It's a little sad that "Dancing with the Stars" has an All-American themed night and the one Olympic champ on the roster got kicked to the curb last week. I'm sure producers would have loved to have Sugar Ray Leonard on the rundown for week five!
Oh well, we don't get to see his gold medal, but we've still got Kirstie Alley, Chelsea Kane, Petra Nemcova, Kendra Wilkinson, Romeo, Chris Jericho, Ralph Macchio and Hines Ward all shaking what they've got in the name of the red, white and blue. The scores are close this week - here's the lowdown, from highest to lowest. Warning, spoilers ahead!
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson - 27 out of 30
Even though the scores are fairly tight this week, Hines is breaking away from the pack. He's been consistent, week after week, and keeps getting better. The rehearsal for the Rumba this week looked a little sketchy at first. Hines referred to himself as a caveman on this dance because he and Kym literally butted heads a few times.
But come show time, Hines shows up wearing dress whites on the dance floor, they perform to the tune "Proud to be an American," and all is right with the world. The judges gave them their highest score of the season: nine's across the board.
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas - 26 out of 30
Chelsea wanted to prove that her rise to the top of the leader board last week was not a fluke. Their week five dance was the Samba, a lively, energetic party dance that fit Kane and Mark Ballas perfectly. Add the Miley Cyrus tune "Party in the USA" to the mix and we have a minute and a half of great entertainment.
Bruno said the dance was the best of both worlds: the positive energy of America mixed with the sizzle of Brazil.
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke - 26 out of 30
Chris is a man on a mission: he wants an "8" from Head Judge Len Goodman. Chris shares his talent for impressions and does quite a good one of Len and his critiques. But it's not all fun and games. He and Cheryl become spinning fools during the rehearsals for their Viennese Waltz. Chris said it's like being in a gravity chamber and at one point wants to puke. Love the honesty!
Chris comes out on stage dressed in military attire, and they perform to "America the Beautiful." And beautiful it was! Bruno Tonioli called Chris big yet graceful; strong yet delicate. Carrie Ann Inaba told Chris and Cheryl they are officially contenders. And then the moment we were waiting for: yes, Len gave Chris an 8! (And the other two judges each gave him a 9).
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower - 26 out of 30
The son surpasses the father! Romeo achieves his goal of staying in the competition longer than his father, Master P. And while he's thrilled, Romeo seems to have been bitten by the dance bug and wants to go even further! He brings his swagger to the FoxTrot this week and performs to the song "New York, New York."
Len told Romeo he is on the right road to success and Carrie Ann called his unique style cool and sophisticated.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 23 out of 30
Kirstie and Maks pull out all the stops this week: a shirtless Maks and John Travolta as their "dance doctor" during rehearsal! These two continue to work hard but have a great time while they're dancing, whether in front of the crowd or at rehearsal. Kirstie calls in a favor from her pal Travolta who comes in to play the "dance doctor," a man hired to help the duo get rid of the bad "juju" they've had to deal with over the past two weeks.
And then when they do make it to the competition, we hear the guitar strains of "American Woman" and Maks rips off his shirt to start this rockin' FoxTrot. They know their audience! Len said it wasn't his cup of tea, but Carrie Ann and Bruno both praised the dance, with Inaba calling it their best performance yet.
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff - 22 out of 30
I knew when I saw a little line dancing fun in this samba that Len would not approve! Ralph and Karina's dance was completely entertaining and they always look like they have so much fun when they are performing. I wasn't sure if Ralph would be able to sell us on a dance clad in cowboy hat, boots, and rhinestone shirt, to the tune "Sweet Home Alabama," but he sure knows how to bring it come performance time.
Len scolded Ralph for not being consistent, especially when it comes to Latin dances, and Bruno agreed... with gusto. He told Ralph the Samba needs to show a "fire down below" (and then he stood up and demonstrated what he meant) and said to Macchio: "Give me sex, man!" Oh Bruno.
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin - 22 out of 30
Petra celebrates Elvis Presley and "Viva Las Vegas" with her quickstep this week. She wasn't really all that aware of "the King" and all his gravitas because she grew up in Communist-ruled Czech Republic. But she certainly understands the spirit of this "All American" night and says a heartfelt thank you to the USA and all the opportunities it has afforded her.
Her dance is elegant, but not necessarily memorable. Carrie Ann thought they were a bit out of sync, but Bruno called her a golden goddess.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel - 22 out of 30
Kendra shows us her Achilles heel when she gets angry at hearing that she is not elegant. It seems when Carrie Ann used the term "not elegant" last week, what Kendra heard was "trashy." Louis van Amstel channeled his best Dr. Phil and had a counseling session with his partner, where he tried to explain that she was misinterpreting the judge's remarks and she was being a little too sensitive. She got over it, sort of, and they made it through rehearsal week.
When the two came out to perform their Fox Trot to "Yankee Doodle" we learned, thanks to streamers, balloons, bells and whistles that this is the 1,000th dance of the DWTS series. Woo hoo! Then they had to clean up the floor, Kendra and Louis danced, and the judges told them they were "much better."
Which seven of the eight finalists will win the heart of America? And who goes home next? We'll find out Tuesday night! In the meantime, vote in our poll!