Season 14 of “Dancing With the Stars” premiered last week with a headline-grabbing lineup and what judge Carrie Ann Inaba called “the best first episode ever.” The cast made news by earning the highest scores of any “DWTS” premiere in history. This week, the show kept delivering the glitz, glamour, and humor that we have come to expect, with a little bit of the usual cast member/pro partner bickering. The combination of famous names, emotional backstories, and heaps of glitter made for must-see TV.
The second episode featured our new lineup of celebrities taking on either the quickstep or the jive, and most of the pairs lived up to the hype created last week. The judges were delighted with many of the contestants, but didn’t hand out the high scores quite as freely. Here are the week’s top five dances:
(5) Sherri Shepard & Val Chmerkovskiy (23 points)
Although the "View” co-host and her partner didn’t score the most points this week, Sherri’s routine deserves a spot in the top five for pure watchability. The confident comedienne radiated fun as she smiled her way through a bouncy jive, establishing herself as one of this season's most self-assured and sassy contestants. Her personality was a hit with the judges, who also pointed out her chemistry with partner Val. “I am in love with you,” Carrie Ann declared.
(4) Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (25 points)
Actress and TV host Maria pushed through a last-minute rib injury to deliver a spot-on performance with her always-adorable partner, Derek Hough. The charismatic couple might win the cute vote, but the judges were equally impressed by the technical execution of their quickstep, despite a brief moment where they were out of sync. The choreography had a lighthearted “Bonnie and Clyde” theme, which made a strong performance even more fun.
(3) Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd (24 points)
Super Bowl champ Donald Driver proved he can do more than a touchdown dance this week with an absolutely effortless quickstep that had the judges over the moon. Donald, who grinned infectiously the whole time, made the complicated moves look easy, and struck a romantic, classy note with his partner Peta. In the episode’s most surprising moment, judge Len Goodman, usually intractable, admitted that after having watched last week’s show, he realized that he had undermarked Donald and owed him an apology. That’s a first!
(2) Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower (26 points)
Disney Channel darling Roshon Fegan proved this week that that he’s a triple threat. The multi-talented young actor, who also produces his own music, wowed the judges with a show-opening, tongue-in-cheek quickstep that was light and crisp, but not lacking in his signature “cheeky swagger.” Len and Carrie Ann were big fans of the precise performance, and Bruno even compared the star to “a bolt of lightning.”
(1) Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (26 points)
Katherine Jenkins is probably one of the least-known stars on the show, but arguably among the most talented. The blond bombshell is an internationally recognized classical singer who has broken countless records worldwide, and has even had lunch with the Queen. Katherine seems intent on adding a mirror-ball trophy to her collection of awards and accolades, and we won’t be surprised if she succeeds. Her stunning, sultry jive with "DWTS" veteran Mark Ballas had the judges’ jaws on the floor, even though she demurely insisted that “shaking her naughty bits” doesn’t come easily to her. We think she doth protest too much.
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 PM and Tuesdays at 9 PM on ABC.