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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 14 Week 5 Review: “Latin Night”

dwts-14-5
ABC

Monday was Latin Night on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet promised we’d go “south of the border” to “shake our maracas,” which we’re pretty sure wasn’t nearly as dirty as it sounded.

Last week, Melissa Gilbert got her bell rung so badly that she was carried out on a stretcher with whiplash and a concussion, and William Levy tore up his ankle during rehearsals — so next time someone says dancing is for sissies, you go ahead and kick them in the brothers.

In the meantime, let’s see what the performers have in store.

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

Jaleel was pretty shaken by last week’s elimination of crowd favorite Sherri Shepherd because it made him realize that no one is safe. His samba certainly showed a much sexier side of him — Kym had him perform shirtless with an open vest, and hey look, his hips can swivel too! Len called it “fantastic,” Bruno said it “got the party started,” and Carrie Ann said it had “attack and fire.”

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Score: 21 out of 30 (7/7/7)

Melissa’s been cleared to dance as long as she doesn’t get a headache (which may mean she’ll need a different partner). Maks tried to get her to loosen up and release her inner sex-kitten for their salsa, but she had some trouble doing it. Their performance was loaded with head snaps and neck holds that probably made her doctors cringe, but sister deserves props for bravery. Carrie Ann noted how much confidence she’s gained since the start of the competition, but all the judges thought it was a bit sloppy.

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
Score: 27 out of 30 (9/9/9)

Maria has cracked bones in her ribs and her feet since coming on ‘DWTS,’ and during rehearsals for her salsa, she did a face-first splat onto the floor that made even us gasp (she showed up to her next rehearsal covered in bubble-wrap, proving she hasn’t lost her sense of humor). Her performance was good, but the sexiness that’s seemed natural to her before seemed somehow forced this time, especially a smooch she laid on Derek mid-dance. Carrie Ann thought the kiss was a “sell-out” but all the judges thought the rest of the routine was smokin’ hot, so eh, what do we know.

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Score: 29 out of 30 (10/9/10)

During rehearsals for their Argentine tango, Katherine kicked a bit too high between Mark’s legs more than once, causing damage to his, as she puts it, “naughty bits.” (In case we haven’t mentioned it, she’s still freakin’ adorable.) To our eye, their dance looked damned near flawless, and the judges seemed to agree. Bruno said the acting and storytelling was “played to perfection,” and Carrie Ann called it “poetry in motion.”

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff
Score: 19 out of 30 (6/6/7)

Gavin showed us last week he could actually be sexy, but he was still nervous about the hip-swivels required by the samba. We’re not sure what happened to Last Week Gavin, but … eek. He looked like he had fun but this was not good. Carrie Ann gave the world’s most understated critique by saying it “lacked a bit of form,” while Len called it a “sham-ba, not a samba” but a “gallant effort.”

William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Score: 29 out of 30 (10/9/10)

Since William is Cuban, he said how embarrassed he’d be if he’s voted out on Latin Night, so he was determined to shake off his mediocre performance from last week and get back to the top of the leaderboard. He needn’t have worried — his Argentine tango was gorgeous and, as in previous weeks, the ladies in the ballroom screamed their approval. Carrie Ann called William the “Latin dancing James Bond,” Len said the dance was “sensuality in color,” and Bruno said it had a “throbbing intensity.”

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus
Score: 22 out of 30 (7/7/8)

Living legend Gladys didn’t have a great dance last week, but she only called it a “challenge” to overcome. Tristan said her samba would be a chance to shake everything she’s been holding in for all these weeks — and shake it she did. She’s not the best dancer in the competition and she knows it, but she’s so much fun to watch. Len said she has “great musicality,” Bruno said she’s “magic,” and Carrie Ann said that while it had its mistakes, Gladys’ remarkable stage presence is undeniable.

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
Score: 26 out of 30 (9/8/9)

Despite his high scores last week, Roshon didn’t get a lot of audience votes and was in the bottom two. Nervous about being sexy for his salsa, he got some advice from William. It definitely seemed to work, but about half-way through, Chelsie’s dress slipped off her shoulder and she almost gave the audience a lot more sexy than she meant to. Bruno said Roshon’s timing was great and Len loved his enthusiasm, but said he might wanna take it down just a bit.

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatoyd
Score: 27 out of 30 (10/8/9)

After an amazing performance last week, Donald was ready for a repeat of those great scores. And like the two other couples who did Argentine tangos, he absolutely nailed it. Carrie Ann called his control “divine,” Len called the lifts “spectacular” but oddly wasn’t as impressed with the rest, Bruno said there were a couple of “flow” issues but he liked it otherwise.

http://youtu.be/6ZwrKSzZzec

A new elimination method goes into effect Tuesday night that gives the judges the final say in who goes home. See you then.

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