March 27th, 2012
11:17 AM ET
Tom Bergeron welcomed us to last night's "Dancing with the Stars" by thanking the viewers for making the show "the most popular talent competition on television." (Please ignore the 34 percent drop in the 18-49 demographic compared to last spring - "Dancing" has the "Matlock" audience all locked up.)
The 12 teams from last week were back and ready to demonstrate their quickstep and jive abilities. First up was Roshon Fegan, whose preparation apparently involves teaching pro partner Chelsie Hightower how to rap. Whatever works, I guess.
During the dance, Roshon was fake smiling up and down the floor, and the pair was quite peppy and energetic throughout the routine. But what did the judges think?
Len Goodman said he liked the dance, although it was a bit wild at times. Bruno Tonioli said Roshon had a "cheeky swagger" he found delicious. And after a round of cringing on my part, we got the scores...
Roshon Fegan: 26/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 9, Len Goodman 8, Bruno Tonioli 9)
"The View" host Sherri Shepherd was up next, and had to do the jive with Val "Mom Always Liked Me Best" Chmerkovskiy. The two got their groove on to "Proud Mary," and Sherri was again showing off her happy side. But there were times where she looked lost, and it also appeared she missed a step. But the fans enjoyed the routine, and that's what counts on this show.
Bruno noted that Sherri missed a move, but he didn't care. Len said everyone felt good about the routine, but noted the jive lacked some...well, jive. It seemed to me that the judges were being a bit soft on Sherri.
Sherri Shepherd: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 7, Tonioli 9)
Melissa Gilbert and her hideous tattoo took the stage next, and she did a quickstep to a Billy Idol tune. Melissa admitted that she and Billy dated for a time in the '80s. The less we know about "Half Pint's" past, the better we'll all be.
Melissa's routine with Maksim "Mr. Warmth" Chmerkovskiy looked a bit off at times, as Melissa appeared to struggle with footwork and pacing. It also looked like Melissa slipped at least once, but Maksim managed to keep the quickstep together.
Carrie Ann warned Melissa to work on her posture, while Len noted that the actress lost her energy as the routine wore on. Before the judges revealed their scores, Maksim said he cried when he saw "The Lion King." Note to Maksim: Next time you want to beg for votes, offer money.
Melissa Gilbert: 20/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 6, Tonioli 7)
Jack Wagner then did a jive dressed like a "Partridge Family" extra. The dance was perfectly acceptable, but Jack looked a little wild at times and made a few footwork missteps.
Len liked the energy of the dance, but warned Jack not to lose control. Bruno urged Jack to work on his precision, while Carrie Ann, who was not in a happy place this week, thought Jack was a victim of "over-dancing." Carrie Ann really needs to write her take on the dictionary.
Jack Wagner: 21/30 (All 7s)
Singer Gladys Knight was up after Wagner, and she performed a quickstep with Tristan MacManus. As its name suggests, the dance must be quick to be successful, and the routine, alas, wasn't close to being fast. Still, she looked graceful throughout the routine, and the audience appreciated the effort.
Bruno complimented Gladys for having natural chemistry with Tristan, but she needed work on holding her frame. Len was more blunt, saying he didn't appreciate Gladys' routine, garnering plenty of catcalls from the crowd.
Gladys Knight: 19/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 5, Tonioli 7)
Singer Katherine Jenkins is our next celeb, and she'd been advised by pro partner Mark Ballas to "shake her naughty bits." I guess we're through with the "family hour" as we know it. Mark, meanwhile, could have been a backup dancer for Wayne Newton in his shiny tuxedo.
The dynamic duo more than delivered on their jive, wowing the crowd. Katherine definitely holds her ground with one of the show's best pros, and she's been quite the pleasant surprise this season.
Bruno noted that "the blonde bombshell has been unleashed," so I guess he liked it. Len said part of the routine was a bit wild, but he enjoyed it.
Katherine Jenkins: 26/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 8, Tonioli 9)
It was then on to Jaleel White, who hoped to stay at the top of the leaderboard for a second week by performing a jive with Kym Johnson.
The routine was acceptable by "DWTS" standards, but something seemed off. Jaleel looked to be going through the motions at times, and the "wow factor" we saw last week simply wasn't there. The audience reacted in kind with a relatively lukewarm ovation.
Len noted the dance wasn't crisp and sharp, while Carrie Ann said the routine lacked pizzazz. Bruno thought the routine was fine, but the jive could have been better.
Jaleel White: 22/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 7, Tonioli 8 )
Maria Menounos was next, and she prepared for her WrestleMania 28 match on Sunday by fake-stomping pro partner Derek Hough in the gut. No, I didn't make up that last sentence. Maria is teaming up with Kelly Kelly (there's an easy name to remember) to take on Beth Phoenix and Eve (not managed by Adam). As long as that match goes two minutes and C.M. Punk-Chris Jericho gets 20, I'll be fine.
But on "DWTS," Maria and Derek did a quickstep with a "Bonnie and Clyde" theme, although I don't remember Bonnie and Clyde wearing "Riddler" masks. Nevertheless, they deliver a high-energy performance that wowed the audience. Maria was also working with a rib injury, making the routine even more impressive.
Len said Maria had the speed and posture that made a quickstep strong, but Carrie Ann thought the routine "lost its way" in the middle.
Maria Menounos: 25/30 (Inaba 8, Godman 8, Tonioli 9)
After the scores were revealed, co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet encouraged viewers to vote for Maria, only the corresponding graphic showed the phone number for William Levy and Cheryl Burke. Perhaps Beth Phoenix and Eve got jobs with the show's graphics department.
Martina Navratilova was next, and she did a jive with Tony Dovolani, who was wearing pants that came from Jack Nicklaus' closet circa 1975. Martina was clearly having fun out there, and it was nice see her break away from the "icy robot" reputation she developed on the tennis court. Unfortunately, her jive was glacially slow and out of sync with numerous foot faults.
Bruno said Martina's "serve went into the net," but hoped she could come back next week and deliver. Before Martina's scores were revealed, the show admitted it posted the wrong phone number for Maria and promptly showed the correct digits.
Martina Navratilova: 17/30 (Inaba 6, Goodman 5, Tonioli 6)
We're now up to Donald Driver, which gives me the chance once again to mention his pro partner, Peta "Heavens To" Murgatroyd. Donald performed a quickstep, and he was confident that he'd do well, as his childhood nickname was "Quickie."
Donald and Peta looked to be in sync throughout the routine, although Donald appeared to have some early footwork issues.
Following the dance, Len delivered what may have been a "DWTS" first by apologizing to Donald for "under marking" him last week. Len added that this week's performance was one of the best of the evening.
Donald Driver: 24/30 (All 8s)
Singer Gavin "Take Off Your Hat" DeGraw was ready to jive, but also wanted to quit it cold turkey. On the dance floor though, Gavin looked quite confident with pro partner Karina Smirnoff, but was very uncoordinated at times. He seemed to be having fun, but his refusal to take off his hat is starting to get to me.
Bruno noted that Gavin missed a lot of "kicks and flicks" in his jive, but was entertained. Carrie Ann noted Gavin's "funky" posture, but liked the fact he took risks. Before the scores were revealed, Brooke noted that Gavin spent more time practicing than any other celebrity.
Gavin DeGraw: 21/30 (All 7s)
Our final celebrity is William Levy and, once again, his dancing was second nature to all the ladies in the audience going bananas every time he took a step. His quickstep with Cheryl Burke was perfectly acceptable, and he has the poise and confidence to go far in the tournament.
Carrie Ann called William "the Harry Connick Jr. of the ballroom," while Bruno said he played the routine like a matinee idol. Len tried to cause a riot by calling the routine "good, not great." He may want to wear body armor the next time he appears on stage in case of a "Levy's Ladies" attack.
William Levy: 25/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 7, Tonioli 9)
Tonight, the first celebrity will be eliminated. Who do you think will get the boot this week?
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