Dancing With the Stars – Season 14 – Week 4

As another Monday night is upon us, we are already one month into season fourteen of Dancing With the Stars! Last week, Jack Wagner was eliminated after he received the lowest combined total from the judges and audience votes. Jack had a good personality and was one of those older celebrities who really looked as though they were taking the dancing seriously. But it wasn’t enough as this continues to be one of the more competitive dancing seasons we have seen in quite some time. I will definitely miss Anna but don’t forget, we will most likely see her weekly on the result shows.

Tonight, ten couples return to the floor to perform any unlearned dance. It is rock week and so, we can expect some high energy dances backed by some of your favorite rock tunes. It should be especially interesting to see the costumes, staging, and routines the partnerships come up with this week. In addition, KISS will be on hand on both nights to add that extra “rock” flavor to the show.

Let’s not forget about the new voting/elimination rule that goes into effect this week and for the next three weeks that follow. Our votes will still help determine the bottom two couples but then they will compete in a dance-off. No word yet on whether they need to re-dance the same routine as the night before or if it will be brand new choreography. The judges alone will decide which couple out of the two to save and which to eliminate. That makes voting really important if you don’t want to see a partnership you like in jeopardy and it makes the judges more important than ever as they have never had so much power.

I am going to watch these dancing extra carefully this week and be a bit more critical. I know it is still early in the competition but the judges are clearly still scoring high and being gentle with many and I personally think it is about time they really critique the dancers. Of course, entertainment is above all else so let’s have a fun show and enjoy some dancing. In my best rock star impression, I say…let’s rock this thing… :D

The show begins with KISS out to perform. The troupe joins them (all made up in KISS makeup) and the entire ballroom is going nuts and rocking it out. This is so much fun! I actually feel like getting up and dancing. Of course, I won’t. I can’t. We have whips, chains, screaming, etc… So crazy and so intense!

Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy – Tango
To vote for Sherri & Val, call 1-800-868-3406. You can send the word “Vote” to 3406 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Sherri and Val perform the tango and I have to say, this is a very slow tango for rock week. I know the tango can sometimes be slow but when it is, you have a certain power behind the movements. Sherri lacks that in her basic movements. The turns are not as sharp as they should be. The feet don’t move with that hard hitting style that the tango requires. All in all, she is doing an adequate job but we have seen tango routines done on this show that were of much higher quality. When you factor in that this is rock week, Sherri is also lacking the acting part of the dance, which is surprising considering who she is. An average performance from Sherri.

Len commented that the dance didn’t suit her personality and she had an incident with her feet but she did okay and coped. Bruno likes it when Sherri is moody. He compliments her personality but wanted it to be sharper. Carrie Ann says it was good but the normal exuberance Sherri has was lacking. She called her emotionless during the dance, which is strange for Sherri.
Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Bruno- 7 for a total of 21/30.

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas – Paso Doble
To vote for Katherine & Mark, call 1-800-868-3410. You can send the word “Vote” to 3410 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

This is Katherine’s weakest dance of the competition. And it is for two reasons. The first is Mark’s choreography. I hate when he makes so much of the dance about himself. Again, this isn’t about his dancing and how cool he can be, it is about his partner. The second reason is Katherine’s dancing in this. She has the intensity and feel of the dance but the footwork is hit and miss. When it is on, it looks great. But I saw many moments where she had glitches. And it happened both in hold with Mark and when she was on her own. A few hiccups throughout the dance look glaring on someone like Katherine because up until now, she has been near perfection. That being said, as is usual on this show, a frontrunner needs a week or two where they drop a bit so that once they return, it is ever so epic. I have a feeling that will happen with Katherine.

Bruno tells Katherine to be careful because she didn’t finish many of the movements and it wasn’t as clean as it should be. Carrie Ann says the intensity was there but her footing was off. Len said it had promise but didn’t quite deliver. It wasn’t bad but something disappeared and it was the artistry. But he calls her a wonderful dancer.
Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 8, Bruno- 8 for a total of 24/30.

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson – Tango
To vote for Jaleel & Kym, call 1-800-868-3412. You can send the word “Vote” to 3412 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Well, this is an improvement over Sherri and Val’s tango. However, I still find that this tango is lacking that power. It is difficult to explain but if you view some previous tango routines on youtube (from this show), you will see a very hard hitting dance. Everything from the frame down to the feet have a very fiery and passionate look to them. I am missing that here. Jaleel does all the moves and Kym put some fun choreography in here (for example, Jaleel twirled on the floor instead of Kym) but it still lacked that power. Come on. This is rock week and you have the tango. Bring the passion to the floor! I do expect a better score for them as compared to the first tango we saw though.

Carrie Ann loved it. She loved how funky and weird it was. But she warned him to try and not be so smooth for the future. Len enjoyed the humor but said it needed a bit more attack. Bruno loved the “Jagger” beginning but the dance isn’t just about the face. Bruno says it needed more aggression, especially in the footwork.
Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 7, Bruno- 7 for a total of 22/30.

Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Paso Doble
To vote for Melissa & Maksim, call 1-800-868-3407. You can send the word “Vote” to 3407 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Melissa is giving her best performance of the show thus far. I have to laugh though because Maks is doing something similar with Melissa as he did with Hope. When he has a partner in hold, he tends to push them into the movements. It almost looks as though Maks is just physically getting Melissa through the dance. It doesn’t look so bad because the paso requires those quick movements that make your head spin. And for that, I need to compliment the duo. Out of hold, Melissa does very well and most definitely has the expressions and look of the dance down. Finally tonight, an actor is able to bring that type of training to the dance. Hopefully Melissa can feel good about doing her best dance tonight.

Len liked it. He was concerned and even though Maks fell over, he enjoyed it. He is looking forward to a slow dance from Melissa. Bruno loved most of it but didn’t enjoy the messed up ending. He did compliment the slower parts but feels that Melissa is still running, trying to keep up with the dance. Carrie Ann thought it was her best dance by far. Her constructive criticism for Melissa is to work on being in hold with Maks and not look like she is holding on for her life.
Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 8, Bruno- 7 for a total of 22/30.

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd – Paso Doble
To vote for Donald & Peta, call 1-800-868-3403. You can send the word “Vote” to 3403 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Now, this is PASSION. This is what I am talking about. Watch this dance as compared to the previous tango and paso routines. The difference is staggering. Donald’s frame is great, the dancing in hold is totally on fire, footwork clean and with aggression, and some fabulous solo dancing as well. With Donald’s shirt off, the audience is screaming. We are getting that William Levy type attention during this dance. And it is deserved. Donald is doing an extremely good job. His best personal dance the show’s best dance tonight. That’s how you do rock week with a powerful routine.

Bruno loves Donald’s guns. He thought it was magnificent. All compliments from Bruno, especially ones that are a bit off color, as he does with William Levy. Carrie Ann as well is all compliments. And Len calls it Donald’s best dance of the competition. All three judges talked about how manly he is and how he is built. Perhaps they are trying to build a hunk vs. hunk thing with Donald and William? That was a sarcastic question because the show is obviously doing that.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30.

Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus – Tango
To vote for Gladys & Tristan, call 1-800-868-3411. You can send the word “Vote” to 3411 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Boy oh boy. Alright. I am not trying to be rude but are we seriously going to end up losing better dancers because of how much a legend Gladys is? This tango is not good for me. It is slow (too slow), too careful, and the footwork needs so much work. The posture is decent and Gladys is decent in hold but everything is so timid and needs a whole lot of polishing. They are dancing to Queen and quite honestly, the song doesn’t add much to a routine like this when you don’t have a better dancer performing the steps. I’m sorry. I really think that the simple answer is that Gladys is doing about as well as she will ever do and if she is the weakest one left, that’s just how it goes. For me, the weakest so far.

Carrie Ann calls it her most ambitious routine. But she felt as though it never quite came together. Len commends Tristan on the choreography and thought Gladys coped well. But he mentions that her posture and footwork need work. Bruno calls Gladys a class act. But he tells her that it lacked impact. “You did a good job though,” Bruno adds.
Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 6, Bruno- 7 for a total of 20/30.

William Levy & Cheryl Burke – Jive
To vote for William & Cheryl, call 1-800-868-3408. You can send the word “Vote” to 3408 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

This jive was going so well until…they epically messed up. And from that point forward, everything was off. It happens often on this show. Once you mess up, it is difficult to get back into the rhythm of the dance and pull it off. William tries but the jive steps just never go back to matching up with Cheryl. He doesn’t show it on his face (keeps in character), but it shows in the dancing. The final 3/4 of the dance sees William go in and out of time. His weakest dance of the competition by far. It sucks because had he kept up with how the beginning was, it could have ended up being a very good jive. But alas, it wasn’t.

Len tells him he went wrong, lost timing, and this is becoming a pattern of going wrong during the routines. Bruno tells him he always does well performing but yes, a lot of missed steps and timing. Carrie Ann tells him to be careful not to get caught up in the audience and screams and concentrate on Cheryl and work harder on the dancing. The judges are just being honest here.
Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Bruno- 8 for a total of 22/30.

Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower – Viennese Waltz
To vote for Roshon & Chelsie, call 1-800-868-3405. You can send the word “Vote” to 3405 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Roshon and Chelsie are performing an extremely sweet viennese waltz. I love Roshon’s lines and his ability while in hold. I have said it before but he and Chelsie are the perfect pairing. They compliment one another so well. This is impressive. A little mistake toward the end. That sucks. The good news here as compared to the previous routine is that it happened toward the end and so, Roshon is able to keep up and finish strong. If it wasn’t for that error, I would have put this right up there with Donald/Peta as best of the night. But it should fall a point or two short of that. Still though, I am extremely impressed with Roshon’s handling of a slower and more elegant dance. Good job.

Bruno calls it beautiful and really loved Roshon’s lines. He loved it. Carrie Ann called it cute. The climax of a Disney movie. She says that Roshon out of the men, is the best dancer. Len says “good job, dog”- which is just what Roshon wanted him to say. Len picks up on the little mistake and a few other things but is mostly positive about everything.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 8, Bruno- 9 for a total of 26/30.

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough – Tango
To vote for Maria & Derek, call 1-800-868-3401. You can send the word “Vote” to 3401 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Maria is having major issues with her foot. She was even forced to go the doctor. But boy is she a trooper. You would never know there was a problem. This is a strong tango. It might not have all the power that Donald and Peta did a few dancers earlier but it is very strong. Maria and David are another perfect partnership and kudos again to Derek for his choreography. I would give Maria an extra point just for dancing in what could be excruciating pain yet showing no signs of it. If they are able to look this good in hold with such sharp movements and good frame, I can only imagine how this would look if Maria was totally healthy. I expect this dance to score right up there with Donald and Roshon.

Carrie Ann asks Maria if she is okay. She compliments the chemistry. Len says the aggression was there but the control was hit and miss. He thinks Maria has the best posture of the ladies. Bruno loves Maria’s top line and enjoyed the links. He called it brilliant and can’t wait to see Maria when her foot is healed.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 8, Bruno- 9 for a total of 26/30.

Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff – Tango
To vote for Gavin & Karina, call 1-800-868-3404. You can send the word “Vote” to 3404 to text a vote. Finally, head over to ABC.COM with a registered email and vote online. 10 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this fourth week.

Gavin is doing a decent job but some obvious things stand out here. First, Gavin needs to work on his butt during dancers where is so in hold with Karina. It sticks out way too much. Second, the posture. He really needs to work on that. It has been a problem since day one. And finally, he needs to try and do a bit better when he is solo and unable to depend on Karina. All of that being said, he continues to show promise and is obviously working hard. I do wonder though if we are the stage with Gavin where, like Gladys, this is about as good as we are going to get. In addition, it is hard to call this tango anything but average when compared to some of the others we saw tonight.

Len says “I liked it.” He didn’t like it that much but he liked it. He told him to tuck his bum under and work on that. Bruno says Gavin was very determined but the frame was bad. He also points out a mess up in the corner. Carrie Ann thought she was watching Johnny Depp. She mentioned the strange posture but compliments the moves.
Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 8, Bruno- 7 for a total of 23/30.

Final Judge Leaderboard For Week 4:
Donald/Peta- 27/30
Maria/Derek- 26/30
Roshon/Chelsie- 26/30
Katherine/Mark- 24/30
Gavin/Karina- 23/30
Jaleel/Kym- 22/30
Melissa/Maks- 22/30
William/Cheryl- 22/30
Sherri/Val- 21/30
Gladys/Tristan- 20/30

Well, this is going to be interesting. I have so many questions. Will Gavin’s fans be able to pull him out of being in the bottom for two weeks straight? Will William drop to the bottom or does he have enough viewers behind him to make up for a bad week? And of course, the big question. What will the judges do when faced with the dance-off and who will be dancing? I think the judges would save William if he is in a dance-off against Gavin, Melissa, Sherri, or Gladys. But should he be safe and one of the other four end up doing battle, it could come down to the actual dance tomorrow night. Of course, I could also be very naive and the judges may already know who they plan on sending home. We will find out tomorrow night. So, big applause tonight for Donald and Roshon and an unfortunate night for William. Those are the big stories. More later… :)