The Dancing With the Stars ballroom found itself looking to the Broadway stage for inspiration during Week Six, and the results show opened with an encore performance of J.R. Martinez’ showstopping quickstep to “Hot Honey Rag” from Kander and Ebb’s Chicago with partner Karina Smirnoff. Following the dance, hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet got right to making the results announcements, and told Martinez that the viewers had once again rallied to support him.
Burke-Charvet then made her way backstage to speak to the three couples who had found themselves near the top of the leaderboard following the competition on Monday night: Martinez and Smirnoff, Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, and Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus. When asked how she felt to still be on the show in Week Six, Grace responded that “that’s [Martinez] a hard act to follow right there…and I don’t know if you’ve heard, but he’s a war hero.” It was a nice little tip of the cap from the talk-show hostess to the veteran, but Burke-Charvet just responded “I know,” which brought the conversation and interviews to a screeching halt.
Following the display of inept hosting, the camera returned to the ballroom and Bergeron, who introduced the evening’s first musical guest, Kristin Chenoweth, back for the second night in a row. Chenoweth performed “Lessons Learned,” a song from her recently-released album Some Lessons Learned, while pro dancer Tony Dovolani (the partner of eliminated celebridancer Chynna Phillips) and DWTS Troupe member Sasha Farber rumba-ed their way around the dance floor.
Once Chenoweth finished her performance and garnered praise and a hug from Bergeron (who asked if she could “come play” every week), the second set of announcements told Grace and Lake that they both would be joining Martinez for competition in Week Seven.
As is typical as the season progresses and the number of competitors dwindles, filler segments begin to pop up more and more frequently. Tonight’s was one that featured the celebridancers talking about their “breaking points,” and how much emotional and physical stress is involved in the competition. (No kidding.)
It was, mercifully, not very long, and soon enough segued into the Macy’s “Stars of Dance” segment, this week entitled “Streets of Broadway.” Choreographed by the much-acclaimed Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, High School Musical), it featured Corbin Bleu (also of High School Musical fame) and a posse of L.A.-based dancers in a medley of songs that paid tribute to the streets made famous in Broadway musicals. Opening with a toe-tapping (literally! Tap shoes were everywhere!) “42nd Street,” from 42nd Street, Bleu and his gang transformed into the Jets (though Bleu’s costume-change left him looking more like Bernardo, of the Sharks) for a rendition of “Cool” from West Side Story, complete with Jerome Robbins-esque choreography. The final song was a portion of “In the Heights,” from In the Heights. (Bleu performed the lead role in Heights near the end of its run on Broadway.)
The second musical guest of the night, Martina McBride, then took to the stage to perform “I’m Gonna Love You Through It,” as Val Chmerkovskiy (little brother of fellow professional Maksim, and partner of eliminated contestant Elisabetta Canalis) and Chelsie Hightower (the professional partner of Romeo last season, not competing this season) danced.
Once McBride made her way offstage, the third set of announcements gave David Arquette and partner Kym Johnson the good news that their Grease-inspired quickstep had earned them the viewers’ votes needed to see them through to the next week of competition, but couldn’t say the same for Chaz Bono and his partner Lacey Schwimmer. Bono was in jeopardy, and would learn his fate at the end of the show.
Before that could happen, though, one more dance performance had to take place. As a teaser for Week Seven’s competition – which will take place on Halloween – Mark Ballas and Schwimmer danced with a gaggle of (very!) young dancers in a Schwimmer-choreographed routine to “This is Halloween,” from Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. It was a cute performance; whimsical and playfully-spooky.
The whimsy, however, dissipated when Rob Kardashian and Hope Solo – the center of much controversy the night before – stood in the spotlight and awaited their results. Kardashian gave partner Cheryl Burke a big hug when it was announced that they were safe, but Solo and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were unable to celebrate as well – they were still in jeopardy.
Ultimately, Bergeron and Burke-Charvet gave the unfortunate news that Bono had been eliminated, but his parting words – and Bergeron’s, to him – proved that he’s definitely a winner in so many other ways.
Week Seven’s competition show will air Monday, October 31, 2011, at 8/7 Central on ABC, and will run for two hours.