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Dancing With The Stars: Recap Season 14, Episode 2

IN THE March 29 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
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by Heather Parish

DANCING WITH THE STARS RECAP: Season 14, Episode 2

Welcome to Week 2 of Season 14! Given that all the dancers last week were either good dancers or good sports or both, I’m particularly happy this is a season that didn’t have a week 1 elimination. I’m looking forward to seeing everybody dance again. So let’s just get straight to the dances, shall we?

Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Roshon’s hip-hop background is bumping up against the control and elegance required in ballroom as they practice their quickstep. Their dance is certainly fast and high energy, with Roshon definitely being light on his feet. Tom says, “High energy” too — he owes me a Coke! Len says it had good movement and makes a technical comment about Roshon’s heels that I think was a compliment based on Chelsie’s reaction. Something about Roshon’s styling make him look SO prom-like, it is a little bit scary. Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy
Sherri thinks she should be 20 pounds lighter and a decathlete to dance the jive. They’re dancing to “Proud Mary,” and Sherri’s got on a very good approximation of Tina Turner’s famous gold fringe dress. Most of Sherri’s energy is in her face, not her legs. And then, UH-OH! She chickens out at doing a slide move through Val’s legs. Val recovers quickly, but it’s an OBVIOUS goof. Bruno says he doesn’t care that she missed the move, Carrie Ann says she recovered from the mistake well. Even Len’s not going to ding her for NOT DOING THE DANCE SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. Is this a competition? Oy! In the interview after the commercial, we’re acting as if Sherri forgot the step, but it was CLEAR to me that she didn’t forget, she was afraid of doing it and skipped it. I just got off the Sherri love-train.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 7 Bruno: 8

Check out this YouTube video of Sherri Shepherd’s overscored jive.

Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Melissa and Maks are dancing to Billy Idol, who Melissa reminds us she dated in the ’80s! As a Melissa Gilbert fan, I had no idea, and I’m strangely scandalized. Their dance is a quickstep to “Dancing with Myself.” And, Oops! I think that was a stumble from Melissa as they went back up to the stage atop the steps. Carrie Ann thought the slip helped them, because once Melissa had made a mistake she relaxed. They’re dinging Melissa’s posture. Bruno piles on the critique of Melissa’s nerves. I do not understand why a chickening-out Sherri got nothing but praise but Melissa is getting killed by the judges. My vote for this season’s villain: the judges.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 6 Bruno: 7

Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya
Anna says Jack picks up the steps quickly but has trouble with his arms and hips. WELL! This time it’s a pro who seems to miss a step, with Anna seemingly losing her footing at one point. Is the dance floor cursed? Do we need to call in a specialist to perform a de-jinxing? Bruno says the quick choreography may have caused them to get off the beat sometimes. Carrie Ann thinks they may have “overdanced” the routine, which is how they got out of sync. I don’t know what “overdancing” means.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus
The dance is a very, very slow quickstep. Man, I hope next season they give Tristan a young, athletic partner — I’d love to see him fly with a capable partner in a quickstep. Bruno advises Gladys to work on her frame, and Carrie Ann agrees. Len finally finds his honesty backbone and tells Gladys that as much as he admires her, he didn’t much care for her dance. (And in case you’re curious — the horn section was great, the singer not so much in their rendition of the song.)
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 5 Bruno: 7

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Katherine can’t say that Mark wants her to “shake her naughty bits” without dissolving into some very charming laughter. All this talk of the “sexy” moves Mark wants to put into their jive makes me worry that Len is going to haaaate it. There is a casino theme to the dance and at the end of the routine, they throw around some of the chips from the table. So much “extra business.” Carrie Ann throws a lot of very technical compliments at Katherine, Len has mixed feelings about the routine but liked it overall, and Bruno enthuses that, “That’s how flicks are done.” It has to be admitted that Katherine Jenkins is a natural.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson
They dance the jive to “Marry You” by Bruno Mars. I think Kym is DEEElighted to have a partner as talented as Jaleel for whom she can choreograph some interesting steps. They’re working a whole “soda shop” motif, with Jaleel in soda jerk uniform and Kym wearing a high ponytail. I feel like this routine should have been a lot faster to showcase Jaleel’s energy, but the song isn’t allowing for it. And then Len says it “lacked attack and speed.” Len and I are back to agreeing on things after he LOST HIS MIND with respect to Sherri. Bruno says it should have been sharper. Carrie Ann felt like this routine didn’t have the same sparkle as last week.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7 Which is lower than Sherri and therefore complete and utter horse dookie.

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
And now it’s time for Derek to dance with the mannequin with the horrible laugh. They’re doing a Bonnie and Clyde-themed quickstep. They are RACING across the dance floor to the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Sexy Sexy” and Maria looks much less stiff and awkward than she did last week. I’m amazed by how much better she is. The quickstep, surprisingly, is absolutely her dance. Bruno praises her frame and says the routine was near spotless except for one missed step in a run. Carrie Ann points out some trouble with their sync in the middle section. I would really like to know how Sherri managed to get such special dispensation for her mistake.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 9

Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani
Tony is trying to talk Martina out of her insecurity regarding learning some of the steps. Martina’s got an injured toe that she hurts further in practice. I’ve watched enough tennis over the years to know now that a toe injury is more serious than it sounds. They’re doing the jive to Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It” and y’all, I love Martina- as both a tennis and feminist icon- but this is bad. She’s timid and low energy and forgetting steps. The routine started with a lot of frippery at the judges’ table and ends that way, too, which is pretty much a sign that they couldn’t go wall-to-wall with the content. Wait, is that Jimmy Connors applauding in the audience? One of my favorite things about Martina being on the show is seeing all the tennis stars I watched as a kid. The judges are kind, but honest, that the dance did not go well.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 6 Len: 5 Bruno: 6 Brutal, but fair.

Green Bay Packer Donald Driver dances a quickstep on Dancing with the Stars

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Peta asks Donald if he knows anything about the quickstep. Given his display of DWTS superfandom last week, I’m sure he does. Peta says she’s given Donald a very hard routine. In rehearsal, Donald drops into a split (impressive!) and them comes up wincing (ouch!). This song, “Stay the Night” by James Blunt, starts out so slow — I hope it picks up or their quickstep is going to look really weird. Donald’s kicks and flicks are high and high-energy. The song only ever briefly seemed to be as fast as they were dancing. Weird music selection there. Len apologizes to Donald and says that he undermarked Donald last week. Tom points out that this admission may be a first from Len.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8 Which means he scored only one point more than Sherri. In case you’d forgotten her wildly overblown score.

Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff
Hats are all the rage with Gavin: baseball caps, fedoras, newsboys. They’re doing a jive to “Wild One,” which I remember mostly for its cover on the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Gavin lacks polish (he doesn’t flick his feet so much as hurl them away from his body), but he’s got the energy and he’s keeping up with one of the faster jives we’ve seen tonight. The judges point out some flaws but say Gavin’s improved since last week.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 7 Len: 7 Bruno: 7

William Levy & Cheryl Burke
Tom comments on the mania over William, saying he hopes we’ve got our earplugs to deal with the screams in the ballroom. William’s scared of the quickstep. Yee haw! There’s a banjo in that there ballroom for this rendition of “Nice Work if You Can Get It”! I’m delighted! They’ve got the speed in their quickstep, but William looks a little pigeon-toed in the runs and he’s going to need to work on pointing his toes and being more precise with his footwork. Carrie Ann calls him “the Harry Connick Jr. of the ballroom” because she’s clearly deranged. Len says it’s “good not great” and picks on his footwork. Thank you, Len. If this is William’s son they’re showing in the audience, he’s got his dad’s good looks – such a cutie!
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 7 Bruno: 9

I’m still fuming about the overscoring on Sherri, but it was another good night of dancing, if not as good as the premiere.

And, in the results show on Tuesday, we say goodbye to Martina Navratilova. . . which means I won’t have the pleasure of hearing the announcer say “N’vRATEELOVA” ever again.

Dancing With the Stars airs on Monday nights with Eliminations on Tuesday nights on ABC.

Check back here Fridays for more of Heather’s thoughts and an overview of the week’s episode! And check here for her thoughts on the season premiere.

Heather Parish is a contributor to our Area Arts & Entertainment section & a part of KRL’s editing team. She is a freelance writer & theatrical director. Originally from Visalia, she is the artistic director for The New Ensemble in Fresno. Heather can be found on Facebook.

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