So we turn to "Movie Music" theme night on "Dancing with the Stars," always a favorite of viewers, contestants, and one blogger, alike. And did we mention Cher was in the house? More on that later.
Ricki Lake proved why she deserves to be on the top of the leader board for a third week in a row. The actress/talk show host turned in one of the most incredible routines of this season (and quite a few otheres) with a powerful tango set to the creepy violin-driven music from "Psycho." Derek Hough delivered impossibly thrilling choreography and the pair were near flawless in their execution. Her score? A totally deserved 29 --- 10s from judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli and a 9 from Len Goodman who complained that her chin dropped down one or two times during the routine. Really, Len? A droopy chin movement?
But let's return to the beginning of the night, when Goodman's judgment was equally out of whack.
First up tonight was Chynna Philips with her partner Tony Dovolani who went on to NOT dance their intended tango as Philips completely forgot pretty much all of her steps.
Looking much like a deer with eyes in the proverbial headlights, the singer completely "lost the dance" (choreographed to the theme from "Mission Impossible") and though she did her best to just keep moving (which she did, spurred on by Tony's very visible verbal coaching), she didn't pull it off. She even admitted as much as she fought back tears, waiting for the judging hammer to fall hard.
Alas, the judges served up a very hefty score of 21 (three 7s in case you were wondering how it played out) --- for a dance that wasn't danced. Just last week, Chaz Bono didn't do much dancing either during his moment in the spotlight and he was promptly chastized and rewarded (rightfully so) with a score of 18. Maybe the judges' "6" paddles weren't available tonight for Chynna?
Following Chynna was David Arquette and his partner Kym Johnson, who turned in a fun paso doble to the theme from "Raiders of the Lost Ark." It was very entertaining, exciting and Arquette danced quite well, though not perfect. But at least he danced. And yet, the judges handed out a score of 23. Seriously? It earned a standing ovation from the audience for a VERY good reason. It was pretty darn good.
Of course, the scoring debacle continued as Carson Kressley and his partner Anna Trebunskya earned a paltry 20 for their VERY entertaining Viennese waltz to music from "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl." Sure, he messed up some steps here and there and here and there, but it deserved at least a 21 or even a 22. This was not the worst dance of the night.
Nancy Grace didn't do much for the paso doble with her partner Tristan McManus. In fact, the only highlight of their routine was listening to a cover of Queen's "Flash's Theme" from the film "Flash Gordon. Score: 21. Go figure.
Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy were cartoon eye candy during their adorable fox trot to "You've Got a Friend in Me" from "Toy Story." It was cute to watch, but not as fiery as some of their earlier routines. Still, judge Len Goodman proclaimed Hope would likely make it all the way (as in win the whole shebang). Not as long as Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez have anything to say about it. Score: 24, one of the night's highest.
Rob Kardashian and partner Cheryl Burke attempted a paso doble to the theme from "Superman" and their efforts were rewarded handsomely (amid a few gripes from judge Len Goodman) with a score of 24. Rob even ripped open his shirt to reveal --- an emblazoned "K" sted of the requisite "S" sported by the fictional superhero. Way to keep that family brand name front-and-center! And wasn't Cheryl's costume more reminiscent of the enslaved Princess Leia Organa than Lois Lane? :)
True to her word, er, her tweet, Cher was in the ballroom tonight to cheer on Chaz.The singer-actress had tweeted last week that she would indeed attend tonight's competition if Chaz made it through to another week.
Chaz pulled out all the stops in his paso doble to the theme from "Rocky" with partner Lacey Schwimmer. And it all worked pretty well. Cher lept to her feet, fought back tears (she couldn't hold them back very long) when Chaz ran up the ballroom's staircase ( a la Rocky Balboa ) raising his arms in triumph, and the audience joined in the emotional moment with a standing ovation. The score: 21 --- should pretty much guarantee Chaz will be back to dance another day.
Last up tonight was J.R. Martinez, who along with partner Karina Smirnoff, was pretty in pink ---- as in "Pink Panther" ---- as the couple turned in a pretty snazzy fox trot to the unmistakable theme. Not quite as good as his previous outings, and though technically smooth, it was not good enough to overtake Ricki Lake who earlier turned in what would be the performance of the night. Score for J.R.? 26.
So who goes home Tuesday? It should be Chynna, but Carson will have to hope for a huge fan base voter turnout to overcome Philips' judges' scores and live to dance another day.