It's a manic Monday filled with dancing and music of the '80s. And depending on how old you are, that idea is either sweetly nostalgic because the songs will take you back in time; or completely baffling because you've only heard these tunes on oldies radio. I'm in the former category, and yes it pains me to think that our '80s faves are "oldies."
The Bangles opened the show with a medley of two of their biggest hits: "Eternal Flame" and "Walk Like an Egyptian." And during the course of these two hours we'll hear the Harold Wheeler Orchestra play versions of songs from bands like Bon Jovi, Wham, Spandau Ballet and Soft Cell. (Warning: Spoiler Alert)
Here's a recap of the dances, and the scores, from highest to lowest:
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff - 28 out of 30
J.R. and Karina both had a fire in them this week to get out of second place. In rehearsal, he seemed to struggle a bit with his samba (or was that for the cameras?), so they went to the Conga Room, saw Sheila E. and her band perform, and he suddenly was able to tap into his Latino roots. He put J.R. in the corner for the week, and introduced us to "Jose Rene Martinez."
They danced to Gloria Estefan's "Conga" and received a standing ovation from the studio audience. The judges were equally effusive, with Len Goodman saying the samba is, in general, a tough dance for men and J.R. (or rather Jose Rene) made it work. Carrie Ann Inaba called the dance "muy caliente!"
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke - 25 out of 30
Rob seemed like a completely different person this week. The super shy kid is slowly but surely coming out of his shell. I think we can all see his issue; he's the younger brother (and son) of people with larger than life personalities, so he's had a lot to compete with at home. But it looks like Cheryl has "big-sistered" him a bit herself and, as Carrie Ann said, Rob is the tortoise in the race... and slow and steady wins! He hit a road bump during rehearsal while trying to channel the sexiness factor, so Cheryl brought in one of his buddies, last season's competitor (and Rob's college friend) Romeo.
I think Romeo helped Rob get over his awkwardness of being sensual on the dance floor in front of millions of people, and he pulled off a great rumba to Lionel Richie's "Hello."
David Arquette and Kym Johnson - 25 out of 30
David is also feeling more comfortable on the dance floor... especially when he gets to really channel a character. He and Kym have the tango, which she says is all about passion and aggression. David answers that's the story of his life! They have a classic 80's song with Soft Cell's "Tainted Love," and he just owns it.
Best audience cutaway of the night came after his dance: forget Cher last week, little Coco Arquette went nuts after Dad's dance! Adorable. The judges had words of praise mixed with constructive criticism. They also had a big argument at the end of David's dance and I'm not quite sure what it was about.
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough - 24 out of 30
We knew sometime or other Ricki and Derek would stumble a bit. Don't get me wrong, they still did a great foxtrot; it just wasn't up to the level that she's been dancing these first four weeks. The two started at a disadvantage because of the 80's theme; she loved the era, and it's back then that Ricki got her big break in the movie "Hairspray." He knew nothing of that time because he was born in 1985.
Still, it was a fun foxtrot, and I loved Ricki's prom dress costume. I'm pretty sure my little sister had a similar electric blue number (including headpiece) for her own prom. The judges weren't too mean, but told them this one just didn't gel.
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 24 out of 30
Hope received advice from judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who told her she needs to work on two things: bring out more of her sexy side, and work more as a single unit with partner Maksim. She swears she tries, and seems offended that the judges keep telling her she is not working hard enough. Hope also mentions again that she is NOT an actress, and week after week has trouble getting into a "character."
This week, Hope, in character, tangos to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" and the love/hate theme of that dance mirrors what their rehearsals are often like. All three judges gave Hope an 8, with generally favorable, if somewhat generic, remarks.
Nancy Grace and Tristan McManus - 22 out of 30
Len Goodman did the early critique of Nancy's progress and praised her as being honest and hard working. But he wants her to step it up this week, and also warned her not to channel a "floozy" during her rumba: she needs to remain "age appropriate" with the younger Tristan. Nancy does appear to work very hard, but God bless her partner Tristan; she will not let him finish a sentence. He seemed to get very frustrated with how Nancy kept interrupting him while he was trying to explain the dance to her. This woman is not used to letting others get a word in edgewise.
She managed to learn a rumba to Spandau Ballet's "True," and Carrie Ann called it appropriate, Len called it simple but effective and Bruno said it was sexy not slutty.
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer - 21 out of 30
Chaz has the disadvantage of doing the same dance as J.R. on a night when the new Jose Rene rocked it hard. The samba is a fun party dance, a look at me dance, a shake your groove thing dance; all of those things are completely foreign to Chaz. Lacey sensed he was a bit scared of the samba, so she brought in her the perfect pro: her dad, Buddy. He's also on the larger side, and that's what helped Chaz the most. Chaz called Buddy the "dance doctor" and he really helped raise Chaz's confidence to move as a bigger guy.
Their song was Kool and the Gang's "Get Down on It" and the judges were kind, with Carrie Ann saying this dance had the most actual steps she'd seen Chaz do in a dance yet!
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya - 19 out of 30
Dear Carson: I, like so many people (including the judges) am so entertained by you. And not just on the dance floor. Your interviews are always laugh-out-loud funny. I hope you can feel everyone pulling for you, and wishing, hoping, praying that you'll find your way to each dance's technique. Alas, tonight was not that night.
Again, loads of fun, especially with the cheerleader costumes and the Wham! "Wake Me Up before You Go Go" song. And kudos on a cartwheel! But the jive was a bit of a train wreck. It pains me to say it, but it's true. I'd love to see you stay around for the fun factor, but your flair may not be enough to keep you around for one more week.
Who'll go home? We'll find out the next eliminated couple Tuesday night!