'Dancing with the Stars' recap: On the eve of double elimination

  • Team Paso's Melissa & Maks, William & Cheryl, and Donald & Peta battled Team Tango's Katherine & Mark, Maria & Derek, Roshon & Chelsie, Jaleel & Kym, on last week's "Dancing with the Stars."
Team Paso's Melissa & Maks, William & Cheryl,… (Adam Taylor, ABC )
May 08, 2012|By Amy Watts

They open by reminding us that next week is the semifinals — can't believe we're there already! It's been a quick season. After the staircase introductions, we find out there will be two dances for each couple tonight and a double elimination tomorrow night.

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
They've got the tango tonight and in rehearsal, Donald's having trouble with his frame, so he watches footage of Derek for inspiration. OK, they're tangoing to "Higher Ground" and whether you think Stevie Wonder or Red Hot Chili Peppers when you hear this, it's still a weird ballroom choice. Donald's "Intense tango" face is edging a little close to "mouth-breather" for me — it's definitely better when he's allowed to deploy his megawatt smile. Len calls it a "first round knockout." Bruno's hyperbole translates roughly as "intensity appropriate for the dance." Carrie Ann says the shapes were more dynamic this week. She adds that he needs more "drama" and Len and Bruno shout her down.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9  Len: 9   Bruno: 9

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
Derek says that one of Maria's problem areas is having to match her face to the character of the dance. Then there's A LOT of sustained bleeping from both Maria and Derek. You get the sense, though, that it's not AT each other, but just general frustration. They're doing the Viennese Waltz to a song with which I am unfamiliar, Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years." She's doing a better job than most of the female celebrities at getting that exaggerated head tilted way back frame. Bruno says it was "heavenly fluidity . . . combined with total emotional involvement ...  amazing." Len says that Maria is "the best" in hold and wished Derek had put more of the dance in hold. I kind of agree, given how good I think she is at it.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 10  Len: 8  Bruno:  10

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