Monday night’s telecast of “Dancing With the Stars” opened with R&B legend Smokey Robinson crooning his Motown hit “Tears of a Clown.” Then Martha Reeves came in singing her hit with the Vandellas “Dancing in the Streets.” Then came the (current lineup of the) Temptations singing their classic hit “Get Ready.” And Motown founder Berry Gordy was in the audience, to boot.
It was the perfect way to intro Motown night — this week’s theme — for the popular ABC dance reality competition.
This week’s scores included bonus points for a group cha-cha dance marathon.
At the top of the pack this week were Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas. The opera singer once again impressed judges with her moves. She and Ballas danced to the Temptations’ “I Can’t Get Next to You,” and the judges thought she continued to deliver. Her prize? She earned a pair of 10s in her initial score for an almost perfect score. “Tonight, girlfriend, you let it loose. That was amazing!” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. 29/30 + 10 = 39.
Here’s how the others fared:
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson
The former child actor jumped right back near the top of the leaderboard. He danced the cha-cha to “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” and the judges found his movements to be sharp and filled with attitude. “You’re back!” head judge Len Goodman told him. He also was rewarded with a pair of 10s from the judges. 29/30 + 8 = 37
William Levy and Cheryl Burke
The Latin soap opera star danced the rumba, and judges loved the steam that came from the pair. Their ending was over-the-top sexual (they were laid out on top of one another on the dance floor), and the judges — and the live audience, gauging from the screams and hooting and hollering — enjoyed it thoroughly. “William! Absolute and utter filth. And I loved every minute of it!” judge Bruno Tonioli said. “On behalf of all of the women out there, I thank you,” Inaba said. Goodman thought it was a bit on the raunchy side. 27/30 + 9 = 36
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd
The football star danced the foxtrot to a Temptations track, and the judges were impressed by his showmanship. “Donald, you are a showman! Confidence! Power! Your performances get better and better. You should be in the theater,” Tonioli said. 27/30 + 7 = 34
Melissa Gilbert and Maks Chmerkovskiy
The actress danced the Viennese waltz to Robinson’s lush hit “Ooo Baby Baby,” and judges thought her lines were beautiful. “I see poetry starting to happen in your movements. I see the artistry there,” Inaba told her. 24/30 + 6= 30.
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
The TV journalist danced the foxtrot to Reeves’ hit “Jimmy Mack” and even though she made a few missteps, judges thought she pulled it off quite nicely. “You lost your footing, but you caught up quite brilliantly,” Tonioli told her. 26/30 + 4 = 30.
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
The Disney star danced to a Robinson hit, and the judges thought his moves were more suitable for a hip-hop dance — his specialty — than the ballroom. Goodman said that the execution of his routine was “clipped and jerky.” “In general, I thought your moments were a bit over-exaggerated tonight and it made it hard for me to watch,” Inaba said. 23/50 + 5= 28.
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus
The soul legend took the stage first — kind of fitting, considering she recorded with the Detroit label — and she performed the rumba. Judges thought her routine was passionate and said her star quality was undeniable. They thought her rumba should have been a bit steamier and noted how she lost it a bit at the end. “You’re not the best dancer, but I’ll tell you what you are … Gladys, you are the most charismatic dancer, I’m telling you. It is so appealing,” head judge Len Goodman said. “It’s just easy like Sunday morning!” 21/30 + 3 = 24.