DWTS 14 Week 5: Donald Driver tango lifts him to third

Last night on “Dancing with the Stars” season 14, it was Latin night and Donald Driver’s Argentine tango split the judges. Driver and his partner Peta Murgatroyd got the last ten of the night but the pair ended up tied for third.

In DWTS, the difference between the Argentine tango and ballroom tango is the hold (notice both are NOT leaning back in Argentine tango), the direction their heads are facing (in the direction they are heading) and lifts are allowed.

At a real milonga, lifts are rarely performed at a dance party and not allowed in most ballroom nightclub Argentine tango competitions, but allowed in show tango but not salon tango. There would be more emphasis on displacements (sacadas) and you’d see giros, volcadas and colgadas.

The conceit of this dance is two people gambling and Donald Driver presents a more laid back masculinity than William Levy who projected a more forceful persona. In this scenario, it’s as if two attractive people are just having a little foreplay on the dance floor as they danced to “Sin Rumbo” by Otros Aires. Driver does a sacada (displacement) and a few double ganchos. He was leading with his heel which I always find a bit frightening when performing close intricate moves, but the routine is mostly lifts, dips and tricks.

Carrie Ann Inaba said that was divine and admired Driver’s control.

Len Goodman said he thought the lifts were spectacular.

Bruno Tonioli commented that the build up was amazing, a predator was ready for the kill.

Inaba gave Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd a ten for their Argentine tango, but Goodman scored them with an eight. Tonioli gave the team a nine. This team ended the night tied for third with Maria Menounos and Derek Hough who performed a salsa routine. Tied for first were the teams of Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas and William Levy and Cheryl Burke.

Inaba and Tonioli gave Levy and Jenkins tens, but Goodman gave both of them nines. A nine is the highest score Goodman has given out thus far this season.

With Levy nursing an ankle injury, Driver may be able to challenge him. As far as we know, Driver and Jenkins remain uninjured. Maria Menuonos has an injured rib, stress fractures in her foot and this week fell on her face.

Both Ballas and Burke have won the mirrorball trophy before.  Burke won during season 2 with 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey and the very next season with retired NFL star Emmitt Smith. Ballas also has two mirrorball trophies: from season 6 with Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and season 8 with Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson.

This is only the second season for Murgatroyd. During her first season, she was paired with NBA Laker Ron Artest who changed his name to Metta World Peace. They were the first team eliminated so Murgatroyd doesn’t have much experience training and choreographing for a celebrity as the professional dancers for the other top teams.

Driver and Murgatroyd had the highest score last week for their paso doble to “Purple Haze” and if there was more content in their Argentine tango, they could have possibly been part of the tie for first place. Murgatroyd might be taking Edyta Sliwinska’s place as the professional who dances with the least clothes covering her body. I suspect that Murgatroyd will have to give Driver more technique if they want higher scores from the judges as lifts are only allowed in the Argentine tango and freestyle routines on DWTS. This team should continue on to next week.

LEADER BOARD

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)
Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

By Individual Dance

SALSA

  • ***William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10)*** Week 3
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9)
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26 (9, 8, 9)
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21 (7, 7, 7)

SAMBA

  • ***Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25 (8, 8, 9)***Week 3
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • ***Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskay: 24 (8, 8, 8)***Week 3 ELIMINATED
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 20 (7, 7, 8)
  • Gavin Degraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

ARGENTINE TANGO

  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9)

Week 4

Week 3

Week 2

Week 1

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About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on April 17, 2012, in Dancing with the Stars Season 14, Donald Driver and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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