It's the Semi-Finals of the 84th (or so) season of DANCING WITH THE STARS; one contestant is just performances away from landing a week-long circuit on daytime talk-shows before departing from the public-eye for another decade or so. And by this point, it only comes around to reinforce that DANCING is an actual competition, and not just a golden ticket for a six-minute segment on LIVE WITH KELLY.
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
Dance: Tango; Samba
Score: 28/30; 30/30
After eight weeks, it seems the judges have began to actually judge, rather than make animal noises and shout out some juicy adjectives. It's about time Judge Carrie Ann Inaba ignorEd Levy's chiseled mug, and took note of the way his legs look as if he's trying to Tango through melting candle wax. Only one of his routines was on par with the other contestants; Levy's time to render DANCING's demographic into a hormonal haze may shortly be coming to a close.
Levy opened the show with a chirpy, digitally-malnourished version of "Sweet Dreams," in which Head Judge Len Goodman called "terrific."
For his second performance, Judge Bruno Tonioli stood and shouted some inaudible words that only a German Shepherd could hear, while Carrie Ann went back to talking about his sex appeal rather than his Samba.
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Dance: Quick-Step; Salsa
Score: 29/30; 27/30
After so many performances, it seems as if Jenkins peaked around week two of the competition. She doesn't seem to inspire the same jaw-dropping, trick of drool inducing, reaction from DANCING's demographic the way Levy does. Nor has she impressed the judges in recent weeks the way Menounos and Driver have.
A 1920s themed Quick-Step is hardly uncharted territory for DANCING, but all admitted that Jenkins' was pretty remarkable. "It's Semi-Finals, which means you need to bring your A-game," said a refreshingly harsh Carrie Ann. "AND I THINK YOU BROUGHT YOUR A-PLUS-GAME!" Andddd then she reverted back to her usual form of judging: flailing, shrieking, proclaiming it was the best dance on DANCING ever, etcetera, etcetera.
Jenkins' Samba, though unique and undeniably stylish, was muddied by a misstep by Ballas, that threw the entire ending into chaos. A visibly distraught Jenkins, entirely out of breath, apparently "hung out with Beyonce over the weekend," according to Carrie Ann.
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Dance: Waltz; Samba
Score: 28/30; 29/30
Driver has easily risen to the top of the competition in recent weeks, only being surpassed by Menounos, the female-frontrunner, as many professional athletes do on this show. The odds are in both their favors to sail into the finals next week.
"Right now, it's about every little misstep - we see it all," said Carrie Ann after his Waltz. And though this is perhaps how it should have been weeks ago, at least her moments of clarity come at the most crucial times. "It was fantastically mesmerizing," she said.
"You took a big risk," said Bruno after Driver's Samba, "and it worked beautifully."
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
Dance: Argentine Tango; Jive
Score: 30/30; 29
In her past few performances, Menounos has made it known that DANCING is hers to lose. She makes this the most clear when she takes out the stupid plastic fangs, drops the Jack Wagner schtick, and plays to her strengths: her sculpted, angled body; her ability to combine class and sex appeal; and poop jokes. Menounos has proven time and time again that she's the fan-favorite, the judge's favorite, and all around most likable and skilled contestant. If you can't see we're looking at future winner of DANCING WITH THE STARS, then you're still too busy trying to cut glass with William Levy's chin.