It wouldn't be "Dancing With the Stars" if there wasn't at least a little Chmerkovskiy drama. We all know that Maks has a temper and the producers don't always give him the most endearing edit -- remember last season's ballroom blowout with judge Len Goodman? -- but I never thought that I would hear him say the words, "You're making me look like a terrorist."
Last season, Maks' partner Hope Solo never quite lived up to the potential the judges saw in her, and the duo consistently ranked at the bottom of the leaderboard, which eventually led to Maks' outburst. This week, it looked like the hot-tempered Chmerkovskiy was on a similar path of public destruction.
Well, maybe the judges learned their lessons because this week, Len, Carrie Ann and Bruno all praised Maks' partner, Melissa Gilbert, for her best performances of the competition. However, I wasn't so convinced.
The "Little House on the Prairie" star has obviously improved since her wobbly Week 1, but I don't think she deserved a 27 for her "Trio Dance" with the Chmerkovskiy brothers. (For the first time in show's history, "Dancing With the Stars" introduced "Trio Dances," where each couple got to chose a third person -- from the troupe or a previously eliminated pro -- to dance with.) Maybe Carrie Ann was too busy staring at Maks and Val to actually look at Melissa's footwork? I, for one, found myself getting pulled toward the magnetic field that is the Chmerkovskiy brothers' abs.
Meanwhile, Melissa stumbled a bit during her foxtrot. Her footwork was off, and the judges could clearly see that. However, they gave her a 26, the same score that Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas received for their adventurous Viennese Waltz.
I wish the judges would set a standard scoring system because judging some celebrities based on their improvements and some based on their performance just doesn't seem fair to me.
Now, let's break down the individual dances:
William Levy & Cheryl Burke
"You know what the best birthday present would be? Nailing ... the next two dances." Did anyone else think that sentence was going to end differently? I'm only slightly kidding.
I didn't love William's foxtrot as much as I enjoyed his Viennese Waltz last week, but it amazes me that William can be thrown into any situation and still manage to look suave.
"It was like a super hot sexy pink panther ... Your movements were exquisite," said Carrie Ann. And Len added, "A mix of care and flair. There was care in the technique, there was flair in the movement." The judges awarded William his first perfect score of the season with three 10s.
I can't say that I was expecting that performance to get a perfect score, especially when Roshon and Chelsie's foxtrot was one point away from perfection, but the score was well-deserved for William and pro Cheryl, who consistently produces some of the best choreography in the series.
Dance: Paso Doble
Trio Partner: Tony Dovolani
"If I do it bad, you do it bad." That's what William told his Trio partner Tony in rehearsals. For their "Trio Dance," Cheryl chose Tony (a.k.a The Lovable Loser) because she wanted William to go toe-to-toe with a decorated male pro -- and it paid off.
After a solid paso doble, inspired by Zorro, the judges awarded the trio a 27. Carrie Ann told William that he only went out of sync with Tony once and Bruno agrees. However, Len called their spicy paso doble fabulous.
Judges' score: 30 + 27 = 57
Maria Menounous & Derek Hough
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Are Maria and Derek dating? It would just explain so much. They're constantly fighting and making up during rehearsals. One minute Maria is crying and then the next, she's laughing like a dolphin on happy pills.
But at least the end product was beautiful, and their Viennese waltz was gorgeous. Bruno called it heavenly, while Carrie Ann heard angels singing during Maria and Derek's performance. Both judges give the pair a perfect 10. However, Len, always the Debbie Downer, scolded Derek for not having more holds, before giving the pair an 8.
I'm not quite sure Maria and Derek deserved Len's 8, and to be honest, I couldn't quite understand his criticism. How can he give Maria and Derek an 8 for their waltz and then give Melissa a 9 for her "Trio Dance"?
Trio Partner: Henry Byalikov
Let me preface this by saying that I love Bollywood, and I couldn't be happier to finally see it get mainstream attention (not to mention that anything could be better than that hot mess of a number on NBC's "Smash"). However, Derek's Bollywood number felt a little out of place.
I have to agree with Len on this one. "If I was judging a Bollywood number, then it was a 10, but this was a samba," he said. Bollywood is about extravagance and thinking outside of the box. I think Derek put too much of an emphasis on Bollywood and not enough on the samba. I mean, what was Derek thinking? An Indian samba? Yeah, no. That had a 7 from Len written all over it.
However, Bruno loved the creativity, and Carrie Ann called it "a feast for her Asian eyes."
Judges' score: 28 + 25
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd
Donald is his worse critic. I understand that he really wants that 10 from Len, but I think he has a tendency to be too hard on himself. Then again, he's the one with the Super Bowl ring!
Like any good athlete, he studied his competition (via iPad product placement), and Peta came up with a routine that was snappy and dynamic. As per usual, Donald's frame was solid. However, they brought so much intensity to the dance that the drama and the storytelling element was a little lost.
Len called it a knockout, while Bruno said, "I thought that I was going to have to call a marriage counselor." However Carrie Ann wanted more drama, and less intensity. Sadly, Donald has yet to receive a ten from Len, which meant that he was not happy. Hopefully, he has another week to land his precious 10.
Trio Partner: Karina Smirnoff
Donald decided that he "ain't ready to see Jimmy," so Peta enlisted defending "DWTS" champ Karina Smirnoff to join their "Trio Dance." Peta said she picked Karina because of her choreography.
It looked like Karina choreographed the entire routine because it reminded me of her and J.R. Martinez's energetic jive from last season. It was a total crowd-pleaser.
Not to mention that Donald managed to keep up with Karina and Peta's kicks and flicks. Did I mention that Peta's legs looked a million miles long? The big finale came when Donald leapt over both Karina and Peta.
Despite the overwhelming praise -- Carrie Ann shrieked, "I loved your threeway!" -- Donald only received a 28 from the judges. I completely disagreed. This was by far the best performance of the night. Bad call, judges. Bad call.
Judges' score: 27 + 28 = 55
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower
Roshon and Chelsie went from Disney prince and princess to "two little dancing munchkins." Well, according to Len.
But seriously, Roshon and Chelsie wowed the audience, the judges and Roshon's adorable grandmas with their fun and flirty foxtrot. The duo were in sync, and their kicks and flicks were perfectly timed. Their performance pretty much looked like a dance interpretation of that scene in "The Notebook" where Noah and Allie were at the fair.
The Disney kid got his second "Good job, dog" of the season from Len.
Dance: Paso Doble
Trio Dancer: Sasha
Chelsie picked Sasha because of his masculinity. I thought that was something Roshon got over last week, but it looked like he still need some masculinity training.
Their paso doble was a strong effort from the trio. Also, who knew Roshon had a six-pack underneath his Mickey Mouse t-shirt? While I think Roshon and Chelsie definitely deserve to make it to next week, I'm not quite sure that they'll pull in the votes. If people were voting based on dance, then they would, but as we all know, at this point of the competition, it's just a popularity contest.
Despite falling out of sync a few times, Roshon held his own against Sasha. Of course, Bruno criticized their mistake, but overall, called it a good performance. Meanwhile, Carrie Ann loved the concept of the dance, but also pointed out their syncing issues.
"You were like two skinny fries chasing the ketchup," Len said. "Somebody just ordered a Happy Meal," Tom sarcastically responded.
Judges' score: 29 + 27 = 56
Melissa Gilbert & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Move over, Len! Once again, the "Dancing With the Stars" editors made Maks into the show's No. 1 villain -- or is that "terrorist"? Where's the "New Girl" Douchebag Jar when you need one? Oh wait, it's on another network.
However, the judges called Melissa's foxtrot her "best dance" of the competition. Yeah, sure, maybe? It definitely was her riskiest effort, but I didn't think it was her best. Her footwork was sloppy, and even Maks knew it. He shrugged after finishing their routine, and Melissa looked visibly upset. They were genuinely shocked to see their scores, and I'm sure the viewers were, too.
Trio Partner: Val Chmerkovskiy (obviously)
If Maks and Val ever joined the circus, they'd be called "The Amazing Shirtless Chmerkovskiy Brothers." That's really all that performance was about.
Carrie Ann loved the Maks and Val sandwich and told Melissa that this is now her best dance, to which Len agreed. And then Bruno called her Rita Hayworth, and all three judges give her 9s for the first time. Wait, what?
I'm not quite sure what the judges were watching, but I saw a routine that was well-below the technical level of the other contestants.
Judges' score: 26 + 27 = 53
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Unfortunately for Katherine and Mark, Len didn't really care for that fancy spinning trick they practiced so hard to get right. Len's eyeroll at Carrie Ann was epic. Can I please have that in GIF form?
For the sake of my roommate, I hope Mark and Katherine don't get sent home tomorrow. Mind you, this is exactly what she said the moment Mark entered the ballroom: "Mark is just so magical. He's, like, so full of wonderment."
Dance: Cha cha cha
Trio Partner: TRISTAN MACMANUS
I mean, why wouldn't they pair the Welsh beauty with the Irishman? "I chose Tristan because Katherine loves him." And EVERYONE LOVES HIM.
The gorgeous trio preformed a sexy, sly cha cha cha, and of course, any routine that calls for Tristan in a suit and shades is ultimately my favorite routine.
Unfortunately, Katherine wore a tearaway dress that didn't quite tearaway. My heart literally dropped when her pant got stuck around her ankle. But being the good Brit that she is, Katherine kept calm and carried on -- and did an impromptu high kick to fling it off.
I really, really hope Mark and Katherine don't get eliminated. I know that I wasn't always a fan of the Welsh opera singer, but somehow, Katherine's charms have finally won me over.
Judges' score: 26 + 29 = 55
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.