Despite tying for 4th place on Week 2 of “Dancing with the Stars,” Italian celebrity and model Elisabetta Canalis was unable to endear American viewers. Instead, they said “arrivederci” to the Italian beauty, allowing less graceful dancers to continue their journey on “Dancing with the Stars.” This week, the remaining couples performed to songs that told personal stories of the most memorable years of their lives.
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough performed the best rumba of the night. They danced to the song “Gravity” in memory of the year 2010. That year, Ricki’s house burned down with her children there. They made it out fine. That same year, Ricki met a new man after nearly a decade of divorce. Of all the couples telling their personal stories, viewers really saw the emotion of the story. It was a perfect blend of technique and emotional content. They topped the chart with the first three 9s of the season, earning 27 out of 30.
Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani landed in second place with their rumba to “Hold On,” Chynna’s 1990 hit song with Wilson Phillips. At the time of the song’s release, Chynna suffered from depression and drank because of issues with father, Mamas and Papas singer John Phillips. She stopped drinking that year and met her husband Billy Baldwin. In my opinion, though, the rumba had technical content, but it was boring. The judged rewarded Chynna &Tony for technical content, giving the dance a 26.
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff tied with Chynna & Tony with their rumba to “If You’re Reading This.” The song is about a letter sent to the wife of a soldier who didn’t make it home. J.R.’s memorable year occurred when he survived an IED explosion that his Humvee drove over. The audience gave them a standing ovation. J.R. & Karina earned a 26, a respectable score considering Len dosed out criticism concerning technique.
24-Hour Party People
Three couples earned 24’s, tying for the middle of the pack. Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke were the first couple of the night to get a 24 for their dance. They did a foxtrot to “Fly Me to the Moon,” a song favored by Rob’s father Robert Kardashian. Known as one of O.J. Simpson’s defense attorneys, Robert Kardashian died of esophageal cancer in 2003 when Rob was only 15. “Fly Me to the Moon” was the late Robert Kardashian’s favorite song. Although Rob still seemed stiff, Cheryl has the ability to turn anyone into a dancer.
Rounding out the 24’s were Kristin Cavallari & Mark Ballas for their samba to “Crazy in Love,” Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy for their cha cha cha to “Tonight” and David Arquette & Kym Johnson for their rumba to “Ooh Child.”
The bottom of the pack features three couples struggling to make it to the top. Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya broke into the 20s with their tango to “It’s My Life.” Carson dedicated their dance to 2003, when the show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” premiered. Though the judges said that Carson & Anna improved, I though their two previous dances were more fun to watch. Their rumba earned a 23, a personal best for the couple.
Nancy Grace & Tristan McManus did a moving waltz to “Moon River” dedicated to 2007, when Nancy got married and the birth of twins. Nancy and one of the twins were in danger of losing their lives because of fluid buildup in the lungs. The dance was cute though the footwork was a little off. Long dresses camouflage some footwork mistakes though. Nancy & Tristan earned a 21.
For the second week in a row, Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer ended up at the bottom of the pack. They dance the rumba to “Laugh at Me,” a song written by Chaz’s father Sonny Bono. Chaz dedicated the dance to 2011 after getting gender reassignment surgery. I was not pretty. It looked like Lacey did all the work while Chaz just stood around, occasionally moving arms. The judges felt the same way.
While it would seem that Chaz & Lacey should go home because of continuous poor performance, “Dancing with the Stars” always has surprise eliminations. The celebrities definitely wanted to pull at the heartstrings of the viewers and judges. We will find out if the combined judges’ scores and viewer votes save the people at the bottom, or will we see another improved dancer leave the ballroom?
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough 9 9 9 = 27
Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani 8 9 9 = 26
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff 9 8 9 = 26
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke 8 8 8 = 24
Kristin Cavallari & Mark Ballas 8 8 8 = 24
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy 8 8 8 = 24
David Arquette & Kym Johnson 8 8 8 = 24
Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya 8 7 8 = 23
Nancy Grace & Tristan McManus 7 7 7 = 21
Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer 6 6 6 = 18