, 8 = 22 out of 30. Oh, Bruno. He’s the “entertainment value” judge.
Team Gladys: 1-800-VOTE4-11 or 1-800-868-3411
8. Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower — Salsa to "Bumpy Ride" by Mohombi — He’s a goofy guy and it’s hard for him to bring the sexy to a dance. He has trouble being “masculine.” To tap into his inner sex symbol, he does a hilarious William Levy impression. He also brings a sexy full-size poster of him for inspiration. And asks him for tips in the kitchen. He’s kind of a mini Loverboy Levy stalker. Ro is definitely not shy about shaking it. She has him move around a good amount, as opposed to just dancing around him. Interesting jungle theme. Hollywood and Vines, as Tom Bergeron put it.
JUDGES: Bruno said Ro was wired for Salsa. All that energy and exuberance — and his timing was unbelievable, right on the beat. Carrie Ann said he’s got his own mojo. He was sexy in a Disney way. (Ha!) He didn’t get all crazy and become someone else just to win votes. Len said he likes Ro’s enthusiasm. But he’s like a guy with his first car — full speed. Occasionally less is more so he should just calm himself.
SCORES: 9, 8, 9 = 26 out of 30.
Vote for Team Rochee: 1-800-VOTE4-05 or 1-800-868-3405
9. Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd — Argentine Tango to "Sin Rumbo" by Otros Aires — They have lots of spins and tricks. He pretended to be the teacher in practice, which probably thrilled Peta. They start the dance at a card table. She’s the sexy lady in red. Lots of sharp, sexy moves. Never mind Katherine, Peta has the best legs on DWTS. And those spins! Donald doesn’t always have the intensity in his face — sometimes he just looks like he’s focused, but you can’t beat those tricks. Cirque du Soleil!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said “that was divine.” There was so much technique involved in the lifting and ins and outs. He was so in control of Peta. He was in control all over. Len said the lifts were spectacular, but the rest of it was nearly but not quite. “If you want to hit anyone, hit Bruno.” Ha! Bruno said the build-up was amazing, the predatory playing with a little animal ready for the kill. Then he wasn’t quite sure. He was expecting it to carry on, but then somehow he interrupted the flow.
SCORES: 10, 8, 9 = 27 out of 30. Donald was happy with the 10 but pained with the other two scores. “I need to dance with Len and Bruno,” he decided. Focus on Bruno. He’s the easier mark.
Vote for Team Driving Miss Peta: 1-800-VOTE4-03 or 1800-868-3403