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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 14 Week 3 Recap – Perfect Scores and Perfect Sizzle

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ABC

We lost Martina Navratilova from the competition last week, which we hope means she’s relaxing at home with all of her Wimbledon trophies and reveling in the fact that she’ll never have to wear high heels again.

This week? The competitors do a personal dance that tells a story about their lives. Break out the Kleenex — you know none of these will start with, “So the funniest thing happened to me …”

Host Tom Bergeron promised us a memorable show said we’d need Kleenex (dude, stop stealing our lines), and Brooke Burke-Charvet was wearing … a remarkably tasteful gown. How rude. It’s like she didn’t even consider the recappers who enjoy snarking on her attire.

Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli were also in place.

Let’s get this sob-fest on the road!

Jack Wagner and Anna Trebunskaya
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

We weren’t even 10 seconds into their rehearsal when Jack’s waterworks started (WE TOLD YOU). But whoa, what a story. Last year, he was surprised with an adult daughter he didn’t even know he had, so he dedicated his samba to her. That made his pelvic-thrusts at the beginning a little weird, but the rest of the dance was joyful. At the end, Jack hugged his daughter in the audience and cried some more. Len said it was his best dance yet, and Carrie Ann called him “effervescent.”

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough
Score: 27 out of 30 (9/9/9)

Maria’s family members are Greek immigrants, so she wept when talking about their struggles to support her and her siblings. Apparently she kept her spirits high by listening to Madonna’s ‘Material Girl,’ so she and Derek did a rumba to a slow version of it. And yowza. Seriously hot. If these two aren’t hooking up, they might as well start because now everyone thinks they are anyway. Carrie Ann called it the “vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” and Len said it was “bedroom in the ballroom.”

Gladys Knight and Tristan MacManus
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

Gladys talked about her first tour with the Pips when she was 13 (!!!), calling it the start of her great education under the tutelage of icons like Sam Cooke, so she and Tristan danced a foxtrot to Cooke’s ‘Cupid.’ The lady is just gorgeous. The performance itself was nothing to stand up and scream about, but it was lovely and elegant. Carrie Ann called it “sensuous and soulful, like you,” and Len noted the improvement in her frame.

Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower
Score: 25 out of 30 (8/8/9)

Roshon recalled the first year he saw Michael Jackson on stage, citing him as a huge inspiration. To prep for a tribute dance, Chelsie brought in Jacko’s choreographer Travis Payne to teach Roshon some of the late legend’s moves. The resultant samba to the Jackson 5′s ‘I Want You Back’ was lively and featured a trademark crotch-grab (we should point out he grabbed his own, not Chelsie’s). Bruno said “Michael Jackson would love it and so do I,” but while Len and Carrie Ann liked the energy, they felt it was a bit choppy.

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

Gavin talked about Billy Joel inspiring him to become a musician, and tearfully described the great encouragement he got from his parents. His eternally-hatted head and Karina danced a sultry rumba to ‘New York State of Mind,’ and for the first time, we saw why so many women swoon over Gavin. “You’ve got hips! And you can move them!” Bruno exclaimed, which kind of echoed our thoughts too. Carrie Ann was also surprised to find herself fluttery and declared she has “Gavin-fever.” Len didn’t flutter but he did call the dance “good solid progression.”

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas
Score: 29 out of 30 (10/9/10)

The adorable British songbird described being 15 and finding out her father had lung cancer. He died very quickly and okay, now we’re crying too, dammit. Her waltz to Josh Groban’s ‘To Where You Are’ was dedicated to her dad, and it was lyrical and gorgeous and we know we go on like this about her every week but seriously, people. A tearful Carrie Ann called it “magical,” Len nitpicked a little about the choreography but liked it otherwise, and Bruno called it “sensational.” She got the very first 10s of the season, and well-deserved ones at that.

Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

Sherri’s son Jeffrey was delivered at 25 weeks, weighing under two pounds. Doctors predicted horrible things, but the little guy turned out okay. Listening to her emotionally describe the whole thing was a rare glimpse into a non-ebullient Sherri, and we’re not saying we want her to break down and sob every week, but it did remove that feeling that she’s the human equivalent of confetti. She dedicated her rumba to her son, and it was lovely. Carrie Ann said her lines were her best yet, and all the judges noted the deep expression of the dance.

Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Score: 24 out of 30 (8/8/8)

Melissa broke her back during a musical last year (being in one, not watching one), and she was terrified she’d never walk again. ‘The Dog Days Are Over’ was her song of choice for her jive, and GOOD GOD IS SHE STACKED. Why haven’t we noticed this before? We thought the routine was too fast for her and that she was a half-step behind the whole time, but all the judges loved it, so maybe we were so distracted by her rack that we didn’t notice the excellent dancing.

Jaleel White and Kym Johnson
Score: 25 out of 30 (9/8/8)

Jaleel’s life has apparently been fairly charmed. He described playing Steve Urkel’s alter-ego, the suave Stefan Urquelle, on ‘Family Matters’ as his most memorable time because it showed people he could be hot. The rumba he and Kym did was groovy in a ‘Soul Train’ kind of way, but very cool. Bruno called it “smooth,” but he and Len both told Jaleel to watch his flingy arms. In the Box of Judgement with Brooke, things got a little weird — White broke down and called the Stefan role his “Mickey Mouse,” then he started blubbering about “getting through this week.” Yeah, we don’t know either, but we’re guessing it might have something to do with this story.

William Levy and Cheryl Burke
Score: 28 out of 30 (9/9/10)

Mr. Latin Hot Pants described coming to America from Cuba as his most memorable time, and said his father was a political prisoner who was given asylum in the States (sorry, Jaleel, but this beats whatever your Mickey Mouse is). Will danced a salsa, which was of course right up his alley, and Cheryl gave the ladies what they wanted by having him rip open his shirt in the first few seconds and including lots of hip-swiveling in the routine. Len told him he “put a whole new meaning in ‘free willy,’” which probably didn’t sound as dirty to him as it did to us. Bruno called it “amazing” and awarded Will and Cheryl their very first 10.

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatoyd
Score: 26 out of 30 (9/8/9)

Donald tearfully described having his best friend die in his arms from cancer two years ago, and his tribute rumba was to Mariah Carey’s ‘One Sweet Day.’ It was really beautiful — Donald is a terrifically strong partner, and it was clear he felt the dance. Carrie Ann called his passion “mesmerizing,” and Len was surprised such a big tough football player could be so tender.

Someone goes home on Thursday night, and we expect that too will end in tears for someone. See you then.

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