'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: Ave Maria
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough score the season's first perfect 30
Surprise, surprise! The first 30 of the season went out to Maria Menounos, not Katherine Jenkins! I wouldn't have guessed it, but I'm sure not surprised. Maria has been fantastic almost every week and her paso doble was just plain unstoppable.
That said, Classical Week wasn't my cup of tea. It's strange watching dances like the rumba set to string music, and although there were some amazing performances like Maria's paso doble, there were also some duds. Melissa had an especially bad night, and Roshon and Jaleel both ran into trouble as well. It was enough to leave me hoping that the dance duel will feature "regular" music.
We also saw the first team dances this week. The first, an intense tango, put Maria, Katherine, Roshon and Jaleel through their paces. Their individual solos were precise and tightly crafted, and the brief part at the end where all four couples danced in sync was really something. Len called Maria and Roshon the standout couples of the group, but didn't seem to love the dance. Bruno praised the choreography and called Roshon "a revelation."
Donald, Melissa and William danced a smoldering paso doble, and only Melissa kept her shirt on. The tango was powerful, but this paso doble never quit. We saw spins, lifts, drama, passion and some excellent technique to boot. Bruno called the dancers superheroes, and Carrie Ann could only laugh and call the dance "ridiculous to watch." Len, surprisingly, had the killer one liner: He said the performers "undressed to impress." Not too bad!
Here's a quick look at this week's performances:
Katherine's Grecian rumba was breathtaking. She and Mark moved beautifully together, and the slower classical music really highlighted her precision and control. Len complimented Katherine for staying "on rhythm" in a song without rhythm and Bruno called her an "unattainable object of desire." He seemed disappointed by a total lack of raunchiness in Katherine's admittedly demure rumba. Carrie Ann commented on Katherine's beautiful lines and perfect placement, but cited a lack of passion on her part.
Melissa's spirited Argentine tango had the crowd on its feet. The routine was difficult, interesting and just plain fun to watch, but the judges weren't having it. I was worried for Melissa with Maks dancing on an injured ankle. Bruno complimented Melissa's drive and energy, but found her execution choppy and frenzied. Carrie Ann was even more blunt. She called the routine "Cirque du Soleil gone wrong" because of all the lifts. Len was gentler, but did say Melissa's performance lacked dance quality. Their harsh words and mediocre scores could leave Melissa trying to dance her way back into the competition come elimination time.
Argentine tango: 21/30
Paso doble: 26/30
William too danced on an injured ankle. His Viennese waltz was slow and stately, and William did a fantastic job selling it emotionally. His frame was excellent and his movements were easy and unstudied. He even stayed in hold with Cheryl in spite of the crazy height difference between them! The judges didn't have too much to say about the technical content, but they sure loved the dance. Carrie Ann praised William for bringing romance to life, and Len said he was transported to Austria, if not actually Vienna. Even Bruno was serious, calling the routine touching and beautiful. A coup for William.
Viennese waltz: 27/30
Paso doble: 26/30
Roshon's Argentine tango was a huge departure from his usual hip-hoppy, lighthearted dances. He definitely commanded out on the floor, and there were some good spins in the routine. He looked shaky on of the lifts, and his posture could have been better at times. Len called the dance "clean and confident" overall, but Bruno commented on his wobbly legwork. Carrie Ann gave Roshon a hug and welcomed him back to the competition. She at least doesn't expect him to have to face the elimination dance-off. Let's hope his fans prove her right.
Argentine tango: 25/30
Donald's Viennese waltz was lighthearted and energetic. After a rather slow and serious night, the crowd warmed right up to it. The routine was full of crazy dips and spins, and Donald really sold the show. The waltz was good from a technical perspective as well: His frame was excellent, and he more than kept up with Peta. Bruno praised his sweeping passion, and Carrie Ann commented on his precision. Len complimented Donald's footwork. This was an amazing performance from Donald.
Paso doble: 26/30
Maria's vampiric paso doble was that rare routine that's gimmicky, but totally works anyway. The routine was bold, dramatic and never let up for a minute. Maria and Derek moved perfectly together, and her rhythm and control were both excellent. She also brought the necessary intensity to the routine. Carrie Ann praised Maria for being "on fire," and Len was a fan of the tension between Maria and Derek. Bruno called her "the queen of the damned and the queen of the night," and praised her storytelling.
Paso doble: 30/30
Jaleel's "Downton Abbey"-esque Viennese waltz was quiet and moving. He was very expressive throughout the routine and did an excellent job in hold with Kym. Len said he "liked it enough not to be cruel," which seemed pointlessly mean, and then criticized Jaleel's footwork. Bruno commented on Jaleel's loose arm work and an overall lack of content to the routine. Carrie Ann liked the storytelling aspect of the routine but agreed with Len on Jaleel's wild arms. Tough words from the judges, but Jaleel's score wasn't too bad.
Viennese waltz: 24/30
Who won over the judges: Maria
Who won over the crowd: Maria
Who needs to step it up: Melissa
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Maria, Donald and William are the best!
Roshon did well this week, especially during the group tango.
The show is taking itself way too seriously.
What ever happened to the "stars" we used to laugh at like Hoff-Tucker-Bolton when he was breaking down - others that looked equally goofy or uncomfortable.
Those were people that we enjoyed watching for whatever reason.
Possibly because they did not take themselves so seriously in the first place-clowns maybe some but we laughed and enjoyed their trials.
Now it seems from week 1 everyone can pretty much dance to a degree whereas it used to be a true "fish out of water learning experience".
Must admit Derek and Maria out did them all and deserved the perfect score.
The theme of Classical music was NOT what I call a good choice for the dances they they had to perform--who ever thought that one up must have been in their "cups"
Tonight will be interesting-Melissa, Roshon and who in the bottom 3--wonder who will be going home?
I would like to see Austin Powers be a dance contestant and have Carrie-Ann dance with him. I wonder how long it will be before they pull Bruno aside. His sexual innuendo's are getting more more in quantity, His subliminal messages are getting serious..lol. It's good to see Peta go farther. Remember, her first appearance she was gone the first elimination. Cheryl hasn't won in a long time.
Again on Derek and Maria. I am pulling for another couple to win it. But again, their production was superb. Derek likes to show off, no doubt, but the way Maria danced with theatrics overshadowed Derek. Just this time.
Honesty, I thought Maria and Derek looked ridiculous!!!! Maria looked more like a drama queen. Like her on Extra but not in DWTS. Sorry.
Since when is Gaga's "Bad Romance" CLASSICAL? I was so distracted by that dreck being camouflaged as good, classical music I almost forgot to watch the dancing. I LOVE classical week, but that was a huge disappointment.
It broke my heart to see Melissa do so poorly. I am no professional dancer, but I could clearly see at least 3 places where she messed up.
The time has come to judge the judges. Let the bottom two go. Let's get past the favorites thing and judge the dancing. I think Bruno will stay. The other two a partial and it shows. It's no fun watching them.
Yes, Derek is way to cocky. However, last night his dance with Maria was outstanding. Katharine's was also. They are the best dancers I have seen in a very long time on DWTS. Like Derek or not, it was showtime last night.
Katherine is so elegant. I am not a pro dancer however I am sure it is difficult to do many moves while dancing very slow. Her leg extensions are wonderful. To me, something just doesn't look right with Donald. Is he too stiff? Always a mean, stern look on his face? Just asking.
I wish Urkel would go this time.
It's obvious with Carrie-Ann who she leans too. It is not your average white male I tell ya. That's my feeling and i am sticking to it.
Mark Balas has been quiet this episode. Normally Len likes to hammer him. He smiles and doesn't say much. He is doing a great job choreographing.
I liked to watch DWTS because it is a good entertainer program; last night left me very upset the way how the judges critized Max and Melissa dance; yes, Melissa is not the best dancer but she is trying her best and the judges should "see" that part of ther effort, not to calling "Cirque du Soleil" even thoug to compare these dancers with this "Cirques" is really an honor; not even Carrie Ann can dance like Cirques du Soleil. She is just "ridiculous to watch" her.
I wanna know on what planet is Lady GaGa "classical" They hand fed that one to the Disney boy, and that was just WRONG!!!!!!
Make him compete with the rest of the dancers on the same level.
Make him dance to Schubert!!!
It's just not fair to all of the other dancers!!!!
DIRTY WORDS!!! DIRTY WORDS!!! BIG BAD DIRTY WORDS!!!!
On the group dance #2 - Carrie Ann loved it - favorite dance, etc. etc. BUT THEY GAVE LOWER SCORES. How can that be? It seems to me that the judges have their favs/winner already picked out. I've been noticing this happen the last few years, too. The judges need to "pick it up" or "exit stage right" They are going to be the demise of the show!