November 8th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
Last night's "Dancing With the Stars" featured two routines for each of the five remaining couples: An individual dance followed by an "instant" jive the celebrities learned less than an hour before the actual routine.
The first individual dance went to Rob Kardashian, who tackled the quickstep. Last week was a good one for Rob, as he finished second in scoring and moved ahead of Kim in the family popularity chart.
Can he keep the momentum going, especially after dancing to a song that screams "iconic '80s" like a-ha's "Take On Me"?
It doesn't help that pro partner Cheryl Burke got on the dance floor dressed like Barbara Eden in "I Dream of Jeannie." Someone needs to tell Cheryl to get her decades straight. Nevertheless, Rob gave it his all, showing again why he may be the most improved dancer this season. He got a lengthy ovation, but what did the judges think?
Len Goodman didn't care much for the opening section of the routine, while Carrie Ann Inaba, showing off hideous bangs, declared Rob the "ideal contestant" for the show.
Rob Kardashian: 27/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 9, Len Goodman 9, Bruno Tonioli 9)
Rob and Cheryl then learned they were dancing their jive to "Maneater" by Hall and Oates. The two looked a little confused - did Hall or Oates have the mustache?
Then it was time for Hope Solo, who was performing a quickstep of her own. And, for some reason, all that tension between her and Maksim Chmerkovskiy has been put on the back burner. We now have a kinder, gentler Maks – someone who wears banana-colored muscle tees, speaks in an indoor voice and takes his dance partner to dinner with his family. Did ABC and/or the show give Maks an ultimatum to cut the drama?
The dance is on, and the two looked pleased as punch as they jumped and ran around the set. The audience appreciated the routine, but what about the judges?
Bruno Tonioli said Hope never moved as well as she did during that dance, while Carrie Ann and her goofy hair asked for a hug from the soccer star. It's like the audience walked into Bizarro World those last 10 minutes or so.
Hope Solo: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9)
Hope's "instant jive" was to be performed to "The Best D**n Thing" by Avril Lavigne. The dynamic duo doesn't appear to know a thing about Canadian singers and headed to the practice area.
During a brief lull in the action, co-host Brooke Burke Charvet asked Cheryl Burke what she's learned about the "crazy" instant dance. Cheryl said it was "crazy." You stay classy there, Cheryl.
Ricki Lake is up next, and she's obsessed with her shoulders. More specifically, the judges' concerns last week that she couldn't keep her shoulders in check. Can pro partner Derek Hough make sure she's picture perfect in her waltz?
Almost. Carrie Ann (or perhaps her bangs) noted that Ricki stumbled near the end, and the shoulder problems were still there. But Bruno didn't care about that, giving her a "10" nonetheless.
Ricki Lake: 28/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 10)
Ricki's instant dance was to be done to "Land of 1,000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett. Ricki and Derek looked a bit baffled - maybe they only know of the cover done on "The Wrestling Album."
HLN's Nancy Grace is our next celeb up, and she hopes to bounce back from last week's disappointing jive with a tempting tango. Nancy and pro partner Tristan MacManus went back to basics for the routine, performing a simple, yet elegant dance that delighted the crowd. But Nancy looked so determined not to goof up that her face seemed to freeze at times.
Len Goodman praised Nancy for her strongest performance since the second week of the competition, while Carrie Ann noted some mistakes.
Nancy Grace: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 )
Nancy's tune for the instant jive was "Upside Down" by Paloma Faith. MacManus proudly proclaimed he'd heard of it, and he may have been the only one in the studio who had (I'll admit it - I had to look up whether Ms. Faith was a singer, a band or some kind of hovercraft).
J.R. Martinez has the last "regular" dance of the night, and he was gunning for the first perfect score of the season. Can he pull it off with a waltz?
Unlike Nancy, J.R. seemed to be at ease throughout his routine, moving gracefully and staying in control with pro partner Karina Smirnoff.
Bruno described the routine as a "musical Valentine's card," while Carrie Ann (or her bangs) referred to the dance as "magic." Len noted that J.R. had "all guns blazing" this week. And so there it was: J.R. Martinez nabbed the first perfect score of the season.
J.R. Martinez: 30/30
J.R. celebrated by picking "Tutti Frutti" by Little Richard as his "instant jive" tune.
And with that it was time for the instant dances. Rob and Cheryl took the floor to "Maneater," and someone must have reached Cheryl between routines, as she was dressed '80s appropriate this time around. At this point in the competition, Rob could do nothing but pick his nose for 90 seconds, and the young women in the audience will go nuts.
Len said there were no glaring mistakes with the routine, but that Rob didn't look sharp at times.
Rob Kardashian: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 ); 51/60 overall
Hope came next, and her timing seemed a bit off throughout her performance. In addition, the music ended before the routine did. Nevertheless, she seemed more at ease with the jive than she did back in the second week.
Len declared the performance was "fantastic," and got a kiss from Maks as a result. If Len and Maks can get along, maybe the NBA and its players can do the same.
Hope Solo: 25/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 9, Tonioli 8 ); 52/60 overall
Ricki Lake was quick as a flash for her "Land of 1,000 Dances" jive, energizing the crowd with some fast swinging.
Carrie Ann said Ricki looked a little lost at times, but recovered quickly. Bruno noted that it didn't look as clean as her previous routines.
Ricki Lake: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 ); 52/60 overall
Nancy Grace was up next, pledging to "jive her heart out" to stay alive in the competition. Unfortunately, while she gave it her all, she looked several steps slower than her celebrity opponents, and she appeared a bit lost at times.
But Nancy remained a trouper to the end, pulling out a cartwheel to entertain the audience.
Len said Nancy was the Cinderella of the competition, but that the clock struck midnight and it's time for her to head home. I'm guessing Len's not getting an invite to Nancy's HLN show anytime soon.
Nancy Grace: 20/30 (Inaba 7, Goodman 6, Tonioli 7); 44/60 overall
J.R. Martinez was the last dancer, and he again wowed the crowd with an audience-pleasing routine that resulted in another standing ovation. He even attempted a Derek Hough-style slide to open his routine, although his slide appeared to miss the base.
Carrie Ann said J.R. was in a class by himself this week, while Len said he had the "X factor." Isn't that Fox's show?
J.R. Martinez: 30/30; 60/60 overall
What did you think of last night's "Dancing With the Stars" competition? Who do you think will be eliminated this week?
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