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