CLEVELAND - Gasp. It happened. The chosen one in jeopardy.
For weeks, I’ve been joshing that, barring some act of God, classical singer Katherine Jenkins would be the winner of the 14th season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Well, hello there irony. Katherine had a breath-holding moment on Monday night’s show. What happened and will she be able to compete? For those answers, let’s recap the semifinals.
The stars had to perform two dances, and the show blessedly cut back to 90 minutes instead of desperately trying to fill two hours.
Actor William Levy and Cheryl kicked off the night with a tango. They delivered a sharp, hypnotic routine. William looked like he had great control, but that might have been mostly Cheryl. Judge Len Goodman wanted it slightly tighter and slightly crisper. Bruno Tonioli loved it. Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out a couple imperfect spots. They got a 28 out of 30.
Katherine and Mark were up next with a quickstep. It was a cheeky routine with him breaking her out of jail. It came off like some sort of quickstep/jive hybrid with a taste of “Chicago.” Their kicks and footwork looked great, but the routine seemed lacking in content. It was still a crowd-pleaser. Bruno said it captured the razzle dazzle of the 1920’s. Carrie Ann called it Katherine’s best dance ever, maybe the best on DWTS. Is she still a judge – or a spin doctor? Stop shilling for the show, Carrie Ann; you get paid either way. They got a 29 out of 30.
Green Bay Packer Donald Driver and Peta hit the floor with a waltz. He looked remarkably controlled and serene in a way we haven’t seen before. It was just a beautiful waltz, and Donald came off every bit the gentleman. Carrie Ann called it dreamy. Bruno said it’s hard to impress with the less flashy dances, but Donald did it with this waltz. 28 out of 30.
Last, TV host Maria Menounos and Derek tackled an Argentine tango. Any DWTS fan knows tangos are Derek’s specialty. Maria curled her shapely legs around him like a snake, and these two were sharp, slinky and slithery the whole routine. Bruno called it titillating, enticing and perfectly tailored. Carrie Ann said it was a beautifully finessed and polished dance. They got – wait for it – a perfect 30. Based on her subsequent reaction, Maria checked her sanity on the dance floor and went completely nuts in the celeb mezzanine.
Part two of the semifinals, and grab your tissues cause the show was going for the waterworks.
William and Cheryl were up next with a tango, but first we watch a back story segment about his impoverished life in Cuba. The poor guy had to model with only the clothes on his back. But he got discovered and made it all the way to “Dancing with the Stars.” Okay, so they did a samba that looked straight out of “The Lion King.” William totally played up the charisma, even winked at the audience on the first step. He was as comfortable in this dance – and those improbably tight white pants – as anyone could be. The routine had the illusion of not being choreographed. The judges loved it. Even Len said he couldn’t take his eyes of William’s bum. Just chew on that one, DWTS nation. Perfect 30, 58 overall.
William tweeted, “Thank u all for the messages !!! Thank u for the love and support !! Hope u guys enjoyed it and also voted ;-)) jeje. Love u all.”
Okay, time for the semifinals cliffhanger. Katherine and Mark were up with their salsa. First, we got treated to her backstory about her engagement that recently ended. Katherine rose out of a wicker basket like a cobra for an entertaining and busy salsa. She certainly did a lot of shimmying, but the routine seemed almost more frantic than engaging due to Mark’s typically overzealous choreography. Then, in the last five seconds of the dance, they didn’t nail the ending. In fact, it quickly became clear that something was terribly wrong. Katherine froze and buried her face into her hands, trembling. A hush fell over the crowd as everyone wondered if she was badly injured. Katherine said she felt something wrong with her back. The judges gave her a 27, 56 overall.
For the rest of the show, Katherine seemed very uneasy. Host Tom Bergeron said a doctor would see Katherine. Mark tweeted, “sry guys we couldn't finish R dance. Katherine hurt her back, I tried my best not let her fall at the end :) hope we still have ur votes.”
After a medical examination, Katherine tweeted, “Thank you for all your concerned tweets... I'm with the Doctor, he says it was a reflectorical spasm in my lower back.” I searched for reflectorial spasm online and did not come up with much. We will have to wait until Tuesday night to see if that type of injury sidelines Katherine.
Donald and Peta came back for a samba. In his back story, we learned about how his family grew up in destitution, and he had to deal drugs to get by, until his sports prowess carried him to college, where his wife-to-be put her foot down and told him it was her or the drug life. Can someone adapt this into a movie, please? Their