DWTS RECAP: Melissa Makes A Sandwich

Are two Chmerkovskiy brothers better than one? So many women over the years have mused over this question, but Melissa Gilbert got to test it for herself this past week.

Val Chmerkovskiy lost his Dancing With the Stars celebrity partner three weeks ago, but he wound up as the MVP of rehearsals this week anyway. He was enlisted to help Roshon Fegan learn how to be an Alpha male in the Argentine tango (mission barely accomplished there), and stepped to handle some of the practice duties when brother Maks had to limit much of his activity due to the increasingly bothersome cyst on his foot.

Melissa was beaming, or whatever it is she can still do with her mouth after all that plastic surgery. The results, however, didn’t reflect her inspiration. The judges knocked the disjointed nature of the dance, which featured a very awkward lift near the end. Melissa and (predictably) Maks listened in disbelief as their effort was slammed. Maks said nothing – he’s learning!

The night’s theme was classical music, and it seemed to throw off many of the competitors. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas were in Game of Thrones garb for a rumba to Pachelbel’s Canon, and if nothing about that phrase made sense, you can probably guess how awesomely unsexy their dance was (though still well scored).

Roshon and Chelsie Hightower got to cheat the theme quite a bit by dancing to something with a genuine beat, “Bad Romance.” Lady Gaga played on violins is still Gaga. The most noteworthy thing here was that the camera cut away from the pair for several seconds in the middle of the dance. This was not explained, but some embarrassed chuckles lead me to think that an unauthorized portion of Chelsie’s anatomy made a brief appearance.

Katherine, Donald Driver, William Levy had come close, but it was Maria Menounos and Derek Hough who finally grabbed the first 30 of the season. Like most else about the night, a lot of their paso doble just made me shake my head – like, why was Maria pretending to be a vampire? And how could this be a 30 when the dance seemed designed to show off the pro, not the star? And how is it that Derek didn’t get a knee to the jewels after telling Maria she needed to start acting like a woman in rehearsal? I doubt Maria could win the whole season, but she might now be favored over Katherine to join William and Donald in the finals.

The night concluded with a team dance, and while both tango and paso doble had some very strong moments, the judges favored the team with Derek and Mark on it, as we pretty much assumed would happen. The result was a small point bonus for Maria, Katherine, Jaleel White, and Roshon (the latter two needed it), while Donald, William, and Melissa were on the losing side. This is the last week of the “dance duel,” and Melissa almost certainly needs to avoid the bottom two in order to spend another week feasting on her Chmerkovskiy sandwich.

Movie & TV Awards 2018