Recap

'DWTS' Recap: The Judges Get Technical

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Apr 24, 2012 | 6:25am EDT

dancing with the starsApril 23's episode of Dancing With the Stars saw the remaining eight couples get in touch with their Motown funk in honor of some of the greatest musicians of all time. As usual, each couple rose to the challenge and gifted viewers with a night full of frivolity, fun, and an endless amount of talent. However, the judges proved to be a much tougher audience to please this week. Now that we've reached the halfway point in the competition they're calling everyone out on everything. Perfection is the order of the day and if the judges aren't completely satisfied with what they see, they make a point to say so.

Sure, at times their remarks seem a little harsh, especially for such a stellar group. But this is a dance competition after all, which means gliding by on pure entertainment just isn't going to cut it anymore. If this cast wants high scores they're going to have to earn them — an endeavor some couples seem more than ready to take on.

Frontrunners: The New and The Old

Katherine Jenkins graced the dance floor with yet another impressive routine, but that's come to be the norm for this bubbly competitor. Len hit the nail on the head when he called her a midwife — because she just keeps on delivering, and it's true. But the real shocker of the night was Jaleel White's incredible comeback. For weeks now he's been stuck in the middle of the leaderboard, but his recent Cha-Cha-Cha sent him skyrocketing to the top, proving to both the fans and the judges that he doesn't deserve to be in the bottom two. White didn't just dominate the dance floor — he owned it. In fact, Bruno called it the "biggest sizzler of the season." Welcome back into the running, (not-so) Urkel.

The Middle Means Business

Oh William Levy, this man is sensuality in a six pack. His Rumba contained more sexual tension than an episode of True Blood (for those of you who aren't fans, that's a lot). Either way, Bruno probably needed a cold shower afterward. But while the crowd seemed more than pleased with the steamy routine, the judges found it a bit lacking in technical precision. Carrie Ann wanted to see a little more dancing in the routine while Len called the performance too raunchy and hectic. But Levy's been a big time frontrunner throughout most of the competition, so he should be able to cruise into next week. The guy's got some real talent aside from that gorgeous exterior. He could easily sail back up to the top.

Maria Menounos and Donald Driver, however, seem to be having a much more difficult time climbing out of the middle-man territory. Both couples experienced slight fumbles during their routines, which were sadly reflected a bit in their scores. I have no doubt these two have what it takes to make it to the finals, but they just caught a tough break this week. Personally, I blame their costumes. Between Maria's Mirrorball dress and Donald's bright blue suit I'm surprised they were able to focus on anything let alone dancing.

Bottoms Up

Even the bottom performers managed to wow the crowd with an array of Rumbas and even a Viennese Waltz. But the judges were taking no prisoners and decided to mark these couples a little lower than they really deserved. Roshon Fegan's Rumba was full of charisma and swag (look out, Justin Bieber), yet, Carrie Ann found the movements to be over-exaggerated. Melissa Gilbert showed great improvement from previous weeks and pulled off her best dance yet, but she was still marked significantly lower than what she may have earned if the judges weren't cracking the whip this week. Even Gladys Knight — the Empress of Soul herself — wasn't able to make Motown Night her own. Her moves appeared a bit hesitant and she seemed to flounder quite a bit throughout the routine, and the judges marks reflected as much.

Were you surprised with the rankings this week? Did you think the judges' were too harsh? Given the scores, who stands the biggest chance of being placed in the bottom two during tonight's results show?

Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415.

More:

DWTS Rankings: The Top Eight Get Down To the Motown Sound

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