October 18th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
It's '80s week on "Dancing With the Stars," meaning Monday's episode pledged to honor every adult contemporary radio station in America.
And what better way to do that than by bringing out The Bangles? Lead singer Susanna Hoffs looked great for 52, but she didn't seem sure whether her tunes required singing or spoken word performances.
The actual competition began with Hope Solo, who performed a tango to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer." Finally, someone brought Tommy and Gina's story to the stage! Unfortunately, Hope again let her power get the best of her, making her dance a bit clunky and uneven.
Judge Len Goodman appreciated the aggression of Hope's dance, but scolded her for not looking natural and loose. Bruno Tonioli said Hope was in "Alexis Carrington Colby mode" - who wants to bet the soccer star had no clue what that meant?
Hope Solo: 24/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 8, Len Goodman 8, Bruno Tonioli 8 )
Carson Kressley was next, and he and partner Anna Trebunskaya were dressed like they were going for a jog. Were they dancing to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical"? Nope, they did a jive to Wham!'s "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go."
The two stripped down to their cheerleader uniforms, and they again brought the pizzazz level up to 11. But Carson seemed to be doing the same dance he does every week - plenty of outrageous moves and planned wackiness, but little to no technique. Carson and Anna also performed so many kick lines that I thought they were preparing for next week's tribute to Broadway.
Len Goodman was blunt, saying Carson's dance may not be good enough to save him, while Carrie Ann Inaba said the routine lacked any semblance of technique.
Carson Kressley: 19/30 (Inaba 6, Goodman 6, Tonioli 7)
HLN legal eagle Nancy Grace was our next dancer up, and she'd already earned a "10" for her big '80s hair and for showing off her cheerleading photos from high school. If Nancy and Carson end up in the bottom two tonight, I demand a "cheer-off" to determine the survivor.
Nancy and Tristan MacManus did a rumba to Spandau Ballet's "True." Nancy's routine was simple, yet elegant, and won her the support of her husband and children. But what did the judges think?
Carrie Ann Inaba says "she wasn't feeling it," whatever that means. Maybe she ate some bad clams in the green room. Bruno Tonioli came to Nancy's defense, saying her routine was "sexy without being slutty," while Len Goodman "enjoyed the elegance" of the dance.
Nancy Grace: 22/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 7, Tonioli 8 )
We're now up to J.R. Martinez, who performed a samba to "Conga" while dressed as a "Miami Vice" extra. J.R. grew up on the samba, and expressed confidence that this routine could be his best yet.
He didn't disappoint, as J.R. wowed the crowd with some fancy footwork and a high-energy routine that ended with a standing ovation. Len Goodman said J.R. may have set the gold standard on how men should perform such a difficult dance. Bruno Tonioli kept it short and simple, giving J.R. his first "10" of the competition.
J.R. Martinez: 28/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 10)
Rob Kardashian performed a rumba to Lionel Richie's "Hello" while dressed in the limiest of lime green shirts known to man. Rob definitely brought out the sultry in his routine, and it was refreshing to see him take the lead on a more consistent basis. Unfortunately, it appeared that pro partner Cheryl Burke got her top from an unemployed superhero.
Bruno Tonioli complimented Rob for bringing out his inner heartthrob, while Len Goodman praised him for pulling his weight.
Before the reveal, we were introduced to the cast of the new ABC sitcom "Man Up!" Hope you got a good look - that show could be gone in six weeks.
Rob Kardashian: 25/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 8 )
Tom Bergeron welcomed us back with an Art Fern impression - a little more '70s than '80s for my taste - and introduced Chaz Bono, who performed a samba to Kool and the Gang.
Pro partner Lacey Schwimmer wanted Chaz to bring out the flash this week, so she recruited her dancing dad to prove that even the big guys can get down and boogie.
With the samba, Chaz definitely loosened up, expressing more confidence and fun than he's had in recent weeks.
Len Goodman said while the technique wasn't all there, Chaz gave it his all, and that's what counts.
Chaz Bono: 21/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 7, Tonioli 7)
David Arquette did a tango to "Tainted Love" dressed like the leather guy from the Village People. I half-expected him to go into "YMCA" at a moment's notice, but he played it relatively straight with his routine.
Len Goodman said the routine had a "great '80s feel," while Bruno name-dropped Billy Idol in his praise.
David Arquette: 25/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 9, Tonioli 8 )
Our final performer was Ricki Lake, and she received some moral support at practice from legendary filmmaker John Waters, who directed her in the original "Hairspray." She'll be performing a foxtrot to what Tom referred to as the duo of "Phil Collins and Philip Bailey," but I'm pretty sure that Bailey got top credit on "Easy Lover."
Ricki's foxtrot was a mix of elegance and pizzazz, including what appeared to be an attempt to do the "Roger Rabbit" dance mid-routine. That didn't work, and the judges frowned on her getting away from the foxtrot at times.
Len Goodman warned that a good foxtrot shouldn't include breaking out too much flash, while Bruno Tonioli said that Ricki tried to do too much on the dance floor. Carrie Ann complimented her on showing great chemistry with pro partner Derek Hough.
Ricki Lake: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 )
What did you think of last night's "Dancing With the Stars" episode? Who do you think will be eliminated this week?
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