‘Dancing with the Stars’ review: Maria Menounos rocks out while injured

Maria went on despite an injury.

Before we look at the specific performances for Rock Week on “Dancing with the Stars,” we have to applaud the judges for smacking themselves upside the head and realizing that it is a terrible idea to hand over so many 8s and 9s so early in the competition. There is not as much parity this season as the scores showed during the early weeks, and this week there was some honesty in how everyone was critiqued. Does this meant that the show is any less “competitive” as it has been advertised? Don’t count on it.

Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy – You know that the show has not gotten off to the best start ever when Brooke Burke-Charvet utters our least-favorite line in the entire history of the show: “how does that feel?”. Brooke, Sherri just got a lower score than anyone in the competition last week — it really doesn’t feel that good.

In giving Sherri a 21 for a dance that was really more good rather than great, the judges said that they were not going to be overpraising the performances like they were last week. On a different note, Bruno got a lap dance from Sherri! Score: 21

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas – Whenever we spend a performance constantly nervous that someone is going to mess up, we know that there could be a problem — and this happened troughout here.

For the first time since she became #1 on our rankings, Katherine’s going to likely drop this week following a paso doble that never managed to be as thrilling as it could have been. The performance quality was definitely there, but for the first time in weeks the technique was missing in action. Score: 24

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson – Does Jaleel have the moves like Jagger? Okay, we’ll stop now — but this was too hard to not mention at least once.

Jaleel’s tango was set to the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction,” and he still has some work to do regaining the public vote after dealing so much with the tabloids the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, the habit of tough scores this week did not end up helping him at all. The judges were all rather harsh on Jaleel’s relaxed demeanor, and said that it made its way down to his footwork. Score: 22

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Isn’t it weird when the worst mistake of the entire performance came courtesy of Maksim Chmerkovskiy? We’re not magical judge mind-readers, but would bet here that Melissa ended up getting docked for something that wasn’t even really her fault.

Overall, we thought that this was a pretty great performance from Melissa, at least compared to some of the other performances we’ve seen from her. Out of everything we’ve seen on the show this week, it is one of the only ones we’ve felt justified a higher score. Score: 22

Donald Driver and Peta Mergatroyd – Donald took his shirt off and showcased the most frightening abs we’ve ever seen in our life … but he still didn’t get a ten.

We’re not sure how this dance didn’t earn a perfect score, but we loved every second of it — from the wardrobe to the funky music to the feeling that we were in sort of aggressive hippie mosh pit. We’re not quite sure we’ve ever seen something this bizarre ever on a rock week in the past — but we love the originality here. Score: 27

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus – First things first, we feel bad for Gladys. Why would you make anyone do a routine to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” in particular someone who has already had some problems on the floor?

This really just wasn’t a great performance by Gladys’ standards, and we really think the judges were a little nice for something that felt more often than not like a convoluted mess. It’s a shame, too, since Gladys is the only on here actually in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Score: 20

William Levy and Cheryl Burke – We thought Gladys’ performance was a mess, but this was even messier. There were at least three or four major mistakes during the routine, and we were also baffled by William’s defense that he hadn’t done this dance before. (Wait … shouldn’t he be saying that about every dance?)

Considering that they gave Gladys a 20 for her mistakes, we’re a bit surprise that William’s out-of-control jive somehow netted him two more points. Hats off to the guy for keeping the routine going, but there’s no denying that this was his worst routine on the show. Score: 22

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower – For a few weeks now, we’ve sort of written Roshon off as the token Disney contestant destined to go about midway through the copetition. However, he really made us a believer with this Viennese waltz.

Despite performing to David Cook’s exit song from “American Idol” (which is hardly a rock song in any shape or form), Roshon gave a strong, emotional, and even at times touching performance with Chelsie, who he has former the sort of “aww, how cute” sort of relationship with that will likely lead to tabloid rumors that they are dating. Score: 26

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough – Maria and Derek have spent a great deal of time dealing with injuries already, and it continued this week as we found out that she suffered a fracture in her foot during rehearsal.

She kept on dancing, though, and for the second straight week Derek looked like he wanted to kiss her pretty much every second he was around her. Was it as steamy as last week? No, but it sure was brave. Score: 26

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff – In closing the show, Gavin had a performance that was more than a little bit exciting … but it was technically not very good. There were some major mistakes throughout, and the technique was far from perfect.

Ultimately, though, we did like the mysterious vibe of this tango as a whole, and it is enough to make us want to see him again after being in trouble for two straight weeks. Score: 23

Who was your favorite during this week’s show? As always, feel free to share some of your favorites from the show in the poll and the comment box below — and we will be back tomorrow night with our take on the results.

Photo: ABC

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