With semifinals only a week away and the threat of a double elimination hanging over the dance floor, week eight of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ created a pressure cooker for the remaining couples on Monday night.
To remain in the competition, they would have to excel at two full dances: an individual ballroom and, for the first time in the show’s history, a dance trio.
In the first round, actor William Levy in a tux and Cheryl Burke, wearing a long feather dress and elbow length black gloves, danced to the top of the pack. Against the backdrop of Paris, their energizing foxtrot earned a perfect score, with each judge awarding a 10.
“All I can say is: Meow, meow, meow!” gushed judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “It was like a super hot, sexy Pink Panther.”
Hot at their tails, with 29 points for their foxtrot, were Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie Hightower. Bruno Tonioli called them, "the sweetest of sweethearts.”
Last week, Maria Menounos and Derek Hough stunned the world with a perfect score (and a set of vampire teeth). Though they came close to another perfect score tonight, their Viennese waltz earned just 28 points. Bruno declared it: "amazing.” But Len Goodman docked them for choreography.
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd tangoed their way to 27 points. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas danced the Viennese waltz for 26 points. And finishing last after the first round were Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy with a foxtrot of 24 points.
Now for the exciting part: the dance trios! In the second round, each couple added a third partner, who had to be either an eliminated pro or a member of the DWTS dance troupe.
For the first threesome, Katherine and Mark added pro Tristan MacManus for a cha cha that judge Bruno called “sexy and cool”, earning 29 points despite a slight wardrobe malfunction with breakaway pants. (Don’t you hate when your breakaway pants malfunction?)
In the second threesome, Donald and Peta jived with Karina Smirnoff, scoring 28 points.
Paso doubles tied couples Roshon/Chelsie (with Sasha Farber) and Cheryl/William (with Tony Dovolani) at 27 points. Underdogs Melissa Gilbert and Roshon Fegan finally caught their stride and sizzled in a shirtless samba with Maksim’s brother Val Chmerkovskiy in what might have been their best dance ever, earning them a 27 as well and giving the judges a chance to crack jokes.
“Holla for the Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy sandwich!” enthused Carrie Ann, while Len said, “You are a very good little cream filling in the middle there, missy.” And Bruno joined in with, “It obviously takes two to get the best out of you.” Ah, threesome jokes! But will it be too little too late to save them at elimination?
Maria and Derek, along with troupe member Henry Byalikovat, delivered a samba inspired by Bollywood, expecting a slam dunk after last week. But it didn’t go over too well with the judges.
“If I were judging a Bollywood competition, I’d give you a 10, but I’m not. I’m judging a samba right now,” Goodman said, giving them a low 7. Ouch! Seems like he really had it in for them tonight. Len wasn’t wowed either, saying, “I’m afraid it was false advertising.”
Two couples will be sent home tonight, leaving only four semifinalists to compete next week. Tune in to ABC tonight to find out who makes the cut!