CLEVELAND - “Dancing with the Stars” is looking for some shakeups with some real hip shaking.
The stakes are doubled after each couple had to perform two dances Monday night, and now two stars will be sent packing on Tuesday night’s elimination.
Green Bay Packer Donald Driver and Peta kicked off Monday’s competition with a tango. Some parts of it were great, some were stiff, but when they were in hold, they were perfectly synchronized. Judge Len Goodman called Donald a first round knockout. They got a 27 out of 30.
TV host Maria Menounos and Derek were up next with a Viennese waltz. The dance was pretty, beautiful, smooth, and romantic. They were in character for a love story routine. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said it was like angels singing, but Len said they missed an opportunity to do more in hold. He gave them an eight, while the other two judges gave 10s. 28 overall.
Actress Melissa Gilbert and Maks performed a foxtrot. In the pre-taped piece, she said it’s easy to paint him as the bad guy. (Ya think?) But every time the show makes Maks look like a villain, there seems to be a show backlash and he gets lots of viewer votes.) Their dance started off with a fun flavor: he’s the nerd, she’s the vixen. Melissa looked in control and to be having fun. She had a couple missteps, but smoothed out. Carrie Ann and judge Bruno Tonioli called it her best dance. They got a 24.
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins and Mark danced a Viennese waltz. First off, she’s never looked more beautiful on this show. As for the dance, it was easy to get lost while watching it; they looked fluid and graceful. Len said it was terrific: lots of content, lots of holds, lots of turns. But she loses some points on a foot slip. They got a 26.
Disney star Roshon Fegan and Chelsie did a foxtrot. The whole routine was sweet and energetic. Ahh, the beauty of youth. Roshon seemed to be channeling a young Gene Kelly with his lightness and casual comedic touches. In terms of tone and performance, I think it’s his most enjoyable dance. The judges loved it. 29 out of 30.
Actor William Levy and Cheryl came out with a foxtrot. William had his doubts about ballroom, but they deliver a fun and solid routine. His footing is great, and the tone of the performance was fun. In fact, Carrie Ann called it a sexy Pink Panther. They got a perfect 30.
Then it was time for the second half of the show: the Trio Challenge. This was a first time challenge for the show. The remaining couples must perform a dance with a third partner, a professional dancer who is not currently competing.
The show was onto something. Each of these routines were unique and definitely brought some fresh air into the show.
Donald and Peta were up first with a jive, joined by Karina. He kicked it off doing the splits. Their energy was high, the footwork was great, the choreography was sharp. Donald looked like he was just having fun – not hard to imagine between Peta and Karina. They got a 28 here, 55 for the night.
Donald tweeted, “@Karina_Smirnoff @PetaMurgatroyd love u girls. So much! That was amazing tonight.”
Next, Maria and Derek did a samba with troupe member Henry. Derek picked a Bollywood theme. Translatation: Indian dance movie (from India in Asia, folks). It did look differently, but it was a new brand of fun for the show because these three are just acting goofy. There were so many arms waving around, they looked like a Hindu god doing the vogue. Len said, if he were judging Bollywood they would get a ten, but he’s judging a samba. They got a 25, 53 overall.
“Love you all for the wonderful comments and love.this truly has been the most amazing experience of my life.thank u all for being part of it,” Maria tweeted.
Melissa and Maks also tackled a samba with Maks’s brother, Val. The routine was fun, and they played up the sexy factor. Melissa looked great in hold with Val, even better with Maks. Some parts are a little over the top. (Was this a freestyle?) Carrie Ann called it Melissa’s best number by miles. Len called it her best dance. Bruno said it takes two to get the best out of Melissa. She looked utterly ecstatic to get three nines. They got a 27, 51 overall.
Maks tweeted, “Not proud of the package, but ecstatic for @MelissaEGilbert 's dances! PLEASE VOTE! Don't want to see her eliminated on her B-Day! :))).” Yep, it’s her birthday – will going home be her present?
Katherine and Mark tackled a cha cha with Tristan. It was a highly choreographed routine and no one seemed to miss a beat. Although, it was a close call for Katherine: when the boys ripped off her suit to reveal her dress, one pantleg got caught on her shoe, but she stayed in character until she kicked it off. Bruno loved it and called Katherine a Hitchcock blonde. They got a 29, 55 overall.
Roshon and Chelsie had a paso doble with troupe member Sasha. The routine kicked off with immediate attitude. A new Roshon has emerged recently. He’s definitely growing in confidence and masculinity these past couple weeks.