May 1st, 2012
10:57 AM ET
The musical time machine continued to roll backward last night on "Dancing with the Stars," as we've gone from "Rock Night" to "Motown Night" to "Classical Night," as was the case on Monday. I eagerly await next week's tribute to the harpsichord.
Hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet promised Monday's show would be the biggest of the season, thanks to 18 additional musicians, five more vocalists and a partridge in a pear tree.
There were also seven couples performing their own routines, followed by a team competition pitting "Team Tango" against "Team Paso." No matter who wins the team showdown, I think we can all agree that both could take down the Charlotte Bobcats.
The first competitor of the evening was Katherine Jenkins, who was the lead vocalist the last time the show held a "Classical Night." She was in her comfort zone, but we also know what happened to Gladys Knight after she performed on "Motown Night."
Katherine and pro partner Mark Ballas performed a rumba, with Mark dancing in a cape and no shirt. Seriously.
The dance was on, and Mark unveiled a few hideous tattoos above the waist. Nevertheless, the rumba was sensual, artistic and to the point. You could actually see such a routine performed on the legitimate theatrical stage.
Judge Len Goodman, dressed in his finest rental, was impressed with the elegance, and complimented Katherine for maintaining her timing. Bruno Tonioli thought the dance was technically superb, while Carrie Ann Inaba wanted to see more chemistry between Katherine and Mark.
Katherine Jenkins: 27/30 (All 9s)
Melissa Gilbert was next, and she danced an Argentine tango with injured partner Maksim "Mr. Warmth" Chmerkovskiy. Maks has a cyst in his foot, and he had to call upon brother Val to help Melissa learn the dance. Will it take three to tango? Not this time, as Maks was able to get on stage and perform when it counted.
He didn't appear to have any problems during the routine, and lifted Melissa over his head without incident. The two delivered an energetic tango that wowed the crowd from beginning to end, but what did the judges think?
Bruno complimented Melissa for being brave and taking on a challenging routine, but thought it was sloppy at times. Carrie Ann said the dance was "Cirque du Soleil gone terribly wrong," which could be a compliment if Carrie Ann's no fan of Cirque. Len complimented the pair for giving it their all, but noted "intensity" issues.
Maks, as you might expect, looked ready to throw the judges into a vat of acid after hearing those remarks. The judges have a bad habit of "tipping" the celebrity they'd like to see go home - could Melissa be this week's target?
Melissa Gilbert: 21/30 (All 7s)
William Levy took the floor next to perform a Viennese waltz to the vocals of "America's Got Talent" alum Jackie Evancho.
William admitted to knowing nothing about classical music, but that only made the ladies in the audience squeal louder for him. William has also been dealing with ankle problems that could ruin the routine.
But when the dance was on, William looked quite posed and polished as he spun pro partner Cheryl Burke, and the ankle didn't appear to be much of a bother.
Carrie Ann said William's routine was "true dancing," and complimented him for bringing "romance to life." Len said the dance didn't make it to Vienna, but it arrived in Austria. Cheryl didn't appear to realize that Vienna is in Austria, so William's lucky that "DWTS" doesn't have a trivia element.
William Levy: 27/30 (All 9s)
Roshon Fegan was up next, looking to bounce back from surviving last week's "Dance Duel." His Argentine tango with pro partner Chelsie Hightower was ambitious and a touch modern, thanks to an orchestral take on Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance." It's as if the Hollyridge Strings reunited just to jam on "Dancing."
Len called the routine clean, but Bruno warned Roshon to avoid "wobbly" legs.
Roshon Fegan: 25/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 9, Len Goodman 8, Bruno Tonioli 8 )
Donald Driver was next, and pro partner Peta "Heavens To" Murgatroyd took Len's advice from last week to heart and challenged Donald like he's never been challenged before. If only they used "You're the Best" from "The Karate Kid" for the practice footage.
Donald looked at ease performing his "challenging" Argentine tango, and Bruno said he loved the routine's passion.
Carrie Ann enjoyed the "regal quality" of the routine, but unfortunately, she appeared to admit to not paying attention over whether a lift occurred during the dance.
Donald Driver: 27/30 (All 9s)
Maria Menounos was up next, hoping to recover from a goof that put her at risk for elimination last week. Her paso doble with pro partner Derek Hough was sensual, and she showed off quite the set of vampire fangs in her mouth.
The routine also had some intensity, and Maria should be credited for handling the extreme physicality and musicality of the dance, given her numerous injuries.
Carrie Ann said the routine "didn't suck," adding that Maria was on fire throughout the performance. Len called the dance "sharp as a razor," while Bruno complimented the structure of the routine's storytelling.
Maria Menounos: 30/30 - The first perfect score of the competition!
Jaleel White was the last dancer of the night, and he hoped to keep his momentum going from last week's strong performance. Like William and Donald, he performed a Viennese waltz. Unlike the others, he was dressed for the dance like he was ready to go on a really fancy safari.
Jaleel's waltz with pro partner Kym Johnson was soft, sensual and poignant, but Len thought the footwork wasn't there. Bruno was pleased with the routine's content, but thought Jaleel tried to do too much.
Before the scores were revealed, Jaleel admitted that he thought he was dancing a "Vietnamese" waltz. Note to the show - when you next have time to kill, have Jaleel White and Cheryl Burke compete in a geography bee. You could easily burn an hour off a two-hour show watching the "dumb-off" take place.
Jaleel White: 24/30 (All 8s)
In the team competition, "Team Tango" - that would be Katherine, Maria, Jaleel and Roshon - upended "Team Paso" of William, Donald and Melissa by a 27-26 score.
Tonight, the next celebrity will be eliminated via the final "Dance Duel" of the season.
What did you think of last night's "Dancing with the Stars"? Who do you think will be eliminated?
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