‘Dancing with the Stars’ week 2: Katherine Jenkins hits a jackpot

She’s staying strong.

One week after the (dramatic pause) most-competitive season premiere ever on “Dancing with the Stars,” we witnessed a second week that was really all about trying to live up to some lofty expectations.

Did they? The correct answer here is “some of them.” The true contenders stood out a little bit more, and we have a pretty good idea now who will be in danger on Tuesday’s first results show.

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower – Is it wrong for us to already say that we are annoyed by how much this guy says the word “swag”? A little swag goes along way, Mr. “Shake It Up.” We also are annoyed when someone desperately tries to claim that they have less dance experience than they do. If you’re on the show, there’s no need to defend yourself anymore.

These two were crippled from the beginning in having to a perform a quickstep to Good Charlotte, but the dance was actually quite good. We liked the technique of it, but we admit during the scores we were wondering who the person was that cut a giant hole in Brooke Burke-Charvet’s dress before the show. Score: 26

Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy – We’re so happy that Val has a good partner here after the disaster that was Elisabetta Canalis. Not only is Sherri more fun than pretty much anyone else on this season, she’s also a great dancer.

How good is she? So good that she managed to make Bruno Tonioli not care at all about the fact that she made a giant mistake in the middle of her routine. Score: 23

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – While we still think that Val is going to make it further than his famous brother, Melissa improved in just about every way from her premiere performance. Was it enough to cause the judges to melt the ice when it comes to Maks? Well…

Melissa and Maks still received a score that made it seem like Melissa is suddenly the un-chosen one this season, and we do think she is in danger of being the first star out the door this time around. Score: 20

Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya – We always love the unexpected success stories, and we had no idea that Jack Wagner would be anywhere near as good of a dancer as he has been during the first two dances this season.

With that being said, Jack’s routine was a bit like an out-of-control kid waiting to stand up in a classroom and scream. It was pretty solid, but it always had a feeling like it was about to fly off the rails — and it even did on one or two occasions. Score: 21

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus – Whenever a legend does something that is less-than-legendary, it is interesting to see how the judges actually decide to handle it. Hats off to Len Goodman to admitting to Gladys that while he loves her, the dance itself was far from stellar. It was awkward, her frame was off, and there really wasn’t much to like here outside of how much Gladys smiled.

With the scoring (which contained two 7s and a 5), Len cemented himself as the evil judge of this season. Score: 19

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas – For the second straight week, Katherine did not have to scream from the mountaintop that she was a favorite. She showed it on the dance floor.

Mark did a brilliant job here choreographing an energetic Vegas-themed jive, which contained some of the best technical elements we’ve ever seen this early in the show. To use a corny Vegas line, it was a jackpot, and we’re almost surprised that there wasn’t a 10 thrown in here. Score: 26

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson – It didn’t do Jaleel any favors having to follow up Katherine on the show this week. As a matter of fact, it probably made his jive look worse by comparison.

The biggest issue Jaleel is going to have on the show this season is that he has a sort of natural laid-back vibe that he is going to have to overcome on some of the more intense dances. In some ways, you could compare it to Rob Kardashian last season — and if you remember, Rob did figure it out after some early struggles. Score: 22

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough – After we took a minute to get over Maria’s laugh, and we’re still trying to get over Len’s quote that a “quickstep has to have balance, speed and control. Your dance had both of these.” Wait … what? Mind=blown.

Overall, this was by far the best routine that Maria has put out on the floor in two weeks. There was so much technique thrown in here with the fold, and Derek once again showed why he is one of the best choreographers on the entire series. Score: 25

Martina Navratilova and Tony Dovolani – We really wish we could say that Martina was good. We really do. She seems to be such a nice woman with a big heart, and she has a great attitude about the entire experience.

However, it’s just so clear at the moment that Tony Dovolani is going to be leaving the competition early again this year. This jive was a double-fault of missed moves, confusion, and general awkwardness that we feel bad for Martina having to perform it. Better luck next week? If she makes it that far. Note to Brooke: you haven’t been there. You won your season! Score: 17

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd – We really love how Donald acts like he is a “Spider-Man” fan at Comic-Con during this competition, and it’s rare to see an athlete who is really such a fan of this show as a whole.

It makes us even happier when Donald puts out some dances like this one. Not only did this routine have all of the necessary requirements of a dance, but he even got Len Goodman to make a rare admission that he underscored him last week. Score: 24

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff – After delivering what was a subpar introduction to the season last year, Gavin unfortunately could not really turn it around too much this week.

Was it an improvement? Sure, and it is refreshing to see a “cool guy” actually try to break out from his mold and deliver something entertaining. Score: 21

William Levy and Cheryl Burke – Last week on the show, the audience literally done went and lost their sparkly marbles over William strutting around on the floor. this week, the guy had to actually wear sleeves!

Really, we didn’t think that this dance was as strong as the judges made it out to be … or at least Carrie Ann. Was she afraid of getting chased out of the building by the guy’s crazy fanbase? William still has to prove something beyond just getting women to scream at him. Score:

Who was your favorite from this week’s show? As always, be sure to take our “Dancing” poll below! Check back, as we’ll be visiting the land of sequins tomorrow night for the results show.

Photo: ABC

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