We’ve selected the most beautiful, graceful, and sassy dances from this crazy Season 13 of Dancing With the Stars, and we present our top 5 picks. As we await the news of the Mirror Ball champs (plus two more dances tonight!), here are our picks for the five best routines of fall 2011.
1. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, Tango It may be unpopular to put this at the top, but so be it. This routine was pure genius. Its sheer creativity is going to keep it on “best of” lists for years to come. It was Derek’s Season 10 1950s Paso Doble all over again. He choreographs miracles sometimes. He made the unnatural pairing of the Tango and the Psycho theme look natural and effortless — executed perfectly, thanks to Ricki’s hard work and natural talent. But the very next week their ‘80s misstep showed that it really ISN’T all that easy to craft a great routine, making this Tango all the more special. It was just inspired.
2. J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, Freestyle Wow! It’s exhausting just to watch this dance. The lifts were incredibly ambitious and somehow J.R. and Karina pulled them off. The only downside to the Freestyle is how freedom from any one particular style sometimes leads to loss of focus and control. This routine had a relentless pace, but still managed to stay on point. There’s no question it was a showstopper and definitely the best Freestyle of Season 13. (Sorry, Rob.)
3. J.R. and Karina, Instant Jive It was Week 8 and J.R. and Karina had already earned the first perfect score of the season for their Waltz. But their Instant Jive, which would also earn a perfect score, was arguably even better. It was all high energy and fun and really showed why he was the frontrunner to win. And it DID look they they had rehearsed to this song all week. Instant schminstant.
4. J.R. and Karina, Quickstep Yep, them again! Broadway Week had two amazing Quicksteps, but this one gets the edge. While Ricki was busy with luck and her lady, J.R. and Karina were storming through Chicago.
5. Team Paso Doble The practice was a little ... touchy ... but the dance itself was killer. Turns out, Ricki and Derek (the captains and best of the bunch), Rob and Cheryl and Hope and Maks make a great team. Very sexy. Very goth. Perfect for Halloween! This was Week 7 and it's interesting to see how much Rob has improved in the three weeks since this dance.