“Dancing with the Stars”: NFL Star Donald Driver Shines on Rock & Roll Night
(LOS ANGELES) — Donald Driver made some noise in the ballroom Monday night on a rock-and-roll-themed edition of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. The Green Bay Packers wide receiver rose to the top of the leader board with a psychedelic rendition of the paso doble. Gladys Knight earned the lowest total score of the night following a difficult tango.
Here’s a rundown of the individual performances, in chronological order:
— Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy danced the tango to the Quiet Riot hit “Cum On Feel the Noize,” or, as Val called it during rehearsals, “Quiet Noize.”
Shepherd began her performance by lip-synching the lyrics on top of the judges’ table and doing a little shimmy. Otherwise, she didn’t convey the usual enthusiasm we’ve come to expect from her — something that Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out. Bruno Tonioli said Shepherd showed great attitude but needs to be sharper with her moves. Total score: 21/30.
— Front-runner Katherine Jenkins dug down deep to unleash her inner warrior, going so far as to participate in Muay Thai training during rehearsals.
Wearing a hot, Elvira-esque dress, the opera singer applied her newfound skills to a paso doble set to “Time Is Running Out” by the British rock band Muse. The routine ended with Jenkins on the ground, throwing fake punches at her prone partner, Mark Ballas.
Inaba appreciated the intensity, but said it came at the expense of Jenkins’ footing. Len Goodman said the routine didn’t deliver on its promise, but he still called Jenkins a wonderful dancer. Total score: 24/30.
— Jaleel White, not nearly as emotional as he was last week, joined partner Kym Johnson in a tango to the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Inaba said she loved it because it was “funky and weird.” Goodman was a little tougher on White, saying his dance needed more “attack.” Total score: 22/30.
— Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy adopted a matador theme for the paso doble, with the house band playing The White Stripes’ “Conquest.” The dance ended with Maks being “killed.”
Tonioli told the pair they messed up the conclusion, but Maks took responsibility. Inaba declared the performance to be Gilbert’s best to date. Total score: 22/30.
At the end of the broadcast, host Tom Bergeron announced that Gilbert had suffered an unspecified injury and was taken to a hospital. Karina Smirnoff later told The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets that Gilbert had hit her head on the dance floor during her routine and subsequently complained of dizziness. An update on Gilbert’s health will be provided on Tuesday’s results show.
— A bare-chested Donald Driver channeled his inner Jimi Hendrix — even pretending to play the guitar — during his paso doble with Peta Murgatroyd, set to “Purple Haze.”
Inaba let out a stream of superlatives — “psychedelic, bizarre, sexy, raunchy, hot” — to describe the pair’s moves. She said the dance ranked as one of the most memorable moments of the season. Goodman agreed, calling it Driver’s finest performance so far. Total score: 27/30.
— Gladys Knight isn’t what you’d call a rocker, but she did her best with a tango to the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Her dance with partner Tristan MacManus began with footage of Bergeron and the judges mimicking the band’s music video for the song, lip-synching the a cappella part in darkness.
Inaba said the routine was an ambitious one, but it didn’t come together like it should have. Tonioli cautioned Knight to adjust her footwork accordingly during such a dance. Total score: 20/30.
— The bandana-wearing William Levy, with Cheryl Burke, attempted the jive to the Twisted Sister hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”
Goodman complained that it went long and lacked timing. Tonioli also thought it could’ve been sharper, and he urged Levy not to get complacent. Total score: 22/30.
— Disney actor Roshon Fegan, looking dapper in a black and pink tuxedo, teamed with Chelsie Hightower for a Viennese waltz to the sounds of David Cook’s “The Time of My Life.”
Tonioli raved that it was elegant and romantic. Inaba said it reminded her of a climactic dance in a Disney movie, then proclaimed that Fegan is the best male dancer on the show. Total score: 26/30.
— Maria Menounos, who’s already battled a rib injury this season, received more bad news during rehearsals, when she found out she has stress reactions in her left foot and a stress fracture in her right foot.
Undeterred, Menounos was costumed as a school girl — she threw off the outfit almost immediately to reveal a more conventional dress — and her partner Derek Hough sported a Mohawk for a tango to Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out.” Menounos had the support of three fellow famous Greeks in the audience: John Stamos, Nia Vardalos and Rita Wilson.
Goodman said the tango was “pretty good,” and commended Menounos on her posture. Tonioli said Menounos brought beauty, attitude and sex appeal to the dance. Total score: 26/30.
— Gavin DeGraw, who was in danger of being eliminated the last two weeks, and partner Karina Smirnoff closed the broadcast with a tango to the Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.”
Goodman said it had flair and attitude, but DeGraw’s posture was lacking at times — a criticism that Tonioli also mentioned. Inaba thought DeGraw resembled Johnny Depp on the dance floor, which made up for some of his technical flaws. Total score: 23/30.
Kiss kicked off Monday’s show with a performance of their hit “Rock and Roll All Nite.” They’ll be back for Tuesday’s results show, airing on ABC at 9:00 p.m. Eastern time.
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