October 18th, 2011
11:00 AM ET

'Dancing With the Stars' goes retro

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?


soundoff (13 Responses)
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  4. @cheryl

    Awwww... too bad. Your loss!

    October 18, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. .

    .

    October 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Cheryl

    I did not watch the show last night and may not ever watch it again. DWTS has been one of my favorite show for a long time and I could not wait for a new season to begin, but this is not the case recently. It seems like it has become a popularity show and not about dancing at all. In my opinion we have lost two very promising dancers who were showing great improvement.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. What Is "IT"

    @N8 the Gr8 – you mean "IT" . You see they have to keep "IT" around because everybody thinks it cool to change what gave you. I'm going to go and get one myself. I'm going to get me the biggest piece of beef I can get sewed on me. Would you like to go with me and hold my hand for support...lmao

    October 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Linda

    Ok everyone, it is time for CHAZ to hit the road. If your are voting for him, think what you are doing. He is a embarresment to himself, Cher and everyone that is watching him. ENOUGH. If he doesn't go soon, the show is rigged!!

    October 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anomic Office Drone

    I love when outfits that no one would have worn at any point in time are called retro because it's more polite than saying fluorescent and hideous.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  10. qwerty

    Hines' *

    October 18, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. qwerty

    Chaz will be booted when fans stop voting for him. Last nite's show was all right – nothing real exciting. I still think JR will make it to the finals even though his Samba wasn't as good as Hine's. We'll see!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. N8 the Gr8

    When are they gonna boot Chaz? Should be gone already!

    October 18, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. nonparieldolls

    I love DWTS, have been a fan since the first show. Last night was the first time I was truly bored by a show, music, costumes, dances, everything. Even Tom Bergeron seemed out of sync (was he drunk or something??). The music was about the worst of the 80s (on purpose?), so if this was supposed to be a tribute to the 80s, it sure did miss the mark. The costumes and make-up looked more like "this is fabric we had sitting on the shelf FOREVER, thank goodness we can finally use it!" than anything 80's inspired. The dancers actually looked pretty lackluster. The dances weren't anything memorable, either. Think when you start wtih music that smells to high heaven, nothing good is gonna come from it. For Derek Hough to miss a high score is very telling. I especially am growing oh-so-tired!!! of the phony rehearsal room drama each and every week. This week we were treated to Rob Kardashian having to overcome his "shyness" (try saying "Kardashian" and "shy" with a straight face three times, fast) and actually touch his partner, Cheryl. So then, during their dance, the camera zooms in on his hand touching her buttocks. Talk about cheesy - and it had nothing to do wth the 80s. I get the feeling some folks associated with the show are growing bored with its success and feel a need to "let's try THIS". But if it ain't broke, don't fix it! I tune in to watch the dancing, I enjoy seeing the celebs progressing and mourn a bit when one starts to falter. I don't tune in to see who's cursing/crying/stomping out of the room and yeah, enough with the filler. It's not the least bit entertaining. If you have to fill time, why not do it with some "here's a dance move you can try next time you're dancing". I'd love to learn how to do some of those steps. But enough with the judges - and please, aren't they old enough and professional enough to take turns judging???

    October 18, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |

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