'Dancing with the Stars' recap: Week 3 performances
So many tears, and rumbas, for the 'most memorable year' performances
William Levy and Cheryl Burke earned a rare 10 Monday evening. (Craig Sjodin, ABC / April 3, 2012)
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Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya
Jack is glad to be back after some disappointing scores last week. His most memorable year is last year (2011) and he gets choked up before he even starts to tell the story. Last year he was about to go onstage for a concert and a young girl came running up to him, grabbed him, and announced she was his daughter. Now we see the daughter in an interview, but neither one of them are explaining exactly why she was so "long-lost." They're dancing the samba to Jack's own "Light Up the Night," and Jack starts out atop the judges' table with a guitar. Oh, dear -- that's gotta be a top 10 most awkward pelvic thrust on this show. And I've watched every season. I'm not sure it's great technically, but I'm giving Jack an A+ for effort and sportsmanship. He runs over to hug the long-lost daughter before judging. Len liked the rhythm but said the upper body was awkward. He compliments Anna on the choreography. Bruno also compliments his rhythm and likes his timing as well. Carrie Ann was crying during the interview package and says she wants to see more of Jack with the improvement in his dancing. And now Jack's crying while talking to Brooke Burke-Charvet.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8
I'm dubious about the high scores so early in this season. We're only on Week 3; will we have to get special Nigel Tufnel paddles before the finals?
They preview clips from later in the show and OMG YOU GUYS, Gavin is NOT WEARING A HAT. And now it all makes sense - those mushrooms growing out of the top of his head are SERIOUSLY distracting.
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough
In the recap of last week, Maria and Derek have a backstage high-five failure. It's amusing. Despite myself, I'm kind of liking the almost brother/sister vibe these two have going on. Maria's most memorable year is 1988, when she was 10 years old. She says her parents were immigrants from Greece, working as janitors at Boston bars to support the family. Maria's dress during the interview part of the clip segment is SUPERCUTE. Maria explains that without money for babysitters, her parents would take the kids to work with them, and when she found change on the floor, she'd play Madonna's "Material Girl" on the jukebox. So now it's going to be a rumba, which must mean they're totally changing up the original tempo of the song. Oh, wow, they really are -- this is way more musically adventurous than the DWTS band usually gets. I'm kind of liking it. This is a sexy, sexy rumba, even if it's your typical slinky-slinky-pose-pose dance they do for rumbas. Bruno says he "felt it." And when Derek says "I did, too," Bruno responds with "I bet you did, you naughty boy." Bruno explains they danced the whole song to only the melodic line, that there was no rhythm in the song, and to dance to a song like that is incredibly difficult. When Bruno is impressed and quiet like this it's a major compliment. Len throws out the word "smoldering" and praises the technique.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 9 Len: 9 Bruno: 9
Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus
Gladys says she doesn't mind Len's "constructive criticism" because that's how she learns. Gladys says that 1957 was her most memorable year, when she toured and met Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and James Brown. She was only 13! Whoa - did we know Tristan had all this ink on her arms? I never noticed it before and it's quite a large piece. They're dancing a foxtrot to "Cupid," as made famous by Sam Cooke. This song is so swoon-worthy and it's a great fit for Gladys. Tristan has apparently borrowed your great-grandfather's golf shoes for this dance. Gladys smile lights up the stage, but this is more "your sweet grandmother dancing at a wedding" than some of the more professional looking dances/dancers we've already seen this season from other stars. Len points out that he and Gladys are the same age, and admires Gladys for her hard work and dedication and says her frame is improving. And then he asks if he can be a Pip! The camera catches Tristan looking straight into the camera and winking. I'm not going to lie to you: That was totally meant for me.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 8
Y'all, I love Gladys Knight as much as the next music fan, but I'm not sure she deserved the same score as Jack Wagner for that routine.
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Roshon says they're dancing a samba to a Jackson Five song, because "MJ is [his] hero." His most memorable year is 1996 because that was the first year he saw Michael Jackson perform live. Chelsie brought in Jackson's choreographer Travis Payne. Oh, dear -- they're practicing the MJ crotch grab. I'm so uncomfortable right now. Roshon's wigged out Afro-style for "I Want You Back." The disco balls are so plentiful and persistent that I'm having a hard time actually seeing the dance. They're mixing in a lot of not-really-samba moves here; wonder if Len will ding them. HA! Len says he likes the Michael Jackson moves but would've liked to have seen "just a little bit more traditional samba." Never change, Len.
Scores: Carrie Ann: 8 Len: 8 Bruno: 9
So, really, only one point better than SloMo Gladys.
Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff
Gavin's chosen Billy Joel's "New York State of Mind" for their rumba because a Billy Joel concert inspired him to be a musician. Gavin moved to New York in 1998 to start his career and he gets a little emotional talking about how supportive his family was. The hat is off! A whole family of sparrows has had to relocate! OK, the hat's back on for the performance, which Gavin starts at the piano, miming playing the intro. Something about the cut of the line around the bottom of Karina's body suit is giving it a rather unfortunate "diaper cover" feel. Aw, Gavin's family is in the audience and looks fit to burst with pride. Bruno likes Gavin's hip action but tells him to work on his turns. Carrie Ann's heart is racing because it's gone all fluttery for Gavin. She says he has an "authentic attention to detail." She's got "Gavin Fever!" Len says that the slow dance shows every detail and he saw good hips, musicality and no problem with the turns. He adds that Gavin's showing great progression as a dancer. Gavin starts to cry when Brooke asks him about his family being there tonight.