Here's how the judges ranked the dancers on Monday's show: William (29) and Katherine (29), Maria (27) and Donald (27), Roshon (26), Jaleel (24) and Melissa (24), Gladys (22), Gavin (19). William and Katherine received two 10s each while Donald, electrifying and commanding in the final dance of the night, received a single 10 and a decidedly low-balled 8 from Len. (Thanks to Lynne Sherwin for catching a mistake in my earlier version of the scores.)
As usual, I felt different.
I thought Donald was superb, a more than appropriate closer for the night, and gave him a 10. Roshon and William had 9s, Katherine and Jaleel 8s, Melissa a 6 (if I added fractions, maybe a 6 1/2) and Gladys and Gavin had 5s.
As always, I am suspicious of the motives for some of the judges' scores. Their kindly comments about Gladys -- who is one of the worst dancers on the show, but popular with viewers -- may have been designed to reduce people who vote for her as a protective gesture, and so lead to her ouster And I think at this point, the judges generally don't want to give too-low scores to hard-working dancers, since that would go against the show's love of the "journey" -- the dancers who have worked and grown and blah blah blah. (I am also baffled by the ongoing declarations that Sherri's ouster was a shock; does no one remember that she had the second-lowest score the week she went home?)
I would think at this point that Gavin is going home, even with a judges' save in place tonight. But Roshon seems to be suffering the fate of many Disney kids: a lack of a real voting base in the show's audience. And I don't know if the judges gave him high enough scores to save him from a tepid turnout. They may have to use their judges' save for him. We shall see.