Ricki Lake didn’t need luck to be the lady of the night on Dancing With the Stars Season 13 Week 6. The former Hairspray star easily found her way back to the top of the leaderboard for Broadway Week. Of course, she had to share the spotlight with J.R. Martinez. That’s the real theme of Season 13 — Ricki vs. J.R. They both got 29s for their Quicksteps, with Len Goodman now the only judge refusing to flash his “10” paddle.
Nancy Grace definitely tapped into the luck of her Irish partner Tristan MacManus. Maybe they shared some leprechaun gold with judge Carrie Ann Inaba — how else did they get a “9” for that Spamalot Foxtrot? It was cute, but.... Meanwhile, Chaz Bono was not so lucky. Bruno Tonioli said his Phantom of the Opera Tango was like watching “a cute little penguin try to be a big menacing bird of prey.” His bargain basement score of 19 out of 30 left him feeling down. “Not much to say, is there,” Chaz said of the score in the Celebriquarium.
But the big Broadway show of the night was Maksim Chmerkovskiy vs. the judges. Oh, baby.
Read on for a full recap of DWTS Season 13, Episode 6:
1. Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke — Cha-Cha-Cha to Jersey Boys — Rob wants to throw J.R. off the top of the leaderboard and shake his butt like Maks. Does he ever want to just be himself? On that note, his momager Kris Jenner came in to reiterate the stage mom spin that Rob is just a shy guy who isn’t used to being competitive. But now he HAS to be competitive ‘cause mama can see the shine on the Mirror Ball trophy from here. Obviously she’ll be keeping the trophy if he wins. Rob always has a bright smile on his face when he dances but he’s not fluid or sexy in his movements. The Kardashians scream, of course, and Khloe shouted out her recommended score of “9.” Ladies, go watch the World Series and scream from the bleachers. This is not the place.
JUDGES: Len Goodman said it was clean and precise and had good timing, but it had no rhythm. Bruno Tonioli said the dance was adequate but the dance didn’t have the impact or power it needed. Carrie Ann Inaba said it wasn’t as great as what she saw last week but she saw more charisma come out of him than she’d ever seen before. He has not become The Man on the dance floor yet. He’s a late college graduate who needs to get his master’s degree? The education analogy lost its way in there, but whatever.
SCORES: 8, 7, 7 = 22 out of 30. Carrie Ann continues to be Rob’s biggest fan.
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2. Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus — Foxtrot to Spamalot — Always look on the bright side of life? Not Nancy’s usual modus operandi. She and Tristan bicker again over having more difficult choreography. She wanted it, then didn’t want it when she got it. It is asking a lot to Foxtrot to a Monty Python song, but they add the entertainment value the judges wanted. No one should call this dance boring. It’s fun and funny — love the kicks! Would Carson Kressley have danced to this if he lasted another week? Oh Carson. We miss you.
JUDGES: Bruno liked the Pythonesque twist they put in. They captured the feel of the musical and also did a Foxtrot. Carrie Ann said they upped the ante on their content and nailed it. She called it a “showstopper.” Len said it had a lot more personality and a different side of Nancy came out. However, a certain amount of the Foxtrot has to be in hold and that part of it wasn’t good. He liked all the razzle-dazzle, but this week she went down on technique.
SCORES: 9, 7, 8 = 24 out of 30. Whoa! A 9 from Carrie Ann? Love Team MacGrace but that’s pretty darn high.
On another note: Carson came out after this performance to talk to Tom Bergeron about the upcoming group dance. “I am the creative director for the group dance. It’s one of those cases where those who can’t dance teach.”
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3. David Arquette & Kym Johnson — Quickstep to Grease — The Quickstep is a happy, high-energy dance but David needs to work on keeping himself calm. But does he? It’s Broadway Week. Just go nuts! The dance is happy and wholesome but little Coco Arquette’s gleeful reaction remains the best part of David’s dances. She’s our favorite audience member this season. Sorry, Pee-wee Herman!
JUDGES: Carrie Ann said it’s a tough number to live up to, but as far as performance goes he lived up to it. That’s the good news. The bad news is they were out of sync a bit. Len said it was what it was — rough around the edges, but high energy and full-on. His enthusiasm got the better of him but it was fun. Bruno said he has the exuberance and charm of a frisky teenager on Spring Break. He was all charged up like a live wire. Then David did a hilariously bad John Travolta impression for Brooke Burke-Charvet in the Celebriquarium. Stick to the Len impressions, man!
SCORES: 8, 7, 8 = 23 out of 30. Len left all his other paddles at home — it’s a “7” night for him so far.
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4. Ricki Lake & Derek Hough — Quickstep to Guys and Dolls — She’s pushing the limits, running the entire time through this routine. Derek is being tough this week because he’s noticed that the bad cop routine works for her. Maybe Ricki should dance with Maks for a week. Everyone is chasing J.R. this season. That is very telling. They dance to “Luck Be A Lady” and Ricki looks elegant in gold. Derek’s hat owns the routine. And it’s always fun to see him sing along with the dances. This is supposed to be about Ricki, but sometimes Derek just naturally takes over. Very fun dance.
JUDGES: Len said you don’t need luck if you’ve got talent and in this number Ricki proved her talent. Her legs move so fast. He got nit-picky about her head movements. “I’m a finicky person.” But he loved it. Bruno said it had impeccable style with outstanding choreography. It was fitted like a glove to the musical. Carrie Ann said it was so exciting to watch like poetry in motion.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10 = 29 out of 30. Len isn’t ready to give up the “10” goods yet.
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5. Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer — Tango to The Phantom of the Opera — Chaz saw Phantom several times growing up because mama Cher loves this musical. Lacey said she can’t choreograph something “super basic” this week because they have to spend most of the dance in hold. She also can’t memorize his dances for him. He’s been relying on her through the dances. He can’t do that anymore. It’s time for growth. Dancing in a Phantom mask might be good for Chaz to help him get into character.
JUDGES: Bruno said it was a different Phantom. “It was like watching a cute little penguin try to be a big menacing bird of prey.” Ouch. He said the character didn’t fit Chaz. Carrie Ann agreed a bit but she said each person has their own journey on the show. In this dance, this was the most aggressive she’s seen Chaz. But she has to be frank, at Week 6 she wants more difficult choreography and more content. Len said the first rule of the competition is to get through the routine. He knows Chaz is trying his hardest, however the hold should be tighter and the Tango should be more aggressive.
SCORES: 7, 6, 6 = 19 out of 30. “Not much to say, is there,” Chaz said.
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6. Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Rumba to Rent — Hope didn’t really mean it when she said she “can’t do this anymore” last week. She’s grateful to be here and she was just frustrated to feel like she wasn’t moving forward last week. Maks brought in three pro dancers from the DWTS troupe to help her be sexy. Help or be intimidated? Maks said having the girls there was helpful to Hope. So maybe they should be there every week … or they should teach her? Maks said he’s the only one who hasn’t lost faith that she can become an amazing dancer … but he’s close. Is this helping? Tom called him “Captain Tough Love.”
JUDGES: Carrie Ann was careful with her comments. You could tell she didn’t want to start another war. She said she can see all of Hope’s effort and saw, for the first time, Hope trusting her natural sexiness. But still there’s an element of her forcing movements. She lost a little bit of what was happening in hold. Len said he was at a loss because he’s never lost faith in Hope. He’s always felt there was so much there but for some reason it never came out. Len said the dance was full of heel leads and he tried to blame the boots, in part. “This is your worst dance of the whole season, in my opinion.” The crowd booed. Maks egged the booing on and Len said he shouldn’t because the fault was partly his. Ouch. Len: “I've been in this business for nearly 50 years.” Maks: “Maybe it's time to get out.” WOW. Carrie Ann: “Don't be disrespectful like that.” Maks said he didn’t want to be disrespectful but everyone up in the balcony — the other dancers — put their hearts into everything. Bruno said Hope was too staccato when the Rumba is supposed to have continuous motion.
SCORES: 7, 6 7 = 20 out of 30. Maks’ reaction? “With all due respect, this is my show. I help make it what it is. I love every professional that’s ever been here and I love every celebrity that puts effort into every week. Having said that, I’m a little tired that we’re being judged some on effort and some on being picked on for heel leads. That’s all I’m saying.”
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7. J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff — Quickstep to Chicago — This is probably the most difficult routine Karina has choreographed in her time on DWTS. He is probably her best partner to date. Or was her ex-beau Mario Lopez? J.R. did a cartwheel toward the end of the routine.
JUDGES: Len said J.R. is truly relentless — he just keeps on keeping on. J.R. gave a shout-out to Helio Castroneves’ Season 5 Quickstep. And he went on to win! Bruno also gushed and Carrie Ann gave J.R. a “Tony,” as she did for Ricki. So it’s definitely a J.R. vs. Ricki showdown this season.
SCORES: 10, 9, 10 = 29 out of 30. What is Len waiting for? Just asking.
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Group dance: It’s great to see all the stars out dancing together. Nancy does have some sex kitten appeal to her, when she wants to turn on the charm. And she and Tristan had a nice lift. Hope & Maks had a sexy “Money Money” moment. It’s a shame their night is pretty much colored by What Just Happened. Why aren’t the individual couples getting scores? That could help some folks. Len said it was a fitting tribute to Broadway. The group section was tight. Bruno, of course, had to stand up and shake his own hips. Both Len and Rob singled out Rob. Carrie Ann gave Nancy a special bonus point for her move. We have to agree.
Other acts: The show launched with a very sparkly performance from Sister Act. Kristin Chenoweth had a real showstopper later in the show. Love her. But are we grumpy like Len if we wish the show would just start with the celebs dancing and keep the focus on the DWTS couples the whole night? It’s fun to have special performers on the Results Shows but Mondays should be devoted to the celebs … and maybe the pros. But no visitors on family night!
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Special Halloween episode next week!
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