First of all, I want to apologize for a misspelling Julianne Hough’s name last week. Sorry about the misprint. After the contestants celebrated the movies last week, Chynna Phillips was eliminated from the competition. Chynna had a promising start at the beginning of the competition but lost concentration and froze last week, leading to an early exit. This week, the remaining couples perform to music from the 80’s. The show opened with 80’s girl group The Bangles singing their hit songs “Eternal Flame” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” Later, The Bangles returned to sing “Manic Monday.” The week signaled a new leader as well.
New Top Couple
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff sambaed to “Conga” by Gloria Estefan, taking the lead from Ricki & Derek. J.R. tried getting into his Latin roots, soaking in Karina’s suggestions about moving those hips and butt. The dance brought the crowd to its feet. I thought it was J.R. & Karina’s best dance so far. Their samba made the judges smile, with Len giving it high praise. With two 9’s and a 10, J.R. and Karina got their highest score of 28.
Middle Couples Reach New Highs
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke performed the rumba to Lionel Richie’s “Hello.” Romeo joined Rob & Cheryl during their rehearsal, showing Rob how to be the leading man. Rob tried really hard to evoke sexy but ended up leaving most of the work to Cheryl. The judges praised the dance, but I found it a little lacking as a spectator. The couple got a 25, their best score of the season and second place for the night.
David Arquette & Kym Johnson performed a tango to Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love.” David tapped into the 80’s feel by drawing a mirror ball in spray paint. Kym somewhat misstepped a little at the beginning. David looked like Edward Scissorhands dancing with a female equivalent. Kym’s dress seemed to get in the way a few times, but it was overall a good dance. David & Kym reached their season-high score of 25, tying with Rob & Cheryl.
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed first — a tango to “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Even though Len told them to cut down on the profanity during rehearsals, Hope & Maks couldn’t contain their potty mouths. Some spots of their tango looked promising. At times, it looked like Maks was pulling Hope around the floor. There was no passion in their tango; they didn’t capture the spirit of the dance. The couple earned a 24.
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough, who have topped the leader board for the past few weeks, danced the foxtrot to “Easy Lover” by Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey. John Waters surprised Ricki during rehearsals; Waters directed Ricki in “Hairspray.” They even added the Roger Rabbit (an 80’s dance) to the routine, which was not needed. It was not their dance of the season. They received a 24 for their dance, dropping of the top spot.
The Bottom Three
Nancy Grace & Tristan McManus did a rumba to Spandau Ballet’s “True.” Audiences learned that Nancy was a cheerleader in the 80’s. Tristan had a hard time guiding Nancy during practice, but it turned out to be a competent rumba although it lacked passion. Nancy needs to pull out that former cheerleader and inner Southern belle for the next dance. Bruno said it was their best performance. The judges gave them a 22, their highest score so far.
Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer performed the samba to the Kool & the Gang hit “Get Down on It.” Lacey’s dad, a professional swing dancer, came to their rehearsal to show that you don’t have to be small be light on your feet. It had more personality that previous dances so far. Chaz didn’t just stand there while Lacey did most of the work, though technique was still not as pristine as it could have been. Chaz & Lacey received a 21.
Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya dance the jive to the Wham! hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” The cheerleader outfits were hilarious. As expected, Carson lacked good technique but it was fun to watch. It looked like a skit from “Saturday Night Live.” Carson is by far the best worst dancer ever to appear on “Dancing with the Stars,” followed by Cloris Leachman. Carson & Anna received a 19 for their dance.
As has been the case the past few weeks, Nancy & Tristan, Chaz & Lacey and Carson & Anna rounded out the bottom of the leader board. They just swap places at the bottom. With the surprising eliminations of the past few weeks, hopefully Ricki & Derek don’t get penalized for their drop from the top this week. I’m honestly ready for Nancy, Chaz or Carson to go. Though they’ve improved, I don’t know if the best is yet to come from these pairs. “Dancing with the Stars” will continue its 80’s revival on Tuesday, October 18, 2001, on the result’s show.
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff 9 9 10 = 28
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke 9 8 8 = 25
David Arquette & Kym Johnson 8 9 8 = 25
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy 8 8 8 = 24
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough 8 8 8 = 24
Nancy Grace & Tristan McManus 7 7 8 = 22
Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer 7 7 7 = 21
Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya 6 6 7 = 19