DWTS 14 Week 9: Donald Driver gets three tens for third

Three tens would make a perfect score, but last night (15 May 2012) on “Dancing with the Stars” football player Donald Driver and his professional dance partner Peta Murgatroyd received three tens, but not for the same dance. Their combined score for two dances gave them a 57 out of 60 and put them in third place on the leader board.
The top-ranked team of Maria Menounos and Derek Hough received one perfect score and were two points ahead of Driver and Murgatroyd. The second-place team of William Levy and Cheryl Burke were only one point below Menounos and Hough and one point ahead of Driver and Murgatroyd.
 It was Bruno Tonioli who was the deciding score between third and fourth. For their waltz to “Kissing You” by Des’ree, Driver received a 10 from Tonioli. For the samba to “Mr. Big Stuff”  by  Jean Knight, Carrie Ann Inaba and Tonioli both gave tens.
This is one tough field of dancers.
Driver performed the waltz dressed in a white suit with Murgatroyd in an all white dress. Over the season, his frame and extension, particularly in the arms, have definitely improved. He needs more extension in his feet and turn out. Still he expressed tender romance well.
Carrie Ann Inaba called it “dreamy.” His feet needed to finish the step and not have extra steps and shuffles.
Len Goodman thought it was charming, but noted that Driver need to look left and not at his partner as ballroom rules dictate. In all, Goodman found Driver to be a “big rough, tough cream puff.”
Bruno Tonioli noted that “It is much harder to impress with a waltz than a tango or a quickstep,” and he loved the gentle, soft quality that Driver has. For such a big guy, Driver is light on his feet. Tonioli also noted that Driver extended lines better than ever and the performance was like “watching romance blossom in front of my eyes.”
For the samba, I think Murgatroyd made a wise choice. Knowing that both Driver and Levy would be performing the samba and that Levy can really move those hips, she tried a non-traditional samba.
The routine made Murgatroyd the aggressor in their tangle of love. Driver lacks the fluid hip movement, but consider the beat of the song and that he did have elements of the samba. Instead of being half-dressed and ready to partyin the streets of Rio, Driver begins in a grey three-piece suit. He would use more extension in his feet and more turn out.
Instead of ending in a happy, heated jungle festival, Driver ends up being taken for major money by Murgatroyd’s gold digger girl.
Goodman thought it was a bit careful.
Tonioli thought it was a risky move taking the samba out of Brazil and party-hardy, but he felt it worked.
Inaba just smiled and said it was A plus game.
Here’s how the teams stood at the end of Monday night.
  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30 (10,10,10) +29 (10,9,10) = 59/60
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) + 30 (10,10,10)  = 58/60
  3. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) +29 (10,9,10) = 57/60
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) + 27 (9,9,9) = 56/60
The top two teams should advance into the finals and I’m looking forward to seeing  their freestyle performance. The question of the third team might come down to who gets more votes from the bottom two. While Jenkins and Ballas have a better season average, that won’t be taken into account when the votes are tallied Tuesday night. In addition only one non-American has won the show over the past 13 seasons and he was competing against another non-American.

That was Helio Castroneves who is Brazilian during season 5. Castroneves won over British singer Mel B. During season 8, French man Gilles Marini placed second behind American Johnson. Other foreign nationals who have made the finals were: Brit Kelly Osbourne (season 9) and Chilean Cristian de la Fuentes (season 6). Both finished third. This trend might mean that Katherine Jenkins and William Levy would be at a disadvantage.
However, the largest group of winners have been sports figures: Olympic gold medal figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi (season 6), Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson (season 8), Olympic medal speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno (season 4), racer Helio Castroneves (season 5) and football players Emmitt Smith (season 3) and Hines Ward (season 12). That would give Donald Driver an advantage.
Below you can compare the four semifinalists and their scores for the seven dances performed Monday night.

Argentine tango
  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 30 (10,10,10) Week 9
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 5
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) Week 5
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (10, 8, 9) Week 5
Jive
  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough:29 (10,9,10) Week 9
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (10, 9, 9) Week 8
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 26 (9, 8, 9) Week 2
  4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 22 (7, 7, 8) Week 4
Quickstep
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 9
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25 (8, 8, 9) Week 2
  3. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 25 (9, 7, 9) Week 2
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 24 (8, 8, 8) Week 2

Samba

  1. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 25 (9, 7, 9) Week 8
  2. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 30 (10,10,10) Week 9
  3. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 29 (10,9,10) Week 9
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10,9,10) Week 6

Salsa

  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 3
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27 (9, 9, 9) Week 5
  3. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas:  27 (9,9,9) Week 9
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: N/A
Tango
  1. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 9
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27 (9, 9, 9) Week 8
  3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26 (9, 8, 9) Week 4
  4. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: N/A
Waltz
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 (10, 9, 10) Week 3
  2. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 28 (9, 9, 10) Week 9
  3. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: N/A
  4. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: N/A
 For all the dances performed during season 14, here are the top scoring teams.
Argentine tango: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (30)
Cha cha cha:
  • Jaleel White and Kym Johnson (29);
  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
Foxtrot: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (30)
Jive: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (29)
Paso doble: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (30)
Quickstep: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
Rumba:
  • William Levy and Cheryl Burke,
  • Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas,
  • Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (27)
Salsa: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (28)
Samba: William Levy and Cheryl Burke (30)
Viennese waltz: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough (28)
Waltz: Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas (29)
As of tonight, the average score of the remaining teams for 12 30-point dances (excluding Motown Marathon scores) is as follows:
  1. Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 27.3
  2. Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 26.8
  3. William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 26.9
  4. Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 26.4
With the teams to closely matched, the votes of the viewers will really count.
Online voting will remain open until 11 a.m. (Eastern Time)/ 8 a.m. (Pacific Time) the following day (Tuesday).
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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 15, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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