November 15th, 2011
11:15 AM ET
Just four couples remained at the start of Monday's "Dancing With the Stars," so what better way to fill two hours of air time than by having them perform three dances?
The first dance of the night had the couples performing either a samba or paso doble. We began with Hope Solo, whose pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, continued his "kinder, gentler Maks" campaign by apparently impersonating Gene Simmons with a five o'clock shadow.
The pair performed a paso doble that, unfortunately, seemed to hint at some of Hope's past transgressions - plenty of power but little control. The judges noted that in their scores.
Hope Solo: 21/30 (Carrie Ann Inaba 7, Len Goodman 7, Bruno Tonioli 7)
J.R. Martinez was up next with a paso doble of his own. Unfortunately, he was also dealing with an ankle injury he suffered during practice.
It just wasn't to be with the paso doble, as J.R.'s bum ankle caused him to struggle with his posture throughout the routine. Judge Len Goodman noted that the paso doble may not be J.R.'s kind of dance, leading to boos from the crowd.
J.R. Martinez: 23/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 7, Tonioli 8 )
Rob Kardashian was the next celebrity up, and he and pro partner Cheryl Burke entered the dance floor on what appeared to be a parade float for their samba. Despite the comical opening, Rob proved once again that, week after week, he's the most improved celebrity dancer on the show.
Carrie Ann Inaba was impressed with the routine, but there was a point in her explanation where she simply started making up words. She did give Rob his first "10" of the competition, so I may be willing to give her a pass for now.
Rob Kardashian: 28/30 (Inaba 10, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9)
The final dancer of the first round was Ricki Lake, who did a samba of her own. She and pro partner Derek Hough, who appeared to be dressed as bananas, moved quite well in their routine and looked to be telling a good story in their dance. The fans approved of it, but what about the judges?
Len praised Ricki for a "fabulous" performance that got to the point, while Bruno called the routine "brilliant." All of those adjectives meant a perfect score for Ricki!
Ricki Lake: 30/30
The second round of dancing featured the couples doing Argentine tangos that required lifts during the routines.
Hope was up first, and she appeared to have the footwork down pat for what can be a difficult routine. The lifts also looked credible.
Len and Bruno thought Hope's tango was far better than her paso doble, while Carrie Ann got into a strange discussion with Maksim over concerns that the routine lacked "fluidity." Maksim looked confused after Carrie Ann gave him permission to smile - perhaps Maks was shocked that Carrie Ann correctly used "fluidity" in a sentence.
Hope Solo: 24/30 (Inaba 8, Goodman 8, Tonioli 8 )
Maksim had something to say to Carrie Ann after the show, which I won't repeat since this is a family-friendly blog. Let's just say that if you had one week in the "how long will Maksim remain kind and gentle" pool, collect your money at the door.
J.R. managed to bounce back from his poor paso doble with a strong tango, managing to lift his pro partner without much difficulty, bum ankle and all.
J.R. Martinez: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9)
Rob Kardashian matched J.R. step to step with a tango that looked a tad sultrier than the previous two performances. Carrie Ann said there was no way to fake good dancing (though it's quite easy to fake bad dancing), and what Rob performed was good dancing.
Rob Kardashian: 27/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 9, Tonioli 9)
Ricki Lake was the final celebrity to tackle the tango, and she again demonstrated much pep in her step with her routine. Unlike her samba, she fell just short of achieving another perfect score.
Ricki Lake: 29/30 (Inaba 9, Goodman 10, Tonioli 10)
The third and last dance of the night was a "cha-cha relay," with each couple performing the same dance to portions of the same song. The top couple would get 10 points, followed by eight points for second place, six for third and four for last.
Given that each couple was only on the floor for a couple of seconds, it was hard at times to differentiate between the performances. However, it appeared that Hope was struggling with her footwork at times, while Rob's routine had some flavor to it that was missing in the other three dances.
Len Goodman mentioned that it would be tough for the judges to pick a winner, but to expect a surprise. He was right, as Rob Kardashian continued his meteoric rise by winning the relay. Ricki was second, followed by J.R. and Hope.
So after three rounds of dancing, here's how we stand...
1st place: Ricki Lake, 67 points
2nd place: Rob Kardashian, 65 points
3rd place: J.R. Martinez, 56 points
4th place: Hope Solo, 49 points
What did you think of last night's "Dancing With the Stars" episode? Who do you think will be the next celebrity eliminated?
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