It's Latin Night! Why in Lord Mirrorballus' name is Derek the only one with his shirt off?

By Annie Barrett
Updated April 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
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Dancing With the Stars

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It wasn’t the spiciest Latin Night we’ve ever seen, but this is the 14th season, and who wants Screaming Sphincter Habanero Salsa all the time anyway? Sometimes a chunky medium is just the ticket. Does it have pineapple in it? The fruitier the better. And considering this week’s Dancing With the Stars performance night featured Carlos Santana luring us back in from commercials and an exhibition by our old friends Louis Van Intensité and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya, it was quite a show.

Brooke finally exhaled after the cameras rolled away…and her boobs popped out.

Will the judges please reveal their scores? Carrie Ann Inahhhh-ber!

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas: 29 out of possible 30 The three Argentine tangos were the three highest-scoring dances of the night! Katherine and Mark’s was probably the least passionate, but it was technically gorgeous. It had more of a Broadway feel to it, actually, than a spicy Latin feel — the instrumental music seemed to breathe with their rise and fall (I can’t believe I just typed that either) and their costumes were rather toned down for Dancing With the Stars. The only sparkles I counted were on Katherine’s pink and white bodice. Her light pink gathered skirt gave off sort of a “Disney princess businesswoman” vibe, and Mark looked like a Newsie.

I enjoyed this costume-ary twist on things, though. I’m not sure I would have bought a sexually heated tango from Mark anyway. Katherine had the right idea when she repeatedly agitated his “naughty bits” with her dangerous flicks during rehearsal. Their lifts — and symmetrical footwork throughout the dance — were incredible.

William Levy and Cheryl Burke: 29/30 The piping hot empanada had torn a ligament in his ankle (can you picture the meat stretching out as it oozes in pain and grease?), but William somehow stayed strong on performance night. I never thought I’d say this, but “Loosen Up My Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls is the perfect accompaniment for a sexy Argentine tango on Dancing With the Stars. And also this: Cheryl was rocking the color beige with a long-sleeved gem-encrusted gown with near-floor-length fringe.

Every detail about this dance — the peek through the red beads, the waiter’s rag used as a prop (and then wisely/forcefully discarded as a potential roadblock for their PASSION), and especially William’s undone shirt and tie — contributed to an “after-hours lounge” vibe that kept us constantly teased. Who knows what might have happened next at the table with the crap glued to it? “Pulsating passion! Throbbing intensity!” cried Bruno. Did he then call William “Clooney-icious”? And did Brooke then call William “Willeem?” All of the answers may lie in Carrie Ann’s Pocahontas braid, which she would not stop stroking during this segment.

NEXT: Maria Menounos is hurt again. Could it be lupus? Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd: 27/30 Again, with the details — I loved how the ace of hearts card behind Peta’s ear set the mood for their Argentine tango. Everything on the floor seemed a bit slower than William and Cheryl’s dance (perhaps by design — either way, I liked the sultry pace of things) but Donald’s lifts were out of this world. I loved how he flung Peta back into the air after dipping her down from a lift into their perfectly timed final pose. She was so stunningly hot throughout this dance that I didn’t notice on my first viewing that Donald slipped his left hand into his pocket — because a difficult tango ain’t no thang for a stud like him — during the dance. How could I, when his partner was practically nude on one side?

I also can’t get enough of how Peta doesn’t appear to have had a boob job, but I suppose that’s a smaller detail. Also, Practically Nude on One Side is now my dream autobiography title. Time to get into better shape.

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough: 27/30 This was a jam-packed salsa — not only did Maria and Derek kiss midway through (oooooooooooh), but Derek elevated his signature crotch-bob move to one during which his partner’s head rested one of his squatting thighs as he removed his shirt! Derek has always been a visionary. The best part about their segment, though, was Maria’s dad’s enthusiastic approval of Bruno’s three questions for the couple: “Was it legal? Want me to get you a room? CAN I JOIN IN?” The worst part about it was that my slightly disgusted note — “ewww is that dr. drew?” — turned out to be correct. “His wife almost staged an intervention!” quipped Tom.

That whole “chin injury” edit during Maria’s rehearsal footage was pathetic, but I understood where she was coming from. Have you ever been hit in the face with a basketball? It’s like your life is over for about 20 seconds. Blood is everywhere! Your perfect face will never look the same! But then you’re fine and you feel like a moron. Maria just took waaaaaay too long to be fine, and it suggested that maybe she’s exaggerating her other trillion maladies.

Oh and by the way, if Len’s “Two things were revealed out there: [Our Pro’s] body and your talent” comment sounded familiar, it’s because he said the same thing to J.R. Martinez after his freestyle in season 13. It seems the FLASHDANCMSTR had found Karina’s body more appealing than Derek’s. I might have to give her the edge myself.

NEXT: Boob fringe: Good. Leg fringe…. Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower: 26/30 I’m not sure too many people really care that Roshon is still there, so he was wise to assume William Levy’s identity via a bandana, vacation hat, and black V-neck tee. That’s all it takes! Well, that and a suaveness best guaranteed by Latino blood. Roshon can master any step sequence, but his vibe in their salsa was only “sexy in a Disney way,” according to Carrie Ann. She’s not being a cougar, she’s just saying. (The real cougars were hiding somewhere in the elaborate jungle set, their presence cloaked by the deadly smoke monster.) I’m just gonna go ahead and conclude “not sexy” on that one. The judges complimented Roshon’s rhythm and the DANCMSTR gently (Lently?) suggested that he “slow down and enjoy the journey occasionally.” The most appealing part of this segment by far was Chelsie’s exotic bird costume sponsored by Jelly Belly Tropical Mix.

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson: 24/30 You may be surprised to learn that I was not a fan of Kym’s one-legged fringe — a stripe of Snuffleupagus shag that swirled diagonally up her left gam, like a candy cane if the candy cane was a tiger. Dancing With the Stars can be so challenging to watch as it is; the least the costumers can do is make it clear whether we’re dealing with a full-on creature (fringed pants) or a lady (fringed skirt). I was so distracted by Kym’s leg fringe I could barely concentrate on what was supposed to be the main theme of their samba: that Jaleel White was a hot and practically shirtless wild animal. Sadly, these two species would not mate onstage — Kym had to blatantly remove his hand from her ass at the end of the samba.

Is anyone else finding Jaleel and Kym’s rehearsal segments increasingly painful? He seems so morose and angry under the surface that every time he has to smile and play along (which is…always! you’re on a reality show!) it’s a huge and uncomfortable effort.

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus: 22/30 I get exhausted just watching rehearsal footage from my couch, so the fact that 67-year-old Gladys was able to crank out that high-spirit samba after touring in four different cities last week and still not look like she was about to fall over is amazing. The dance was “simple, but effective,” said Len. Truly, the actual steps of the dance had no effect on me, but the way Gladys bounced around after hip-checking EW.com blogger Tristan (twice!) and got the crowd involved like a cheerleading leprechaun (Olé! Latin night!) totally won me over. I don’t think they expected to make it this far, but now that next week is Motown Week, there’s no way the empress of soul will head home tonight.

Or! She will go home and then she’ll get to perform on Motown Night. Whoa.

NEXT: ‘Sex. Do it.’ Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 21/30 Melissa had suffered a mild concussion after hitting her head on Maks’ leg during last week’s paso. She dealt with the injury by donning a crystal-studded neck brace and helmet during rehearsals, while Maks coped by falling asleep in a tanning booth. (To be fair, it’s a pretty boring injury. Knock a hip out or something, “Grandma”! Also, Maks denies spray-tanning; it was makeup.) I liked Maks’ reply to Melissa’s request that he not do anything that would induce a headache: “This is like avoiding…being here.” But what did he want from her? “Sex. Do it.” A fascinating glimpse into Maks’ dating life.

Len called their salsa “untidy and rough,” which it was, but once again Melissa is a total trooper trying to keep up with his lightning pace. And to their credit (I’m about to get all J. Lo on them now) they looked beautiful this week, like a broiled Easter Bunny rolling around in a patch of colorful Easter basket grass. I enjoyed the “fake ending” in the middle of the dance — it was a good chance to regroup and focus on what Maks was wearing. WHITE PANTS. I think that hot pink shirt may have been his boldest hue to date.

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff: 19/30 If Gavin goes home tonight, he will be forever remembered as the Dancing With the Stars seamen with an inexplicably dirty shirt but pristine white pants. “Why the stains?” might have been the overwhelming question after Oceanic Flight 14: The Samba. More like a “sham-ba,” said Len. The judges were brutal to Gavin here! They should have more respect for a wayward musician who had to row onstage in a canoe in the hopes of meeting “a beautiful maiden on the shore line.” Sure, the dance was a mess, but I loved the staging (a hammock!) and the way Gavin always looks like he’s about to burst into giggles before saying anything on this show.

‘Til tomorrow, DANCMSTRs. Nominate your hidden gems of the week over at PopWatch before 2 p.m. ET. And don’t miss Irish snacktime on Tristan’s blog!

If you missed my writeup of Titanic With Len Goodman on PBS, check it out!

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