The pressure was doubly on this week for the six remaining contestants of "Dancing With the Stars." Not only were the stars facing a daunting double elimination, but each pair also performed two dances -- one with their pro partners, and one "Trio" dance with the addition of a second professional dancer from the "DWTS" troupe. The high stakes made for some emotional moments and fierce performances as the stars brought their very best to the ballroom -- including one dance worthy of the season's second perfect score. Here are the top five dances of the week:
5. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (28 points)
Maria's wickedly sexy paso doble won her the first perfect score of the season last Monday, but she struck a much sweeter note this week with a heavenly Viennese waltz that oozed vulnerability and romance. A rough week of rehearsals left her weepy, but her incredible chemistry with partner Derek still lit up the room. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba made the couple blush when she pointed out, "Something magical is happening between you two." Carrie Ann and judge Bruno Tonioli were delighted, but judge Len Goodman was less so. He wanted to see them dance more in hold and lowballed the duo with a score of 8, which made the entire ballroom erupt in indignation. Later in the night, he again expressed displeasure, giving them an unprecedented low score of 7 for their Bollywood-inspired samba.
4. Donald Driver, Peta Murgatroyd, and Karina Smirnoff (28 points)
Donald and Peta kicked off Round 2 with the help of pro dancer Karina, who left the competition in Week 5 when her partner Gavin DeGraw was given the boot. The result was a flirty, high-energy jive that gave Donald plenty of room to shine, despite his being flanked by the sequin-bedazzled beauties. The performance, as usual, featured Donald's biceps and ended with his executing an impressive leapfrog over the heads of the ladies. Bruno commended him for keeping up with the two "firecrackers," and Carrie Ann couldn't help blurting, "I love your three-way!" Despite the judges' overall approval, Donald was disappointed with 9s from Bruno and Len.
3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29 points)
Demure Welsh rose Katherine, who seems most at home when she's dancing romantic waltzes, surprised us this week with a spicy, James Bond-inspired cha-cha that was sassy and full of attitude. She and Mark had the help of pro partner Tristan McManus, who bade farewell to the season along with partner Gladys Knight in Week 6. Much was made of how coolly she handled a wardrobe malfunction that resulted in part of her tear-off suit getting stuck around her ankle. The fun, cinematic storyline only added to the performance, and Bruno thought Katherine captured a "Hitchcock blonde coolness." Even Len, who seemed to be judging more harshly this week, called it "clean, clear, and clever."
2. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower (29 points)
Roshon arrived at Week 8 perched on the brink of elimination. The Disney triple-threat found himself in the bottom two for the second week in a row last Tuesday, despite Carrie Ann having once told him he was the best male dancer of the season. It's anyone's guess why Roshon isn't able to bring in the votes, but he managed to shoot back up to the top of the pack this week with a charming foxtrot that showcased his quick footwork and cute, cheeky swagger. The dance charmed the judges, especially Bruno, who called it an "absolute and utter joy"; Len told him, "Good job, dawg," for the second time this season. Roshon strolled away with his highest score yet, and he should also score points for bringing his two adorable grannies to the rehearsal and performance.
1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke (30 points)
The season's second perfect score was awarded to William and Cheryl's well-deserving foxtrot: a charming, sophisticated dance that displayed William's ever-increasing skill and poise. The Latin actor has been the season's heartthrob from day one, but it took him a few weeks to gain his now unstoppable momentum. As usual, Bruno was breathless, and he told William, "You couldn't be more debonair and suave if you tried." Carrie Ann called the performance "exquisite" but could barely be heard over the shrieks of the rabidly appreciative audience. The crowd went even wilder when the pair walked away with 10s all around, proving that they're a force to be contended with -- and unlikely to be one of the two couples getting axed this week.
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays at 8 PM and Tuesdays at 9 PM on ABC.
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