DWTS 14 Week 8: Melissa Gilbert improves but still last

One of the surprises Monday night on “Dancing with the Stars” season 14,  was how well Melissa Gilbert performed. Gilbert has finally hit her groove, but is it a bit late? Performing the foxtrot with her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, she earned a 24 which had previously been her best score for the season (received during Motown week for her Viennese waltz). When both Maksim and Val took her to the floor for the Trio Challenge, she had a major breakthrough and a well-deserved score of 27 for a samba.

To put thing in perspective, her 24 for the foxtrot put her on the same level as Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus who performed this dance during Personal Story Week (week 3). The top score this season for the foxtrot was earned Monday by the coolly debonair telenovela star William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke: 30.

Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovsky danced the foxtrot to “Maggie May” by Rod Stewart. The beginning set up was a bit forced and Gilbert failed to finish all of her moves, but she was notably more relaxed on stage. In the dips, she finally kept her core tight. Sometimes she hesitates walking backward. She finally was able to show how radiant she could be on the dance floor.

Carrie Ann Inaba felt it was her best dance ever despite a few stumbles.

Bruno Tonioli quipped, “The cougar got her prize and a much smoother ride.” He complimented her presentation and that she was beginning to finish her lines.

For the samba, however, Gilbert and the Chmerkovskiys earned the second highest score of the season, a 27. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas have the season’s high score thus far for the samba with a near-perfect 29.

That means Gilbert and the Chmerkovskys beat out Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower who received a 25 for the samba they performed during week 3 (Personal Story Week).  They also beat Maria Menounos and Derek Hough who performed a samba that was too Bollywood for head judge Len Goodman: 25 (9,7,9).

Gilbert was finally able to fulfill the promise she had the first week as the woman in black. There were a few problems. When she runs forward or backward she tends to lose character.

Carrie Ann Inaba proclaimed that she liked this Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy sandwich and the performance was Gilbert’s best number by a mile.

Len Goodman agreed, saying that usually “two’s company and three’s a crowd but  not tonight.”

Tonioli compared her to Rita Hayworth, adding “It apparently takes two to get the best out of you.”

Gilbert and the Chmerkovskiys dance to “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding. Despite her good score, other teams have consistently done better.  Gilbert and Maksim were the only team Monday night that did not receive even one of the ten tens awarded. Their average score is 22.9. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower have the second lowest average with 25.7. That’s only three tenths behind Donald Driver and Peta Chmerkovskiy whose average is 26.

Tonight is a double elimination and the two who should go are Gilbert and Chmerkovskiy and Fegan and Hightower. While Fegan and Hightower have the high score for the quickstep and isn’t the low score in any dance, they have been i the bottom two three times, most recently last week when they won a dance duel against Jaleel White and Kym Johnson.

Gilbert and Chmerkovskiy have never been in the bottom two to date, but they are the low score for the cha cha cha (20 during week 1), salsa (21), paso doble (22) Viennese waltz (24) and the Argentine tango (21).  Monday night their combined score put them at the bottom of the leader board while Fegan and Hightower were second behind William Levy and Cheryl Burke.


  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 30 (10,10,10)
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 29 (10,9,10)
  • Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9)
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26 (8, 9, 9)
  • Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas:26 (9, 8,9)
  • Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: 26 (9,8,9)
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 (8,8,8)
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus:24 (8, 8, 8)
  • Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya:23 (8, 7, 8)
  • Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: 23
  • Gavin Degraw & Karina Smirnoff: 20
  • Martina Navratilova & Tony Dovolani: 20 (7, 6,7)

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 (8,8,8)

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus:


  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10)
  • Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 27 (9,9,9)
  • Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 25 (8, 8, 9)
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25 (9,7,9)
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya: 24 (8, 8, 8)
  • Gladys Knight and Tristan McManus: 22 (7, 7, 8)
  • Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19 (6, 6, 7)

Compare samba performances

LEADER BOARD for week 8
Individual dance + Latin Round

William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 30 (10,10,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 57
*Tony Dovolani*
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 29 (10,9,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 56
*Sasha Farber*
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9) +28 (10,9,9) = 55
*Karina Smirnoff*
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26 (8,9,9) + 29 (10,9,10) = 55
*Tristan MacManus*
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 28 (10,8,10) +25 (9,7,9) = 53
*Henry Byalikov*
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24 (8,8,8) + 27 (9,9,9) = 51
*Val Chmerkovskiy*

Vote online


About Jana J. Monji

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

Posted on May 8, 2012, in Dancing with the Stars Season 14, Melissa Gilbert, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: