After umpteen seasons, it's clear DANCING WITH THE STARS can't demand its contestants abandon their sexy schtick, the costumes, the puffery that all makes DANCING what it is. So when designated Classical Week comes around, interesting combinations arise. Only so many competition shows can ask its contestants to marry Mozart with an ass-shake. Alas, these two seemingly unrelated aspects of human culture must of course be manhandled by DANCING, and the audience gets Classical Week.
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Classical singer Jenkins fell right into the dubiously named Classical Week. The COMBINATION of Jenkins' Rumba with such pristine music was..odd. Perhaps it was because they were the first duo to dance, but the routine - well - it was as if Game of Thrones was yanked from HBO and thrown onto The Met's stage. "Katherine! The inobtainable object of desire," judge Bruno Tonioli read from his journal of nicknames (the one reminiscent of a high school math teacher's pet-name game.) "You kept it elegant," said head judge Len Goodman, more accurately. "In this competition, you're unmatched," said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who also said her passion was a bit faked. Not everyone can have the unbridled, flailing passion of The Carrie Ann Inaba.
Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Melissa, the lesser Gilbert sister (Sara, the other, was Darlene on ROSEANNE. It's genetically impossible for two equally awesome sisters to be birthed into the same family) was undoubtedly proven her hardwork has begun to chip away at her stoic, marble-esque (in the sense that she doesn't move) routines. This week, well, we'll just let the judges speak on behalf of this recap: "It was full on, but it lacked a little bit of dance quality," said Len; "It looked like you were riding The Cyclone in Coney Island," said Bruno; "All I can think of is Cirque du Soleil gone terrible wrong," said Carrie Ann. Ouch, Not-Darlene. Ouch.
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
Dance: Viennese Waltz
It's safe to say Levy's attractiveness doesn't correlate into an attractive dance. Last week's Rumba was not pretty. But tonight's Viennese Waltz was so pretty it was pretty darn staunch. The judges called it a vast improvement - "true content, true dance," according to Carrie Ann. "I wasn't necessarily in Vienna, it was more Austria," said Len. Personally, it felt more like a wedding reception in a church basement than anything foreignly extraordinary.
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Dance: Argentine Tango
Fegan's relationship to the show is as follows: he's consistenly one of the best dancers, and then consistently almost kicked out. Maybe it's because DANCING's target audience has absolutely no idea who he is. Or what he's done. Or why he's on the show (and to be honest, I don't either.) But there's no denying Fegan - whose return this week was interrupted by the pesky DANCING logo, a sure sign of a wardrobe malfunction - can dance. "It was clean and it was confident," proclaimed Len. "Roshon The Man," Bruno spat, diving into that journal, once again, later telling him to ground the performance in his frame. Carrie Ann ran from the panel at break-neck speed to throw her arms around Disney-baby Fegan, and proclaim how wonderful he was. The act itself wasn't so much the surprise, more that someone on DANCING didn't snap another ankle or crack a few ribs in the display.
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Driver is a football player. Thus, he is naturally competitive. So naturally, he only wants to receive 10s, just as the rest of the contestants. However, whereas many of the others lose control and show their ineptness, Driver is - for the lack of a better word - good. Looking like a regal linebacker turned European lord, "it was terrific," said Len. But not terrific enough for those elusive triple 10s.