'Dancing With The Stars' Recap: It's not about how you fall; it's about how you get up
It's "story night" on "Dancing with the Stars" and no, that doesn't mean we're heading to the local library. Although wouldn't it be fun to have Maks read you a bedtime story? The couple's routines are supposed to tell a "personal tale," with their dances embodying a particular story that is close to the celebrity's heart: one that highlights love, loss, triumph or tears. And with most of the routines, we see a little of each of those emotions, and more. Read on for the results from round three. Warning, spoilers ahead!
The "DWTS" Junior Varsity team comes out first to show us how all of this week's dances are supposed to look. If I were sitting in the celeb-ra-quarium and getting ready to compete in only the THIRD week, AND I had to watch these perfect dancers first, I would be a little intimidated, and a little mad. That said, here are the results, from best score to worst.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson - 25 out of 30
I admit I didn't know who Hines was before "DWTS." But I think I might have to become a Steelers fan. He is so charming and genuine. The song he picked for story night is "Fantasy" from the great Earth Wind & Fire. He told us it's a favorite of his Mom's - great choice Mom! But it also seems to fit in with his life story. Here's a kid from a single parent household and a Mom who didn't speak much English, who shared the fantasy that Hines would get a good education. Football helped there as well, and now after college and the NFL, Hines has been able to fulfill a new fantasy that allows him to take care of his mother so she never has to worry about a thing.
Kym choreographed a fresh and fun Samba that was a crowd pleaser. And it looked like the audience got a lovely parting gift tonight& they were all waving "terrible towels" at the end of Hines' performance. (Yes I had to look that up) Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said Hines looks like he's been dancing his whole life and Head Judge Len Goodman said like everyone in the room, he was proud of him. (Cut to shot of Proud Mom in the audience).
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin - 25 out of 30
The second I heard this was 'story night' I knew Petra's would be heart-wrenching. Supermodel or not, how can surviving a Tsunami NOT be the transformative moment in your life? I was curious to see how she would handle talking about it in the context of a dance competition. Petra chose Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up," and shared the story of how the song's message of hope inspired her after the disaster.
Dmitry choreographed an elegant Waltz and the duo received their highest scores yet from the judges. Bruno Tonioli called her a vision from heaven, who danced like an angel.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas - 23 out of 30
I was so happy to hear Carrie Ann back up something I have been thinking: this girl totally reminds me of Julianne Hough. The personal story and song she wanted to tell on the dance floor involves her first love, a wanna-be rock star who wrote a song for her called, of course, "Chelsea." I mean, come on, what girl wouldn't love a guy who wrote a song for her!
And then, you get to have Mark Ballas choreograph a Cha Cha Cha to it? Chelsea's got to be in heaven. The 23 year old has to get her sexy on for this dance and she blushes every time Mark tells her to shake her groove thing. But she channels her inner sex kitten for this routine and the judges are thrilled. Bruno praised her sexiness so much she blushed again. And Len called it their best dance yet.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel - 23 out of 30
Kendra's also dancing to celebrate love. In her case, the story is about her husband, Hank Bassett, and how he helped changed her life for the better. The song is called "You and Me" and Kendra told us she's always felt like with their relationship, it has been her and Hank against the world. She endured a lot of grief from football fans who did not like the fact that Hank was dating a (former) Playboy bunny.
Her dance partner Louis van Amstel channels Hank for their romantic Rumba, and while it cracks her up to no end during rehearsal, once they dance in front of the judges, Kendra's all business. Len said what impresses him the most is that she listens to them and is improving each week. Carrie Ann simply said, "hot hot hot!"
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 21 out of 30
At this point, after 12 seasons of DWTS, you sometimes forget that there is a chance that someone could fall down. It so rarely happens. But happen it did! Right at the start! And to Maksim of all people! His thigh gave out or seized up or some medical/dance term, and try as he might, he could not help but drop Kirstie, ever so gracefully, to the floor. The two proved they are pros when it comes to performing because both got right back up and kept on dancing.
They were performing a Rumba to "Over the Rainbow," a song that's particularly close to Kirstie's heart because it speaks to the fact we all deal with good times and bad, the agony and the ecstasy. Ironically, the same theme came through tonight with the misstep at the beginning of the number. All three judges praised their resilience and determination, with Len reminding them whether you're dancing on TV or simply living life, there are adversities to face, overcome, and then come back stronger than ever.
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke - 21 out of 30
The Kleenex comes out right off the bat with Chris' story and song and the tribute he wants to pay to his late Mother. He and Cheryl are dancing a soulful, not sexy, Rumba to the Beatles classic "Let it Be."
We learn that Chris' mom was in a serious accident right when he was starting his wrestling career. He thought he would give it all up to take care of her, but she insisted he follow his dreams. Mom died in 2005 but you can tell she's still a big part of his life, and this week he did her memory proud. Carrie Ann was choked up following the dance, and Bruno praised his warmth and vulnerability. However, all three judges said he needed to work on his fluidity on the dance floor.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff - 21 out of 30
There's a huge "aww-shucks" element to Ralph's choice of song and story. He's dancing a Rumba to "Stay Gold," the theme from the movie "The Outsiders." (And to all you youngsters out there, go rent it. Now.)
Ralph co-starred in the movie when he was very young, and he fell in love with the Stevie Wonder penned tune. He even used it as the "first dance" song at his wedding to his lovely bride Phyllis, 24-years ago this week! He and Karina's dance is lovely - "sweet" is what Carrie Ann called it. But both Len and Bruno think Ralph needs to work on refining his moves and connecting more with his partner.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower - 20 out of 30
Our youngest dancer was invigorated by last week's words of encouragement from the judges, especially Len. But the added element of the emotional tie to the dance and the song throws Romeo for a bit of a loop. The song he chose is "I'll Be There" and he's dedicated it to two cousins who were killed when they were all kids.
Chelsie choreographs a Rumba that is about love and loss and is asking Romeo to bare all, emotionally. He has trouble and like any good young man, blames his shoes (who wear high heels?) but then apologizes to Chelsie and carries on with his rehearsal. Carrie Ann and Bruno had some kind words, but both said that he was a little off. Len didn't softball anything: he told Romeo he'd taken a huge step back this week. (Cue audience boos!)
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya - 20 out of 30
The champ was thrown for a loop when he had to struggle through last week's elimination round. Ray says he never wants to be in that position again, and promised to give this Paso Doble an extra punch.
For a song, Leonard chose Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative" and told us it was the theme song he used for his boxing comeback once upon a time. Ray takes the stage with a boxing robe and gloves on, and then shows the heart of a champion when he and Anna start to dance. Len made the analogy that a dance competition is like a fight, you have to dominate or be dominated. And this round goes to Sugar Ray Leonard.
Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani - 15 out of 30
If Wendy moved forward three steps last week, she took two steps back this week with her Fox Trot.
Her back story told us how much she had to persevere to become a top rated radio DJ. And I'm sure that not only as a woman, but also an African American woman, she jumped over plenty of hurdles to achieve her success. Wendy said she wanted to bring that same strength and tenacity to this competition, but it didn't show this week. She was fine. But as we all know with this show, fine generally isn't good enough.
One person will be eliminated in Tuesday night's results show. Who should it be? Sound off in our poll below.