Round two of tonight's semi-finals was all about the Argentine tango, a sexy, sultry dance that requires precision and style. And it was all about securing the third spot in next week's finals (let's face it, barring a HUGE mishap, Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez are pretty much going to be dancing next week, too)
After tonight's first round that completely turned the tables on the leader board, it was Maks Chmerkovskiy and Hope Solo who led off the second round with a tango that was not quite up to snuff. And the tension between the pair and the judges' panel was palpable. This was her night to shine, and fight for a spot in next weeks' finals, which after the two dances she performed, is pretty much out of reach unless her viewer fan base can come to her rescue. Her combo score for the night so far, 45 out of 60.
Next up was J.R. Martinez and his partner Karina Smirnoff, who gave it their best shot (despite ankle woes that obviously affected J.R.'s performance). They earned 27 for their dance, giving them a total of 50 out of 60 points for the night... not exactly where he (and most of us) expected to be in terms of judges' scores..
Then it was Rob Kardashian's turn to tackle the difficult dance. And continuing his "oh what a night full of surprised this is", he was in total control of the dance, and his score, 27, reflected his accomplishment. Where had THIS Rob been all season? As judge Len Goodman pointed out, it's not where you start it's where you finish. And barring any huge snafu in the final dance of the night (the cha cha relay yet to come), Kardashian will be in the finals next week. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that Ricki and J.R. will be his co-competitors.
But then all eyes were on Ricki Lake and Derek Hough and there was no doubt they had turned in the night's most incredible Argentine tango. It was lovely and sexy and hot... much like the tango culture of Buenos Aires, and her score of 29 (for some reason judge Carrie Ann Inaba held up her "9" paddle) was totally deserved. And kudos to Derek for some exquisite choreography.
So it's on to the cha cha relay.