'Dancing with the Stars' Week 8 Recap: Double Trouble in the Ballroom
'Dancing with the Stars' Week 8 Recap: Double Trouble in the Ballroom
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
This is going to be a tense one, guys.

Not to me, obviously. And not to most of the viewing audience (except those who become a wee bit over-invested in their favorite stars). I mean it's going to be a tense show for the six celebrities remaining in competition on Dancing with the Stars season 14. Not only do they all need to perform two independent dances, but this week's elimination will be doubled -- two stars are going home.

But first, there is dancing! Keep reading for a full recap of the Dancing with the Stars week 8 performances.

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Where do the couples stand going into Dancing with the Stars week 8? We have an interesting spread of overall scores. There is a clear leader and a couple that trails far behind. We also have an extremely close and ever-changing competition in the middle.

1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 217 points overall
2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 209 points overall
3. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 208 points overall
4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 205 points overall
5. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 201 points overall
6. Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 178 points overall

Now let's get to the dancing! For a quick recap, check out the DWTS Performance Rankings here: 




OK, so now that Jaleel has left, it's time for the Urkel jokes? That's two in the first two minutes. It's like the show was just holding that back for the past 7 weeks...

First up for the dancing...

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing the tango

My Comments: Ah, we have come to that time of the season in which all celebrities must have angry moments accompanied by dramatic music. Good to know.

This is a very jazzy tango. It might be the dull suit and the blah lighting, but Donald seems to really lack his usual charisma in this one. He looks stiff. It's weird. The steps look good, but the performance is lacking a bit.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Ding dong Donald. A first-round knockout!"
Bruno: "Oh Donald! Beware of the killer stilettos!" "Talk about aggression and disdain and power. You were just going at it like there was no tomorrow!"
Carrie Ann: "Your shapes were more dynamic. I saw much more vocabulary of movement." "Just a little more drama..."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27


OMG! Dance Center tomorrow night! The best night of any Dancing with the Stars season! Woo!!!

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: More dramatic music. Totally the theme of the week. Heartbreaking!

Or not. Of course, the drama totally continued in the beginning of the dance. Lots of romance and stuff. This is kind of dance that fuels those rumors about Derek Hough dating his partner. Whether the steps are perfect or not, the performance is perfectly lovely. And that is a serious hug at the end...

Judges' Comments
Len: "This girl in hold is the best... I think you missed a chance here." "I would've liked a little more dancing in hold. You disappointed me."
Bruno: "Heavenly fluidity, seamless transitions..." "This. Is. Amazing."
Carrie Ann: "We all felt it. Sometimes dances speak to you. Sometimes dances sing to you." "I was hearing angels singing..."

Scores: 10+8+10 = 28

It's always entertaining when the judges start arguing. And then keep arguing as the show goes into the commercial break. Carrie Ann and Bruno are not happy with Len.


Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the foxtrot 

My Comments: This package's dramatic music sounds like the soundtrack to an action-movie trailer. I guess they don't need sad music when Maks is yelling. Oh never mind. The sad music has begun.

They are not dancing to "Maggie" by Rod Stewart! Ugh. Sorry. I already hate this dance. I can't like anything set to this music ever.

Anyway, Melissa seems to be missing a couple of steps here or there. If she's not missing them, she looks like she is rushing to keep up with Maks. The performance is actually pretty good -- very upbeat -- but the dancing wasn't the greatest. 

Judges' Comments
Len: "Potentially, this was your best dance so far. Unfortunately, there was just one or two incidents..."
Bruno: "You started to finish your lines... The presentation was the best you've done up to date."
Carrie Ann: "Your shoulders were down!" "That was your best dance ever!" "Unfortunately, at the beginning, there were just a few mess-ups."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24


Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: Unfortunately for the producers, Katherine and Mark are both too easy-going for high drama. Oh well.

This Viennese waltz is very spinny and has a simple feel to it. It may not be simple at all, but the simplicity makes for an interesting style. Again, there isn't any particular drama -- the dance is happy and sunny in a way that is unusual for the show.

Judges' Comments
Len: "This had plenty of content." "The only thing I didn't like was the part you had trouble with."
Bruno: "A tale of upstairs-downstairs. The lady doesn't mind a little rough from time-to-time." "Your technique is superb."
Carrie Ann: "I agree that your technique is astounding." "You lost your balance tonight."

Scores: 8+9+9 = 26

The judges really want to fight tonight. And if Katherine ends up eliminated before Melissa, I may never forgive Carrie Ann Inaba.


Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: Is it bad that I like Roshon's super-critical grandmothers better than the boy himself?

Ah, the park bench. There is a lot of acting at the beginning of this. You can't say that Roshon can't dance. He can. This number has a old-time musical quality, and Roshon is dancing through it like a pro. Literally, like a pro. At least as far as I can tell.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Like two little dancing munchkins." "Good dancing, dawg. I'm proud of you."
Bruno: "What you've done in a week is incredible." "It was like watching a young Mickey Rooney."
Carrie Ann: "Grannies, did he make you proud?" "You made your grannies proud and you made us proud."

Scores: 10+9+10 = 29


William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the foxtrot

My Comments: No drama here.

William has his "suave" on like crazy tonight. Seriously, this guy has more charisma than is healthy. What little dancing I can pay attention to (what with all that charisma) seems pretty good. The dance doesn't seem too difficult and doesn't flow as well as some of the others. But it's a totally competent, very good performance.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was a mix of care and flare." "I liked it."
Bruno: "You heart-breaker! You couldn't be more debonair and suave if you tried. I hate you even more!"
Carrie Ann: "Meow, meow, meow!" "That was like a super, hot, sexy Pink Panther!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

And we have another perfect score in Dancing with the Stars season 14.


Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the jive 

My Comments: This trio thing is weird. Whatever.

Donald has a cool splits move at the beginning. Two women seem to be a little more than Donald can handle, but he gets through it. Weirdly, all that missing charisma is totally back for this dance. The whole performance is super-fast and seems to be very precise.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Fun! Fun! Fun! I liked it!"
Bruno: "It's so hard keeping in sync in a threesome, I tell you." "Keeping up with these two firecrackers is tough."
Carrie Ann: "You never missed a step!" "I loved your three-way!"

Scores: 10+9+9 = 28


Maria Menounos and Derek Hough and Henry Byalikov
Dancing the samba

My Comments: Bollywood? Bollywood?! Oh Derek, that's kind of insane. Let's see though.

Well, it's a cool start anyway. Very artistic. I have no idea if this even resembles a samba in any traditional sense. But it's a cool and interesting dance that seems to be performed very well. Of all the dances I've seen tonight, this is the only one I'd get excited about seeing again. It's so crazy that it just might work.

Judges' Comments
Len: "If I was judging a Bollywood dance, it would be a 10... but I'm judging a samba."
Bruno: "I have to say, creatively, this dance was incredible, because it kept you constantly the center of attention." "I think the intricacy of it all was overwhelming."
Carrie Ann: "There was a few little slip-ups." "It was a feast for my Asian senses."

Scores: 9+7+9 = 25

Len is cranky tonight.


Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the samba

My Comments: Two Chmerkovskiys? That seems excessive somehow. An excess of hotness, of course.

The constant circular motion is making it tough for me to follow this dance. Weird. Melissa seems to be keeping up better in this dance, especially when she's with Val. The woman is actually committed to this performance, something that's often lacking with Melissa. Pretty darn good.

Judges' Comments
Len: "That is your best dance. Well done."
Bruno: "Is it Melissa, or is it Miss Rita Hayworth?"
Carrie Ann: "Holla for the Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy sandwich!" "You are a very good cream filling in the middle there."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27


Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the cha-cha

My Comments: The cute factor is kind of out-of-control here. And we've got an incredible meeting of the accents: Welsh, Irish, and whatever version of American-British Mark is breaking out this week. (For the record, I wrote that before Katherine commented on the same exact thing.)

The G-man theme is interesting. It's not the flashiest costume to be seen. But hey, it went away for Katherine quickly. Not that this was a good idea, considering that piece stuck on Katherine's foot for about 20 seconds. You've got to give the lady credit for kicking it off with style. The dance was fun and smooth and pretty cool.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You kicked it off, carried on with the dance. I thought it was clean."
Bruno: "That was sexy and cool. It was like watching Charlize Theron out there." "That was absolutely wonderful. I loved it."
Carrie Ann: "Bring on the fire! That was amazing, you were right in the zone!"

Scores: 10+9+10 = 29

Did Mark and Tristan really lose their handcuff key? That could get messy... And of course Len went with a 9. Cranky old Len...


Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower and Sasha Farber
Dancing the paso doble

My Comments: Will Roshon get in trouble for not being at the center of the dance? It would be hard in the paso doble, I suppose. Especially when dancing with another man. Roshon is definitely dancing well tonight. There are a couple of moments here and there where the steps don't seem perfect and where Roshon doesn't seem into the performance. Also, I'm not sure how well they used the "trio" concept. But it was a good dance -- very dynamic.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You were like two skinny fries chasing the ketchup." "I loved that. Great job!"
Bruno: "You lost sync with Sasha a couple of times... There were moments I couldn't distinguish between you."
Carrie Ann: "I'm conflicted, because it was such a good routine... but you went off. You went off a few times."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27


William Levy and Cheryl Burke and Tony Dovolani
Dancing the paso doble

My Comments: Zorro alert? Zorro alert!

The opening was impressive but somehow didn't grab me as much as it should. Once William and Cheryl were together, however, everything seemed to work (in a performance sense anyway). I still had a bit of trouble believing William and Tony were actually fighting over Cheryl, but the dancing was great.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I salute you. I thought you did a fabulous job."
Bruno: "William and Tony! There can only be one among the two raging bulls!" "You lost sync."
Carrie Ann: "The lines were incredible." "You matched perfectly except for once."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27

Which gives William Levy the win for week 8. He might just be safe tomorrow night...

Who were your favorite dancers? Who will fall to the double elimination? Did you like the dancing trios? Leave your comments below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)