Dancing With the Stars Week 7 Performance Recap: Whatever Happened to Class(ical)?

With vivid memories of our celebs shakin’ their groove things to the energetic sounds of rock and Motown over the past few performance episodes, the tricky U-turn into the comparatively serene strains of classical music for Week 7 of Dancing With the Stars had the potential to feel a tad disconcerting.

Would Mozart or Vivaldi inevitably bring out the best in opera star Katherine Jenkins? Would this shift in mood expose the Achilles’ heels of certain testosterone-laden counterparts (i.e., Donald Driver and William Levy)?

One thing was certain: With the numbers of dancing duos continuing to dwindle, far more airtime was devoted to extracurricular activities such as the dreadful team dance and Look Who’s Bickering packages. On the plus side, though, electrifying performances from classical icon Joshua Bell, Italian superstar tenor Vittorio Grigolo and soprano prodigy Jackie Evancho were far from filler. How did the main action play out? Cue the enhanced orchestra and assorted tuxes n’ tails, and let’s discuss!

Return of the Walking Wounded? | Add poor Maks (ankle) to this season’s DWTS injured list, joining already-hurting celebs like William Levy and Maria Menounos (both with ankle/foot-related woes). The latest physical setback left me wondering: Will the couple who’s merely able to stay the healthiest the longest eventually walk away with the coveted Mirrorball Trophy, footwork and charisma be damned? Nevertheless, despite the dire sound bites in the pre-dance clips, I’ve yet to see much actual evidence of these injuries on the ballroom floor — especially when it came to Maria’s picture-perfect Paso Doble. Let’s hope no further aches and pains percolate for our remaining dancers between now and the finale.

Shirtless Supeheroes | As Tom gallantly tried to explain the team dance rules and set the stage for the final half hour of the night, I went off to the not-so-happy place. Team Tango vs. Team Paso? Say what? I still have no idea what our gallant host was trying to communicate, but who cares when the three hunks from Team Paso (Donald, William and Maks) shed their shirts! (No 10 from Bruno after a special up-close encounter with those gorgeous guys? Who’dve thunk?)

Quotes of the Night | “I like it a bit raunchier. You know, you could have gone a bit further, to get my juices going.” –Bruno to Katherine and Mark, after their rumba

“With your juices, the spigot’s always open.” –Tom Bergeron, responding to Bruno’s entendre

“It was sorta like Cirque du Soleil went terribly wrong.” –Carrie Ann, critiquing Melissa and Maks’ Argentine tango

“I wasn’t exactly transported to Vienna, but it was close: I was in Austria.” — Len to William after his Viennese Waltz

“Sorry I’m not attractive enough for you.” –a tearful Maria to Derek in their rehearsal clip

“That didn’t suck, my friend.” –Carrie Ann to fang-bearing Maria after her spectacular, vampire-themed Paso doble

“I liked it enough not to be cruel, but I didn’t like it enough to be really kind.” –Len after Jaleel and Kym’s Viennese Waltz

“That is going to go down in history as the fan favorite.” –Carrie Ann commenting on Team Paso’s shirtless finale

Judges’ Leaderboard (Carrie Ann, Len, Bruno: Total)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 10, 10, 10: 30
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 9, 9, 9: 27
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 9, 9, 9: 27
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 9, 9, 9: 27
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 9, 8, 8: 25
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 8, 8, 8: 24
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 7, 7, 7: 21

Team Dance
Team Tango (Katherine, Maria, Jaleel, Roshon): 10, 8, 9: 27
Team Paso (William, Donald, Melissa): 9, 8, 9: 26

Now it’s your turn. Was Maria’s perfect 30 (a 10 from Len!) a shocker or downright inevitable? Did anyone else think Melissa and Maks’ Argentine tango got an over-the-top bashing from the judges Does Roshon really need to work on his masculinity (as Chelsie not-so-subtly suggested)? Leave your comments below! –Mitch Rustad

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30 Comments
  1. Spencer says:

    First of all, I feel like vomiting about the first 30 going to Maria. Second of all, did anyone else notice that each week, Roshon gets away with some current pop song? This week, ‘Bad Romance’, just without any words, and during rock week he had a total sappy, slow song…. Is anyone else angered by the producers favoritism to him?…..

  2. lisa says:

    Of course Maks and Melssia got an over-the-top bashing from the judges. Carrie Ann positively hates Maks and can’t seem to get past it. I give Melissa a lot of credit for keeping such a positive attitude when the judges refuse to encourage her the way they encourage others who aren’t the best dancer (Gladys this year, Carrie Ann with Chaz last year). I hope the show chooses Maks over the judges because this pattern can’t last much longer.

    • Raspberryberet says:

      Sorry but she looks awful out there.

      • Kim R says:

        First off, they ALL do better than I could ever do but that being said, Melissa did not do well last night. I don’t think the judges were unfair in their comments. I’m sure if Maks watches it back he will see what they saw. Her legs are a little clumsy when she goes in and out of movements and the lifts were no pretty. :( I do think she has a great attitude though and obviously is putting all she can into it each week. :)

    • RUCookie says:

      Sure, Melissa is not a great dancer and in this season, that fact is more prevelant then it would have been in others… Still, they do get insane criticism. There is barely anything nice to say. Last night was hard to take. It is obvious that M/M is being set up for the final 2 fall.

      Other couples have had bad nights (fall on the stairs or failed to execute lifts anyone?) and the judges choose to actively ignore all of it. The judging is extremely biased and I dare say it is worse this season. Melissa/Maks get cruel comments, Donald gets shafted in scoring… but Maria just smiles and all is good.

    • Mo says:

      Melissa and Maks’ dance was not good. On one of the lifts it looked like Maks didn’t get her up high enough. The dancing was sloppy. Carrie Ann was right when she said it was like they went for quantity not quality. I only hope when the couple watched their dance back they realized it was not as good as they thought it was. I was surprised Melissa wasn’t in the bottom 2.

  3. fran v says:

    It comes as no surprise that Maria got the first 30. Derek is definitely the judges’ chosen one, as opposed to Maks, whose partmers always gets more than their s
    hare of critcism.

  4. Michael says:

    Maria never deserved a 10 before tonight, but she somehow brought real performance to the paso. You can argue whether another couple deserved a 30 before now, but that paso was the best she’s ever done and deserving of the high marks.

  5. I love William but I feel like he isnt trying his best, I know he can be number 1but he isnt pushing himself to the limit right now I want Roshon to win, I think he deserves all 10’s this week and when he di his samba that should have been the first 30.

  6. So sick of the Maks hate. I vote for him every week just to spite the judges. He’s seriously talented and never gets the credit he deserves + his partners get the beating for it. Until this show plays fair, I won’t watch. I just youtube it after.

    • Raspberryberet says:

      No one hates Maks take a good look at his partner she sucks…. And he can’t bring out the best in her- thats his fault not the judges.

  7. Pat says:

    Melissa sucks and should go home. Maks is so entitled and thinks he deserves perfect scores every week. Their argentine tango was terrible.

  8. Raspberryberet says:

    I don’t care for Maria much and she didn’t deserve 30 tonight in my book, maybe 29.

  9. Shel says:

    I thought Maria & Derek’s Paso was one of the best dances all season and definitely worthy of a 30. No, I didn’t think anyone else deserved a perfect 30 before now (I think Katherine & Mark have been over-scored a few times and, sorry Donald, but I haven’t ever felt he was deserving of the perfect 30, yet), even though I think they are great dancers.
    .
    I am trying to think if the judges’ comments for Maks & Melissa were overly bashing and I don’t think so. I really thought that dance was a hot mess. When even I can see the things the judges mention, then I know it is pretty bad. She bends her legs at weird moments, and getting back up off the floor is very awkward-looking many times. I thought it seemed too rush, just as the judges also said. I don’t think Carrie Ann hates Maks anymore…he may still be getting the cold shoulder a bit from ALL of them after his bashing of THEM last year (again, in defense of a partner who wasn’t all that great, no matter what Maks thought), especially Len. But Melissa was far and away the worst tonight, so I think her scores were appropriate.
    .
    I love Maks and think he is very talented…but he has a blind spot about his partners, especially if they just aren’t that good. He puts on that stone face, conveying to everyone (including the judges, I’m sure) that he feels persecuted and that his partners are held to higher standards. Maks, try watching the other pairings, then watch your dance back on TV – you eventually have to come to terms with the fact that you can’t always make all of your partners into a Mel B.
    .
    I thought Team Tango was much better, despite Len’s put-downs. I wondered why Chelsie & Roshon were given the last solo glory spot in the dance until I got to see him – he was amazing! Great dancing, great choreo. My private laugh of the night – Len was all praise & sweetness to Team Paso and then gave them the same 8 he gave to Team Tango. Okay, whatevah. lol

    • Kikidee says:

      I don’t think that that they are the best couple out there, BUT, some of the other responders here have pointed out that the judges never have anything good to say to them, and they are called out for things that are ignored in other couples. Yes, M/M deserved their marks, but they could have done with some constructive encouragment instead of all criticism. I think that’s it’s blatantly aimed at Max because he doesn’t “toe the company line” and Melissa is caught up in the middle. If she had a different partner would they be as hard on her????

  10. Kim R says:

    I could have written this….agree on all points! :)

  11. Sam says:

    Maks is staying quiet this year, and now he’s being criticized for not lipping off to the judges…poor guy can’t catch a break. At least Melissa is dancing instead of sitting on the floor while Maks dances around her. Other pros do that and get 10’s. But, that’s the way it’s always been, and always will be.

  12. Nathalie Lupercio says:

    very disappointed in team paso’s score! :( They were much better then team tango and even Melissa did a great job! That deserved a perfect 30 but no because how can the judges give a ten to Maxs.

    • chistosa says:

      Are you kidding? They were out of sync twice, went off the beat once. How does that deserve a perfect 30? The choreography was not as complex as Team Tango and Melissa was a definite weak link. Having said that, I thought it was immensely entertaining and fun to watch but certainly not meriting more of a score than they received.

      • Mo says:

        Who cares if they were out of sync in a couple places? It was still a much more enjoyable dance than Team Tango. Judges should have given 8s to Tango in case Paso was better, but not a 10. Paso def deserved 9s and I would have given a 10. The performance was just all around better and should have been scored higher than Tango.

  13. Angela says:

    While I certainly agree that Derek is a favorite as far as the pro dancers are concerned, and while I wasn’t at all surprised that he and Maria got a perfect 30 on their dance, I did think the dance itself was very good (and on a sidenote: Maria’s dress in that number, as well as Cheryl’s that she wore during her and William’s individual dance? I want them both!). And I thought Katherine and Mark’s was up there, too. I also really liked Donald and Peta.
    And of the team dances, I kinda liked Team Paso a bit better-Team Tango had some great moments, but it seemed very…over the top, at times, or something.
    Ultimately, though, I was just really happy to see Tristan come back again to dance with one of the other pros during a song in the midst of it all :).

  14. texaskatey says:

    Can someone please tell me the “Classical” music that Roshon and Chelsie danced to? Gaga is NOT classical!

    • Mo says:

      I thought it a strange choice too. I guess because they ‘reinvented’ it a bit, they thought it worked, but if it’s classical week, they should have danced to a truly classical song.

  15. Natou says:

    The judges and me included love Derek cause he produces results. No matter what his partners previous training was he gets the best out of them. His paso in my opinion deserved 30. The creativity and execution of the dance was remarkable. When he put Maria on the floor, there was a purpose to it. It felt like the song was chosen for the choreography. Not the other way around. And Maria executed her parts to perfection. Donald did so too, but he felt forced and the dance looked more like a bunch of technically great steps but the story telling quality was not there. So I don’t think Derek gets judges favoritism I just think he is the best out there. And the best deserved to be rewarded. Maks is a great dancer, but he needs to improve his teaching skills. His partners always look like they are struggling to keep up on the dance floor. He had great partners and bad ones but he just don’t know how to fit his choreography to match his partners. Maks looks good but he is never going to win until he learn to consistently make his partners look good.

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