April 24th, 2012
11:12 AM ET

Jaleel White makes a comeback on 'DWTS'

Monday was "Motown Night" on "Dancing with the Stars," and that meant only one thing: all of the songs performed on the show were going to be somewhat old.

The celebrity dancers were introduced, and, for some reason, the camera was focused on a horn player when Donald Driver stepped out. I guess that's what happens when you hire a Chicago Bears fan to operate the cameras.

The eight remaining teams were set to dance to Motown tunes as performed by such musical legends as Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves and The Temptations. Following that, all eight couples were to compete in a dance marathon for bonus points.

The first celebrity up was Gladys Knight, and she recorded for Motown in the 1960s and '70s. She was ready to make Motown proud, but did she pull it off?

Gladys and Tristan MacManus performed a slow, simple and sensual rumba. The couple was also quite purple - they could've been spokespeople for the National Grape Council when all was said and done. Unfortunately, the dance looked more like a Motown stage show than an actual rumba.

Len Goodman said Gladys may not be the best dancer (earning audience catcalls as a result), but she is the most charismatic performer. Bruno Tonioli said Gladys' rumba lacked "steaminess," while Carrie Ann Inaba noted several mistakes.

Gladys Knight: 21/30 (All 7s)

Maria Menounos was up next, and she performed a foxtrot to a Martha Reeves tune. Maria said the dance was a challenge, but she was still ready to "get down to Motown."

Maria and pro partner Derek Hough looked to have great chemistry, although they stumbled once. Maria also looked robotic at times, but nevertheless, the routine was smooth and exciting.

Judges Bruno and Carrie noted the slip, but complimented the duo for recovering quickly. Len said the routine was formal, fun and free.

Maria Menounos: 26/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 8, Len Goodman 9, Bruno Tonioli 9)

Roshon Fegan was the next to take the floor, and he danced a rumba to the music of Smokey Robinson. Pro partner Chelsie Hightower asked Roshon at practice what "sensual" meant, and the 20-year-old responded with "huggy."  I haven't heard that word since the glory days of "Starsky and Hutch."

On the floor, Roshon and Chelsie showed strong chemistry with a routine that demonstrated both elegance and sensuality. But it also looked like something you'd see in a beginner class at the local dance studio - robotic and slightly awkward. There were times when Roshon was making sure his feet were landing on the exaggerated feet cutouts an instructor would leave on the dance floor. Nevertheless, the audience went bananas for Roshon's routine.

Carrie Ann thought Roshon's movements were "over-exaggerated," while Len called the routine "jerky" and "paint by numbers." Bruno said Roshon had the fire, but lacked the fluidity for the dance to work.

Roshon Fegan: 23/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 )

We're now up to Katherine Jenkins, who was looking to score the first perfect score of the competition. She performed a samba to The Temptations' "I Can't Get Next to You," and the opera singer definitely gave it her all, showing off a fun side with plenty of action. Kudos as well to pro partner Mark Ballas, who appeared to take a hat from Gavin DeGraw's dressing room before he left the show last week.

Len called Katherine the "midwife" - saying she delivered week after week. A bit sexist, don't you think? Bruno called the routine "exhilarating," while Carrie Ann said the dance was "amazing."

Katherine Jenkins: 29/30 (Inaba 10, Goodman 9, Tonioli 10)

Donald Driver then performed a foxtrot to a Temptations tune. He and pro partner Peta "Heavens To" Murgatroyd were wearing a shade of blue I haven't seen since I went shopping for cake frosting a few weeks ago. Their foxtrot was exciting and a tad sensual, albeit slow at times.

Bruno said Donald's dance was powerful, but added that his performances are getting better and better. Len told Donald that he "exploded" on the dance floor, then ordered Peta to challenge him even more at practice.

Donald Driver: 27/30 (All 9s)

Melissa Gilbert was our next celebrity up, and pro partner Maksim "Mr. Warmth" Chmerkovskiy was starting to show his fussy side, thanks to a random swear word here and a pout there. Maks said he was sick of getting sevens from the judges - he'd rather see them at the craps table.

Melissa's Viennese waltz to a Smokey Robinson tune looked sensual and, for the first time this season, the actress appeared confident and at ease.  Did it impress the judges?

Carrie Ann said Melissa's hard work is finally paying off, but noted some shoulder issues, while Bruno thought Melissa may have gassed out by the end of the routine.

Melissa Gilbert: 24/30 (All 8s)

Jaleel White was taking on The Temptations for his cha-cha as he hoped to bounce back from a week that saw him survive the first-ever "Dance Duel."  Not only did he bounce back, he bounced right back into the leaderboard with a routine that was confident, upbeat and fun.

Len said the dance showed Jaleel was ready to win this season, while Bruno complimented him for "coming back big time."

Jaleel White: 29/30 (Inaba 10, Goodman 9, Tonioli 10)

The final performer for the first round of competition was William Levy, whose rumba may not have been appropriate for some audiences.

Seriously, the routine should have come with a warning that those under 17 could not watch unless they were with a parent or guardian.  However, the dance got all the ladies excited.

Bruno said he loved the "utter filth" he witnessed on the dance floor. (He said more, but I don't think I can write it in a family-friendly blog.) Len, on the other hand, thought the routine was too raunchy, leading to some heated debate at the judging table.

William Levy: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 8, Tonioli 10)

The show wrapped up with a cha-cha dance marathon involving all eight couples. Whenever the judges held up a sign with the name of a team, that couple would be removed from the floor. The last couple standing, who would end up performing for about four minutes, would receive 10 points.  The second-place team earned nine points and so on, with the first eliminated couple getting three points for their troubles.

Since the marathon was a bit confusing to follow, we'll give you just the results:

First place: Katherine Jenkins (10 bonus points, 39 points overall)

Second place: William Levy (9 bonus, 36 overall)

Third place: Jaleel White (8 bonus, 37 overall)

Fourth place: Donald Driver (7 bonus, 34 overall)

Fifth place: Melissa Gilbert (6 bonus, 30 total)

Sixth place: Roshon Fegan (5 bonus, 28 total)

Seventh place: Maria Menounos (4 bonus, 30 total)

Eighth place: Gladys Knight (3 bonus, 24 total)

Tonight, we'll find out who landed in the "Dance Duel."

What did you think of Monday's "Dancing with the Stars" episode?


soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. OBSERVER

    jaleel appears to be a snot...snarl snarl DID I DO THAT!

    April 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Beth Estes

    The judges bias against Roshon is sad and so very obvious. Carrie Ann – 7 for Gladys and 7 for Roshon?? Really?
    Can someone help me understand? Am I missing something?

    April 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bit

    I paid a ton of money to see Gladys Knight perform in las vegas, Nv. I could have reached out and touch her
    hand, but she thought she was so good, which she can sing. I can't stand her anymore.

    April 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. EJ

    Already getting a little sick of Jaleel making faces every time a camera is near! Same thing Derrick always does – sick of him mugging for the cameras too.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  5. JellyBean

    Anyone else notice for the first time last night that Tristan has an AMAZING posterior? Loved it in those purple pants!

    April 24, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • @ JellyBean

      Last night may have been the first time You noticed, but umm it have never slipped my notice Ahem..

      April 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Elisa Jordana

    God I hope next season DWTS can revive the career of the baby from Dinosaurs.

    April 24, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |

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