It’s been quite the year for Dancing With the Stars — in and out of the ballroom. For now, let’s just focus on the dance floor action with a list of the best and worst routines of 2011. We saw some impressive dances last spring on Season 12 and this past fall on Season 13. The best dances of all time? Maybe not. However, we definitely didn’t see the worst either. These “bad” dances may be not be stellar, but they’re not even close to Master P territory. (Ouch.) So here’s a look at our top five best and “worst” routines from a pretty good year — and here’s to a great 2012!
5. Hines Ward & Kym Johnson, Season 12
SambaHines and Kym got the first perfect score of the season for their fantastic Week 9 Argentine Tango, but Hines had to do a lot more work — and it was dang good! — in the fast, fun Samba he dedicated to his mother on Season 12’s Personal Story Week. This light, playful routine set to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Fantasy” captured the best of Hines and Kym, who definitely deserved their Mirror Ball trophies.
Video: Watch! Hines Ward & Kym Johnson's Story Week Samba
4. J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, Season 13 Freestyle
It’s still exhausting just to watch this incredibly ambitious Freestyle. It had a relentless pace, but still managed to stay on point. There’s no question it was a showstopper and certainly the best Freestyle not only of Season 13 but of the entire year. (Sorry, Hines! Loved your marching band routine, but...)
Video: Watch: J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff's Show-Stopping DWTS Season 13 Finale Freestyle
3. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Season 12 Foxtrot
As patriotic citizens of the good ole US of A, we feel it's our duty to salute this Season 12 American Week routine as one of the best of 2011. It has nothing — NOTHING — to do with Maks strutting around with that little flag tattoo on his chest. Who cares about those tight pleather pants and the flag belt buckle? It's all about the dance, people! Which, if we're honest, wasn't much of a Foxtrot. But, man, was it a lot of everything else. Oh, and Kirstie was there, too! She did stuff…we think.
Video: Watch: Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Foxtrot
2. Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff, Season 12 Waltz
Season 12’s Classical Week was amazing. Period. And this was our favorite routine of them all. Music can make or break a routine even more than the costumes, and this week Ralph and Karina lucked out by landing the gorgeous theme to Romeo & Juliet. No wonder this routine inspired Karina’s new Capulet boot!
Video: Ralph Macchio & Karina Smirnoff's DWTS Week 4 Waltz
1. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, Season 13 Tango
This Tango is going to go down in DWTS history as one of the most inspired routines ever. It was Derek’s Season 10 1950s Paso Doble all over again. Derek made the unnatural pairing of the Tango and thePsycho theme look natural and effortless — executed perfectly, thanks to Ricki’s hard work and natural talent. Maybe this routine can’t top Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke’s “Save a Horse (Ride A Cowboy)” Freestyle, but it belongs on the list of favorite DWTS routines of all time.
Video: Ricki Lake & Derek Hough Score Perfect 10s on DWTS Season 13, Week 4
5. Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer, Season 12 Foxtrot
"Psycho Mike" went home first on Season 12, but we would've loved to hear more of his self-deprecating humor. No, he couldn't dance but at least he entertained ... which was more than Wendy Williams did. The judges gave this routine a score of 13 out of 30, the lowest score of the night. It wasn't that bad! Not that it was great. Still, we give Mike at least a 25 out of 30 for good sportsmanship.
Video: Watch: Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer's Foxtrot
4. Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani, Season 12 Foxtrot
Tony Dovolani needs a dancing intervention. He either gets paired with divas, stiff dancers or good dancers with limited fan bases. He deserves at least one Jennifer Grey type and it sure as heck wasn't Wendy Williams. She was a stiff-dancing diva on Season 12. Week 3 asked the celebs to share personal stories but Len Goodman said Wendy's DJ-inspired Foxtrot was "more suited to the radio." There was no oomph, no fluidity. Where's the beef? Not with this Wendy.
Video: Watch: Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani's Foxtrot
3. Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd, Season 13 Cha-Cha-Cha
Poor Ron/Metta World Peace had to dance first on the Season 13 premiere and this wild, in-your-face routine to “Krazy” was a bit much for viewers to handle right out of the gate — especially with Metta dressed like a shiny pimp. He changed into something more appropriate when he and Peta re-danced the Cha-Cha on the Season 13 finale, but this is the look that lives in our memories. Sorry, man.
Video: Watch: DWTS Season 13 Worst Dances: Ron Artest and Peta Murgatroyd Do the Cha Cha Cha
2. Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer, Season 13 Rumba
It wasn’t Chaz’s lowest-scoring dance of Season 13, but between the not-exactly-romantic “Laugh At Me” song, the weird costumes and the fact that it was supposed to be a sexy Rumba, Chaz’s most memorable year dance was just … well, memorable, but not in a good way.
Video: Watch: DWTS Season 13 Worst Dances: Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer Perform the Rumba
1. Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani, Season 12 Cha-Cha-Cha
The routine was set to "I'm Every Woman" but thankfully Wendy did not represent every woman out there on the Season 12 premiere. Because that would imply that every woman — including Wendy — was boring and worthy of a ballroom ban. This wasn't a Cha-Cha-Cha, it was a shuffle fest. If she was auditioning for The Walking Dead, great job. If she was trying to dance, oy. The judges were confused and disappointed at the firecracker’s lack of performance power. It was like Kim Kardashian not knowing how to shake her assets all over again.
Video: Watch: Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani's Cha-Cha-Cha
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