Dancing With the Stars – Season 14 – Week 7

Welcome to another Monday night of live dancing! It is already week seven of season fourteen and only seven couples remain. We only have four more eliminations until we know who the three finalists are. Week seven this year will bring us another “classical week.” For those who don’t remember, this was one of the best weeks of competition back in season twelve. If this show is able to match great classical music with dynamite choreography, we will be in for a real treat. And after the exit of Gladys Knight last week, we are down to arguably, the seven strongest celebrity dancers.

The couples will be challenged twice this week. First, they must perform any unlearned dance. Second, they will split up into two teams. One team will consist of four couples and be named “Team Tango” while the other three are “Team Paso Doble.” The team dances are always fun because we get to see how the celebrities work in a real group setting and we usually get some fantastic choreography from the pros. I’m really looking forward to seeing how that portion of the show plays out. Everyone’s score will be out of sixty possible points and while audience votes are more important than ever, the “dance duel” is still in play.

The big questions this week include… Will Katherine & Donald continue their seemingly easy ride to the finals? Can Jaleel continue to surge back into frontrunner status? Can Roshon escape the bottom? Is Melissa the obvious boot this week? Will Maria get through a rehearsal without getting hurt? Can this be the week Bruno lands himself a piece of William? Alright, the last two questions are just my lame attempts at a joke. Anyways, let’s get this show started!

The show opens (as did rock and Motown week) with a musical performance. Joshua Bell is out and so are members of the troupe.

Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas – Rumba
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Katherine feels at home because this is classical week. She loves this type of music but be sure, it doesn’t mean she is going to have an easy time. She thinks it will be tricky to marry the Rumba with classical music. Mark has choreographed a very elegant Rumba here encompassing lots of hip movement and graceful arm extensions for Katherine. Of course, she is handling everything beautifully. My one main issue here is that I don’t really feel anything about this dance. In other words, looked technically perfect for me but it didn’t stir any emotions. I enjoy a Rumba that is both gorgeous to watch and makes me feel something. This did one out of the two but with question, the dancing from Katherine is aces as always.

Len loves that it was an elegant and classical Rumba. He also complimented Katherine on staying on the music. Bruno likes it a bit raunchier to get his juices going but it was technically superb. Carrie Ann says Katherine is technically unmatched but tonight, she believes Katherine’s passion was a bit more placed. She wanted some more chemistry and heat.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30.

Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Argentine Tango
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Maks has an injured ankle. He has a cyst and is getting some medical help. Val is back in order to help out. It is Maks doing the choreography but Val is dancing with Melissa in rehearsal in order to take some pressure off of Maks. Of course, as usual with this show, the injury doesn’t show at all during the dance. Maks is fine and in control. A bit too much control if you ask me. We are basically back to Maks doing all the heavy lifting. And by heavy lifting, I do mean actual lifts. But in terms of the dancing, we have Maks whipping Melissa around the floor again, getting her to the next step as quickly as possible. I will give Maks credit for doing this if he is in pain but Melissa is back to being quite weak.

Bruno calls Melissa brave because the music was Mozart. He said it looked as though she was riding the cyclone at Coney Island. It got messy and wasn’t clean. Carrie Ann said it went really wrong. It was quantity over quality. Len thought the marriage between the music and dancing was good but some of the quality was lost during the dance.
Carrie Ann- 7, Len- 7, Bruno- 7 for a total of 21/30.

William Levy & Cheryl Burke – Viennese Waltz
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Jackie Evancho will be out to perform during this routine. William knows that last week was not his best dance. He wants to show he is more than a pretty face. Cheryl comments that this dance is very important to show content and technique. The ankle issue with William is still a major problem during rehearsal. And again, no signs of injury during the actual routine. William is handling this very well. Extra kudos go to Cheryl here for some gorgeous choreography. I felt more here during this routine as compared to what Katherine did even though both couples looked to be technically on point. I think William proved here that at the very least, he is a talented dancer when he rehearses enough and puts everything into it.

Carrie Ann said that is what she was looking for last week. That had content and technique and she also compliments the story. Len says that William is up and down weekly but this week, up. He wasn’t transported to Vienna but he was close. Bruno saw some vulnerability and loved that William put his heart and soul into the dance. He called it touching and beautiful.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30.

Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower – Argentine Tango
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Roshon does not want to be in the dance duel again. Chelsie wants this week to be flawless. Val makes his second appearance of the night as Roshon goes to him for help on looking masculine. Val gives him some good tips. Wow. This is odd. A classical version of “Bad Romance.” I guess it fits considering who is dancing. Roshon is cute here. He is trying so very hard. I’ll be totally honest. The moves and steps are good but it is a bit awkward to watch because Roshon lacks that dominating personality and look that would make an Argentine Tango truly powerful. I don’t want to take anything away from him though because it needs to be said that he does all the steps well and is obviously taking the entire competition seriously. Something really odd happened during the dance and the camera got stuck on the “DWTS” logo for a few seconds while Roshon and Chelsie danced. SABOTAGE! PRODUCERS DEVIOUS WORK! I’m kidding but that wasn’t cool because I was enjoying the dance. Another decent job from Roshon and hopefully he connected with viewers more this week and had them wanting to place a few votes.

Len enjoyed the transitions into the lifts. He wants to see more attention with Roshon’s feet. He thought it was clean and confident. Bruno calls Roshon a man and says it was clean most of the time. He tells him to work on his legs because they can look wobbly at times. Carrie Ann gets up to give him a hug and welcomes him back to his competition. She doesn’t agree with Len and Bruno at all.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 8, Bruno- 8 for a total of 25/30.

Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd – Viennese Waltz
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Vittorio Grigolo will be out to perform during this routine. Donald wants to be the first to get three tens from the judges. Peta plans on really challenging him and Donald is getting super competitive. Peta says she is choreographing a professional level routine. I am loving Donald’s attention to detail in this. Peta absolutely choreographed a tough as nails routine. This has everything in it but the kitchen sink. And Donald is keeping up beautifully. I love the look and feel of the dance. It is perfect for the music choice. A little odd foot placement in one spot but for all I know, perhaps it was meant to look like that. This is a very powerful routine from start to finish with an amazing amount of difficulty. Great job.

Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann didn’t see a lift so she won’t say anything about it. She loves Donald’s intensity and how regal it was. Len thought it was terrific. He mentions one thing that was bizarre with Donald’s feet but overall, well done.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 9, Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30.

Maria Menounos & Derek Hough – Paso Doble
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

This has been a difficult rehearsal week for Maria. Her and Derek are having a bit of a tiff. Maria feels like Derek has had better dancers and more beautiful partners and some of Derek’s comments burn. However, they are going to totally use that to make the routine work. A bit of the usual added in reality television drama of course, nothing serious to worry about here. I can’t get enough of Derek’s choreography when he does a Paso Doble. Maria has fangs and Derek has a stake. Awesome. Maria is totally nailing the character of the dance. Oh, and the steps couldn’t be more on point either. There’s some great stuff here. All of the passion and intensity it takes to pull off a Paso Doble is on display here. This reminds me a bit of how Derek choreographed his “Psycho” dance with Ricki Lake last season. Maria takes a bite out of Derek to end what was a fabulous routine. I think that was my favorite number of the evening so far. The perfect mix of dancing and acting on the floor.

Carrie Ann said it “didn’t suck.” She calls it amazing and says that Katherine should watch her back. Len compliments everything. Bruno calls her the queen of the night. He loved everything about it but especially the drama and tension of the dance.
Carrie Ann- 10, Len- 10, Bruno- 10 for a total of 30/30.

Jaleel White & Kym Johnson – Viennese Waltz
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. 7 votes allowed per phone/text/email in this seventh week.

Kym gives Jaleel a teddy bear as a reward for last week. Jaleel notes that William and Donald both have the same dance but he wants to be the leading man this week. Kym wants to make the dance difficult to keep their collective momentum going. Jaleel wants to prove he is the man to beat this week. Jaleel and Kym are performing a very romantic Viennese Waltz. I am enjoying this. Jaleel is doing well but like Katherine, I am not totally feeling the emotion. I also think Jaleel needs to watch his arms and feet during in-hold routines like this because it sometimes comes off a bit awkward. One major positive is how light on his feet Jaleel always is and that helps and works wonders in a dance like this. In terms of the battle of the Viennese Waltz routines, I think the other men (Donald & William) were better but Jaleel kept up well and this was a good dance for him.

Len liked it enough not to be cruel but not enough to be totally kind. He enjoyed the feel to it but didn’t appreciate that the footwork was lacking. Bruno thought the content was great but at times, it wasn’t executed as well at it could be. He also continues to give constructive criticism about Jalee’s arms. Carrie Ann doesn’t want him to lose his confidence and she also mentions his arms and tells him to keep things tight.
Carrie Ann- 8, Len- 8, Bruno- 8 for a total of 24/30.

Jackie Evancho is back out to perform while the teams do their final preparations for the upcoming team routines. Oh wow, we get Tristan and Karina dancing during this. Nice! We may have lost Tristan last week and Karina a few weeks back but they are here tonight to perform. Really nice stuff here from both Jackie on the singing front and from Tristan and Karina.

Team Tango – Roshon & Chelsie, Katherine & Mark, Maria & Derek, and Jaleel & Kym

Katherine and William are team captains and got to picked their teams. This is the obvious stronger team of the two because we have Derek and Mark who are experts at choreography. And that’s not to take anything away from Kym and Chelsie. We see the rehearsal footage with as expected, lots of added in drama. But make no mistake, these four are ready to bring it. Everyone is practicing their respective solos and then they come together. Awesome opening sequence. Everyone is together. Derek and Maria perform a solid solo. Out comes Jaleel and Kym. Jaleel is stronger here than in his regular routine. Now up are Katherine and Mark. Good stuff. Roshon and Chelsie are the final solo for the team. Really strong Tango movements from them. And with the entire team together, everything is hitting on all cylinders. What fun!

Len thought Maria and Roshon were the stars. It was a mix of the good, bad, and ugly. He thought it was technically bad and some of the lines were ugly. Bruno thought the choreography was outstanding. Bruno compliments Roshon again. He gives Katherine a compliment but a piece of criticism as well. Carrie Ann is complimentary with everyone but cites Jaleel and Roshon especially. The judges are a bit torn with their comments on this one.
Carrie Ann- 10, Len- 8, Bruno- 9 for a total of 27/30.

Team Paso Doble – Donald & Peta, William & Cheryl, and Melissa & Maks

And Val makes his third appearance of the night, just in case Maks is unable to compete. The rehearsal footage shows that Maks does not want to be the weakest link in the dance. Lots of practice with the capes. This team is having a bit less manufactured drama than the other team but the dancing is a bit weaker. William doesn’t want to take his shirt off because again, he wants the dancing to speak for itself. He will though if the team wants it. Rehearsals go well enough, so we shall see. The opening sequence is good. Melissa and Maks are out first for a solo and of course, Melissa lacks a bit in the technique department. She holds up well enough though. William and Cheryl are out next to burn up the floor. I mean that literally because we have fire. Donald and Peta are last to do solos. Good job! The men are shirtless. Out come the capes. Lots of passion, energy, and intensity in this. That was a very enjoyable and high octane routine. Team Tango did a bit better but this team shouldn’t be disappointed. The men of this team are drenched in sweat. I guess the lack of clothing was extremely necessary in this instance!

Bruno comments on the boys. And not only comments but the boys jump on the table in front of him. He notes that a bit of it was off sync. Carrie Ann enjoyed the passion and thought it might go down as a fan favorite Paso Doble. Len says the three boys undressed to impress. He thought it was a job well done.
Carrie Ann- 9, Len- 8, Bruno- 9 for a total of 26/30.

Final Judges Leaderboard:
Maria & Derek- 57/60
Katherine & Mark- 54/60
Donald & Peta- 53/60
William & Cheryl- 53/60
Roshon & Chelsie- 52/60
Jaleel & Kym- 51/60
Melissa & Maks- 47/60