SEMI-FINALS!!! Once again, the remaining dancers have to do 2 dances. The pressure is on, but they (mostly) survived gamely. There were no special performances or add-ons, other than the stars giving a little personal backgrounds before the second dance. No one saw lower than a 9-paddle all night.
Donald Driver's first dance was a Waltz that was everything a waltz should be. It was beautiful, smooth and romantic. I could have done without the smoke machine; it's a wonder the judges could see his feet! The only real criticism was the fact that he was so into character that he didn't "turn his head to the left"...but that was not necessarily a bad thing. As good as it was, he still only got one 10 - from Bruno, who gave all 10s all night...except one (upcoming).
Before his second dance, Donald talked about his childhood: how his mother couldn't take care of 5 children so he and a brother were farmed out to grandparents who lived in a bad neighborhood, resulting in him getting involved in the selling of drugs. It was his (now) wife who set his straight, and he discovered that sometimes you can better yourself for someone you love. Donald's second dance was a Samba. Although in theme and costume they went off the typical Samba style, it still fit and was still incredible. His face danced almost as much as his body! This time he got 2 10s.
Katherine Jenkins started with a quickstep that was SO much fun! She looked like she was having a ball, and kept up with Mark perfectly. She was full of character, mugging to the audience and really playing the crowd. However, as free as Bruno was with his 10-paddle, Len was particularly stingy with his, and was the holdout on Katherine getting a perfect score.
Her story was fairly free of drama, talking about living in a picturesque little town in the south of Wales, her love of music from childhood, her musical education, etc. She did talk about a recent broken engagement, which is as much drama as she had. She followed this with a belly dancer Salsa, which really tested her comfort level both in moves and in wardrobe...but she showed no discomfort, until a slip at the end that hurt her back. However, a slip is a slip, and as spectacular as her dance was, she received the only 9 Bruno gave, along with 2 others.
William Levy opened the show with a Tango that, while technically very good, his face did not reflect the character of the dance. At one point you could clearly see in his face, him thinking, "OK, now we spin, feet straight, legs bent, turn now..." complete with him actually sticking his tongue out in concentration! How did the judges miss that, particularly Bruno, who gave him a 10?
His story covered his impoverished childhood in Cuba, flying to the US because his father was a policial refugee, and hitting the modeling world by storm before becoming a star in Latin America. This was followed by a Samba that had a lot of booty-shaking, but otherwise a good dance, although hardly deserving the perfect 30 he received: one of two given out this night.
Maria Menounos's first dance was an Argentine Tango that was as fast and sharp as could be. She really put everything in it, and we thought for sure that she would hurt herself on a few moves. She didn't, and got the only other perfect 30.
After talking about her childhood, going with her parents to work as janitors in Massachusetts because they couldn't afford a sitter, she danced an incredibly fun Jive. There was some quibbling about some moves being missing (there were hardly any "kicks'n'flicks"), but other than that it was a beautiful, no-fault dance, getting 2 10s.
Right off the bat Katherine Jenkins was announced as making the finals! There was an OK performance by Alanis Morrissette, a really fun "Rock of Ages" performance featuring Julianne Hough and Mary J. Blige, the Viewer's Choice dance featuring Tristan McManus and Chelsie Hightower that was phenomenal, and a performance by Carrie Underwood that I muted. It was also announced officially that there WOULD be an upcoming "All-Stars" season, with people logging onto ABC to say who they want on it.
The second result was Maria, who was called "In Jeopardy". The two men were called near the end of the episode: William was "safe", Donald was "In Jeopardy". This week the one to leave (and miss out on the finals) was...Maria Menounos!