Dancing With the Stars Recap: Crying Games

katherine jenkinsWeek 1 of Season 14 was heralded as Dancing With the Stars‘ greatest-ever kickoff. Week 2 landed with an unexpected thud. And so it was anyone’s guess what to expect as the show headed into Week 3. Would last week’s cavalcade of missteps create an ugly avalanche, or would our latest crop of celebs make a triumphant collective comeback? And most importantly, how much (or how little) would William Levy wear?

Fret not, ballroom watchers! Free to choose the dances (and songs) that best represented the most memorable years of their lives, the 11 remaining couples offered up an emotionally charged night in the ballroom. Here’s everything you need to know about Week 3 of DWTS:

Emotional Rescues | I know crocodile tears are as much part of the DWTS brand as fancy footwork, but genuine Kleenex-worthy moments tonight bordered on overwhelming: Jack Wagner’s emotional reunion with his long-lost daughter Carrie in 2011 inspired him to choose a celebratory samba (and to shed more than a few pre- and post-dance tears). OK, I was touched, but Wagner’s clear addiction to sherbet-colored dance attire kinda distracted me from truly feeling the moment. More tears came from Maria Menounos, whose rib injury was long-forgotten during a moving, sensual rumba (to what else, Madonna’s “Material Girl”), inspired by memories of her hard-working parents providing for her struggling family in Boston in 1988. Gavin DeGraw’s emotional mini-meltdown over the unconditional love he’s felt from his family left him temporarily speechless (good save, Karina!). Katherine Jenkins’ waltz in honor of her father’s memory was achingly beautiful (this woman is ridiculously gorgeous and she’s growing on me by the minute), and according to Carrie Ann and Bruno, perfect to boot!. Finally, Jaleel White and Donald Driver inspired more ballroom tears — what warmth and emotion! — so by night’s end, even my stone-cold heart had grown several sizes.

Putting On A Happy Face | When Len openly admitted he takes happy pills at the very start of the show, my self-satisfied “I told you so!” smile lasted for most of the first hour. I knew it! Adding to my giddiness was the empress of soul Gladys Knight, who glided through an uplifting, elegant Fox Trot dedicated to the legendary Sam Cooke (and yes, happy camper Len even ‘fessed up that he hankers to be a Pip!). I know Sherri’s rumba was inspired by tears at the memory of almost losing her son Jeffrey (who was born 15 weeks premature in 2005), but I was filled with joy when her megawatt smile beamed halfway through the dance. Of course, the anticipation in the ballroom built to a fever pitch for Mr. Levy, who more than lived up to the expectations. Kudos to Cheryl, who made American homes rejoice when — mere seconds into their salsa — she ripped open his shirt, and well, need I say more? Carrie Ann’s “that was ridiculously hot” pretty much covers it.

Rewind the DVR Moment | Her rumba may have brought the bedroom into the ballroom, but Maria’s post-score clip showing her kicking ass as a moonlighting WWE wild-woman was the biggest shocker of the night! Who knew? And Melissa “Half Pint” Gilbert was touring in a Little House on the Prairie musical in 2010? Who says you can’t learn anything watching reality TV?

Judges’ Leaderboard (Carrie Ann, Len, Bruno: Total)
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 10, 9, 10: 29
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 9, 9, 10: 28
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 9, 9, 9: 27
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 9, 8, 9: 26
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 9, 8, 8: 25
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 8, 8, 9: 25
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy: 8, 8, 8: 24
Jack Wagner and: Anna Trebunskaya: 8, 8, 8: 24
Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus: 8, 8, 8: 24
Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 8, 8, 8: 24
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 8, 8, 8: 24

Now it’s your turn. Whose most memorable year stole the show, and gave your tear ducts the biggest workout? Do you think the perfect scores were justified so early in the season? Would you go see the Little House musical? Leave your comments! –Mitch Rustad

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40 Comments
  1. V says:

    I miss the full recaps of each couple AND the moments of the night like we got last season. Where did they go Team TVLine?

  2. CJ says:

    I know many people just love to see great dancing, but I find it very unfair that Jenkins is denying her dance experience, and it bothers me. She toured in a “song and dance” show, for gosh sake, with full professional dance numbers (as evidenced by youtube). In the past, celebrities with this level of experience have been scored a little tougher, which makes it fair, but they’re acting as if she’s an inexperienced dancer. Oh well.

    • SOC says:

      I agree with CJ about Jenkins. You can tell she has dance experience just by the way she dances. There is not a soul out there with no dance experience that can ballroom dance that well. I thought she was a ringer the first time she danced (before I had even heard of her).

    • Sarah says:

      While I do agree with it being unfair, I saw Katherine’s show a few years back and her dancing was amateurish. No doubt she trained and has more experience than most, it’s not unusual for the show to have people with a good dancing background such as Nicole.

      • Spencer says:

        CJ, the only thing I have to comment on, is the fact that the judges do NOT always treat them tougher. Example, Jennifer Grey. Sorry, I suppose your right, I just still can’t get past how much favoritism The judges show to Derek.

    • daniel d. says:

      Who cares? Have you looked at her? She can have whatever background she wants, as long as she’s on the show.

    • Bernadette says:

      Katherine isn’t the only sandbagger: Roshon, veteran of High School Musical, Camp Rock and now appearing on Shake It Up – a show about being on a dance show?

  3. R. Duncan says:

    I found it kinda insulting that Jaleel White’s best moment in his life was the creation and portrayal of a character? Seriously dude that is your best moment in life? You have a 2 year old! Talk about someone who just can’t let go of his past where the only thing he’ll ever be remembered for is Urkel.

    Talk about crocodile tears I just couldn’t sympathize with him on this one.. and if is truly his best moment of life? Well lets just say he might need some professional help to get his priorities straight in life.

    • Lydia says:

      I absolutely agree. It seemed like Jaleel realized his best moment lacked the depth of many of the others & so he tried to turn channeling his Urkel alter ego into something meaningful. I didn’t buy those tears for one minute.

      • Spencer says:

        Yeah, those tears were completely fake!!!! Sherri, Donald and Katherine all had somethin to cry about, not Jaleel!!!

    • I thought his whole interview was bizarre. What’s with the Mickey Mouse reference? Why was he so choked up over himself? I read that he had a major blow-up in rehearsal, yelling at Kym and calling her stupid. Derek and Mark intervened, with the producers finally having to break it all up. I’m definitely not a fan.

      • Diana says:

        Sorry. It was Donald and Mark.

      • Kim R says:

        If the attack on Kym is true I think it is unfair of the producers to expect her to continue dancing with a “loose cannon”. If he went off because she said “ouch” what is next? I can’t imagine how she could correct him without feeling nervous he would blow again. I hope they act on this. I really do.

    • Kim R says:

      I didn’t get it either. And was totally confused by the tears after the dance. ??

    • Linda Lorraine says:

      I agree! his tears were soooooo crocodile, not great acting on his part. Totally unbelievable. I could’t feel any sympathy for him.

      • Bobbi says:

        I didn’t either and Diana, I didn’t get that Mickey Mouse reference either. I wouldn’t be the least bit upset if they were the couple that were kicked off tonight.

  4. @ says:

    William was amazing:) I thought he should have gotten 10

  5. :) says:

    William levy has to win. It’s about time a Latino wins this show. And Cheryl deserves a third win. Team Fuego FTW

  6. Angela says:

    Katherine’s story/dance/song choice got me all teary-eyed. I could relate, so it hit close to home for me.

    Pretty well agreed with the top 4 in particular-they were all particularly good tonight. Gladys and Tristian’s dance was cute and charming, too.

  7. John says:

    Okay I liked all the stories except for Jaleel’s. I really didn’t understand why he chose that moment in his life and why he was crying about it with Brooke. It seemed extremely fake. But did anyone hear about how he got into a vicious fight with Kym? I don’t know if it’s true, but sources say he stepped on her foot, she said ouch, and he called her a baby and cursed her out, and she left the building crying. He was cursing the producers for putting him with a “stupid” partner. Donald and Mark had to soothe him down. Maybe he was upset about that? I don’t know, but anyone who could treat someone as sweet as Kym like that doesn’t deserve my sympathy.

    • JBS says:

      I did hear about it. However, I heard about it via one of the major tabloid magazines (US, I think.) So I’m taking it with a grain of salt. Also, Mark is denying the severity of the incident to TMZ, which is another tabloid source, but still ;).
      But if this turns out to be true, then Jaleel should be kicked off the show immediately. There are some things that you NEVER do to your dance partner. What he (allegedly) did is among those things. Plus, he (allegedly) did it to Kym. She’s one of the best pros on the show and seems to be such a nice person. If this is true, then that is some pathetic behaviour on Jaleel’s part.

  8. Lana says:

    I too, was wondering why Jaleel picked a character from his show to relate so strongly with and crying over it!! I didn’t know about his tantrum but Kym is a sweetheart and does not deserve that kind of treatment, I wish they would show that when they get to Jaleel and his dance. I love Katherine and hope that she gets enough votes to keep her in, even though she is not well known in the U.S. because she dances like a dream. Loved reading all comments and agree that Michael should have done the recap. Of course I usually only read recaps if they are done by him, but I love DWTS so I had to read this recap, the biggest diference is Michael is so much funnier and has a way with describing things. Sorry to the author of this recap but it was a bit of a bore.

  9. KJ says:

    I thin Jaleel’s comment about “I just wanted to complete the week” was very telling. My guess is DWTS has booted him for the “incident” but are allowing him to complete this week and appear to be voted off tonight – just for appearance’s sake.

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