(LOS ANGELES) — William Levy did all he could on Monday night to make sure he’ll survive double-elimination week on Dancing with the Stars. The telenovela actor and his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, earned the top overall score on the strength of their foxtrot and paso doble.
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy returned to the bottom of the leader board, though the judges praised them for showing improvement.
The six remaining stars had to dance twice on Monday night. There was a ballroom round as a well as a “trio” round, in which each couple invited a pro to join them for their second performance.
Here’s a rundown of the individual performances, in chronological order:
— Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd put on their serious faces for an intense tango set to the Stevie Wonder hit “Higher Ground.”
Len Goodman described the routine as a “first-round knockout.” Bruno Tonioli exclaimed that it was filled with aggression and power. Total score: 27 out of a possible 30.
The couple was joined by Karina Smirnoff for the “trio dance”: a jive to Little Richards’ “Rip It Up” that concluded with Driver leaping over both ladies simultaneously. Goodman yelled that it was “fun, fun, fun!” Trio score: 28/30. Overall score: 55/60.
— Maria Menounos and Derek Hough delivered an elegant Viennese waltz to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.”
As Menounos’ eyes welled up, Tonioli said her emotional involvement in the dance, as well as her fluidity and seamless transitions, were impressive. Carrie Ann Inaba said she felt as if an angel was singing as Menounos performed. For some reason, Goodman was a little underwhelmed by what he saw. Total score: 28/30.
Menounos and Hough did a Bollywood-influenced samba with the help of a pro named Henry Byalikov. Inaba said the threesome was in sync but there were a few slip-ups by Menounos. Goodman observed the moves had no real connection to the samba. Trio score: 25/30. Overall score: 53/60.
— Melissa Gilbert, wearing a tiger print outfit, and a bespectacled Maksim Chmerkovskiy tackled the foxtrot, as the house band played Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.”
Inaba declared it to be Gilbert’s best dance to date because she appeared confident. Tonioli agreed, saying he enjoyed the presentation.
Before the pair received their score, Maksim conceded that he’d been too harsh with Gilbert during rehearsals — he was videotaped cursing in her presence repeatedly — and vowed not to be so temperamental around her again. Total score: 24/30.
The duo was joined by Maksim’s brother, Val Chermkovskiy, for a samba set to “Hard to Handle.” Inaba applauded Gilbert for letting loose. Both she and Goodman thought it trumped her foxtrot from earlier in the night. Trio score: 27/30. Overall score: 51/60.
— Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas did an ambitious Viennese waltz that included the classical singer’s partner spinning her with arms extended repeatedly on the dance floor. The song of choice was David Gray’s “Kathleen.”
Goodman didn’t like “the spinning thing,” but otherwise was fine with the dance. Inaba said Jenkins lost her balance at times and it showed. Total score: 26/30.
Tristan MacManus teamed up with Jenkins and Ballas for a cha cha cha set to her fellow Welshman Tom Jones’ song “She’s A Lady.” The men were dressed like Men in Black-type agents.
Goodman thought it was “clean.” Tonioli told Jenkins that she conveyed a sense of coolness during the dance. Trio score: 29/30. Overall score: 55/60.
— Roshon Fegan, dressed in a plaid suit, courted Chelsie Hightower on a “park bench” before the two broke out into the foxtrot to Amos Lee’s “Sweet Pea.”
In a somewhat odd statement, Tonioli said Fegan reminded him of Mickey Rooney. Inaba said that his grandmother — who was sitting in the audience and to whom the Disney actor dedicated the dance — should be proud. Total score: 29/30.
The couple welcomed pro Sasha Farber for a paso doble, with the David Guetta/Nicki Minaj song “Turn Me On” providing the soundtrack. Inaba said she loved the theme of the two men “fighting,” but they were off at times. Goodman said the guys were like “two skinny flies chasing the ketchup.” Trio score: 27/30. Overall score: 56/60.
— With the Eiffel Tower serving as a backdrop, William Levy and Cheryl Burke danced the foxtrot to the Stray Cats’ “Stray Cat Strut.”
Inaba raved about the performance, calling Levy a super-hot and sexy Pink Panther. Tonioli added that Levy couldn’t act more debonair and suave if he tried. Total score: 30/30.
The couple collaborated with Tony Dovolani on a paso doble, with Levy dressed like Zorro. Goodman told all three they did a fabulous job. Tonioli said they weren’t always in sync with one another. Trio score: 27/30. Overall score: 57/60.
On Tuesday night’s results show, two couples will be eliminated, and Chris Brown will perform. It airs on ABC at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jackie Wattles, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com