Latin Night Heats Up DWTS


At the halfway point of season 14, the DWTS stars and their professional partners burned up the floor with sizzling salsas, sambas, and tangos during an evening dedicated to Latin rhythms. Adding to the spicy flavor of the night, Santana – who made the Rolling Stones list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" in 2003 – was joined by his band as he coaxed his trademark rock/salsa/jazz fusion out of his guitar.  

Yet in spite of the high-energy feeling and the eye-popping costumes set off by spray tans, behind the scenes we learned that three of the stars are struggling with injuries. As reported last week, Melissa Gilbert suffered a concussion and was rushed to the hospital mid-performance. She was back on Monday, looking especially lovely and somehow more relaxed than ever before, but rehearsal footage showed her with a neck brace and a helmet.

Maria Menounos, another of the dancing wounded, has two cracked ribs and a stress fracture in one foot. We were treated to actual X-rays of the damage. Our opinion is that she should be in a protective boot with her feet up, but she seems dedicated to the old axiom that "the show must go on."

The third star to be roughed up by the rigors of the routines is Cuban heartthrob William Levy, who tweeted on Sunday that he had badly twisted his ankle. Like the other two injured troupers, though, he got out on the dance floor on Monday in spite of the fact that an MRI showed he had torn a ligament. “I don’t want to be the only Latino going home on Latin week,” he said. With Cheryl Burke, he performed a torrid salsa to the Pussycat Dolls’ “Buttons,” and got the fans all excited when he bared his well-muscled chest. “That was ridiculously amazing,” Carrie Ann said, calling him the “Latin Dancing James Bond.”

Now we're looking forward to yet another results night as the suspense builds about who will be safe and who will be sent packing. Here at ThirdAge, we're rooting for Gladys Knight and hoping she'll still be around for next week’s Motown show, which is after all her legacy. She's been getting low scores from the judges -- and rightly so as she pulls off routines far tamer than those of her younger competitors -- but our theory is that audience call-in/text-in votes have saved her so far out of sheer affection and respect. Also, we wish the three injured contestants well and hope they heal somewhat before they have to do another demading star turn on the show. On with the dance!  
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