'Dancing With the Stars' judges give first perfect score

8:50 AM, May 1, 2012   |    comments
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough on the April 23 edition of 'Dancing With the Stars.' /USA Today
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By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

Our stars had a special challenge on Monday's Dancing With the Stars. How do you bring the sexy to the serious for Classical Night?

Violinist Joshua Bell, soprano prodigy Jackie Evancho and renowned Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo performed as judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba pulled out their paddles for the celebs. And one star got a 10 from each of them. It was the first perfect score of the season.

After the individual dances, the stars teamed up to earn a second score. Team Paso included Melissa Gilbert, William Levy and Donald Driver. Team Tango was Katherine Jenkins, Maria Menounos, Roshon Fegan and Jaleel White.

Here's how it all unfolded:

Maria Menounos and partner Derek Hough danced a paso doble to Montagues and Capulets by Prokofiev. The two had a bit of a spat during rehearsals when he hurt her feelings by telling her to "be a female for a sec" and to be "attractive," to which she said, "Sorry I'm not attractive enough for you." With tears in her eyes, she said, "I feel I have to work even harder." Derek admitted he gets "frustrated" with her, but it's because he "wants her to shine," he said. The anger between them worked well for their dance. Sporting vampire fangs and wearing a red gown, Maria looked particularly devilish and pulled off the fierce dance perfectly. The crowd roared. Carrie Ann joked: "That dance sucked!" adding, "You were so on fire." Said Len: "Sharp as a razor!" Said Bruno: "Bite me! Turn me! Right now." He cited the structure, the drama, the storytelling. An emotional Maria said of Derek after the dance: "I love this man so much!" Scores: 10, 10, 10 = 30 + 27 = 57

Opera star Katherine Jenkins was a lot more in her "comfort zone," she said, as she danced the rumba to Pachelbel's Canon in D. She wore a toga-type getup, while her pro partner, USA TODAY blogger Mark Ballas, looked ready to drive a chariot. Their dance was slow and sultry, oozing with Spartacus-like drama. They ended it with a kiss, or near kiss. Len praised its "style and elegance." Bruno said she was "the embodiment of the power of beauty." He joked that it "could have been raunchier." Carrie Ann said, "Technically, I think, in this competition you are unmatched." But she thought it needed "more heat." Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27 + 27 = 54

Donald Driver, decked out in red and gold tails, danced a Viennese waltz with partner Peta Murgatroyd that wowed the crowd. Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann said she loved his "intensity" and his "regalness." Len said it was "terrific," saying his footwork was "spot on." Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27 + 26 = 53

William Levy tackled a Viennese waltz, too, to Evancho singing Ave Maria, but it wasn't easy. "I'm not a classical guy!" said the Latin heartthrob. Plus, he has been bothered by an injury to his ankle two weeks ago. With dry ice creating a steaming floor, William, dressed in a black suit, and pro partner Cheryl Burke, in a long, white gown, looked as though they were dancing in church. "That is true content! That is true dancing," said Carrie Ann. Len said he was up and down "like a fiddler's elbow," but tonight he was "up." Bruno cited the "vulnerability" he showed. Scores: 9, 9, 9 = 27 + 26 = 53

Roshon Fegan danced an Argentine tango to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance done in a classical arrangement for orchestra. Roshon tried to look serious in a suit, but did he pull it off? Len said his legs "looked a little bit awkward," but it was "clean and competent." Bruno, too, said his legs looked a "bit wobbly." Carrie Ann gave him a big hug and liked his "gravitas" and said he was "steady on his feet. I don't know what these two are talking about." Scores 9, 8, 8 = 25 + 27 = 52

Jaleel White, determined to give Donald Driver and William Levy some competition, danced a dramatic Viennese waltz. But it didn't go over well with the judges. Len liked the "floaty, airy-fairy feel" but said footwork was lacking. Carrie Ann said his "hands" needed work. Scores: 8, 8, 8 = 24 + 27 = 51

We learned that Melissa Gilbert isn't the only one with injuries. Her partner Maks Chmerkovskiy has been in a lot of pain from a cyst in his foot. While Maks was sidelined icing his aches, eliminated brother Val stepped in during rehearsals. But Maks was able to dance the Argentine tango to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, and he included lifts and twirls and leaps. Melissa looked a tad overwhelmed at times. The drama of it all won the audience over, but not the judges. Bruno said "it wasn't clean." Carrie Ann said it was "Cirque du Soleil gone terribly wrong." Maks got angrier by the minute as he heard their critiques, but kept quiet as the crowd booed. Len thought some "quality" was lost due to the intensity of the moves. Defending herself, Melissa said, "It felt good to me. ... And I hope the audience enjoyed it, too." Scores: 7, 7, 7 = 21 When asked by co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, "What do you think, Maks?" He replied: "I don't think, I just dance." Final score: 21 + 26 = 47

Team Tango earned mixed reviews from the three judges, earning a 10 from Carrie Ann, an 8 from Len and a 9 from Bruno. Each star got 27 added to his or her individual dance score.

Team Paso danced a fiery, dramatic -- and shirtless (for the guys) -- dance that was so well done the crowd wouldn't stop cheering so that the judges could talk. Carrie Ann said, "That's going to go down in history as the fan favorite." And Len noted: "You three undressed to impress." Despite the raves, the judges gave it only a 26. The ballroom audience was vocal in expressing their disagreement.

On Tuesday, two stars will face off in what host Tom Bergeron called the final dance duel of the season.

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