Dancing with the Stars

2005, TV Show

Dancing with the Stars Episode: "Dancing With the Stars"

Season 13, Episode 20
Episode Synopsis: The ninth week of performances.
Original Air Date: Nov 14, 2011

Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Monday, Nov. 14, 2011 Season 13, Episode 20

Dancing with the Stars' final four face off in the semifinals — with three dances and lots of injuries! Did J.R. remain perfect? Did Ricki make a comeback? Read on to find out!

If you ask me (and you didn't), it's just cruel and unusual punishment to make these guys perform three dances in one week. But hey, I'm not the one forcing them to fill two hours (which is obviously completely unnecessary at this stage).

The three rounds: an unlearned Latin dance, the Argentine tango and the cha-cha relay.

Round 1

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: paso doble
Hope has 13 anchors in her right shoulder, so she's in pain, like, all the time. "I don't complain about it much because it's part of my life now," she says. (Read: Shut up, Ricki.) She brings in her doc to give her some shots that she was saving for the Olympics. So that's why her shoulders hurt — she's chained like a dog to the stairs. Oh, you and your S&M ways, Maks. Hope (and her electrocuted hair) is totally into the character and going after the steps, but way, way too much. She's losing control and is looking too flimsy for a paso, meaning Maks must fling her around yet again. Len gives them props for doing three dances in a week. He likes the attitude, but doesn't think she had finesse. Bruno concurs and says she has to combine the energy with the artistry. Carrie Ann says she nailed the character, but thinks their hold was out of sync. The judges are over it... but Maks doesn't care. He loves everyone! Gag. Bring back Mad Maks.
Score: 21

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: paso doble
J.R.'s feeling the pressure since he was doubly perfect last week... and he twists his ankle. No Olympic shots for him? OK. They do The Mask of Zorro and I'm just kind of transfixed by his glittery pants for the most part. Unsurprisingly, J.R.'s showing no ill effects of the sprain at first, but then things start to unravel. His footwork loses aggressiveness at the routine goes on and he just looks sort of pained all around. And that's because it turns out he twisted his ankle again during the dance. Bruno feels the excitement of the chase, but points out J.R.'s iffy posture. Carrie Ann thinks the ankle affected his posture. Len doesn't think the paso suits him: "It was more zero than Zorro." Zing!
Score: 23

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: samba
They have the samba so Rob's booty is gonna come out to play, he promises. Well, not at first. They start off questionably on a pseudo parade float, shaking more of their maracas than anything else, but once he kicks it into gear, it's basically the opposite trajectory of J.R.'s dance. The booty-shaking and hip action are nonstop, and Rob's light on his feet and keeps up with the quick pace. And it's just a fun, lively number all around. There aren't any samba rolls, but you can't dock him that much in a week where he learned three dances. They get an extended standing O usually reserved for J.R. Oh, how the tables have turned. Carrie Ann calls it bootylicious. Len says, "Oh, yes!" Bruno: "That's how you turn a handicap into an asset." Carrie Ann busts out the 10 paddle, reducing Kris Jenner to (fake) tears! Bruce has no idea what's going on.
Score: 28

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: samba
Ricki's still hung up on their crappy jive and feels she failed people's expectations, so she's out for redemption. Redemption apparently includes a bright yellow, feathered dress makes her look like Big Bird. Fashion aside, this is a nice comeback. There's not as much hip or butt action as Rob, but she makes up for it by nailing the footwork and the sharp holds. Still, the whole thing is a tad reserved for what's supposed to be an energetic party dance. You can totally see the wheels turning in her head. Len calls it fabulous and basically says they've locked a spot in the finals. Bruno calls it sizzling from beginning to end. Carrie Ann loves that she controlled her shoulders.
Score: 30

Round 2
Argentine tango time — with legal lifts — and personal stories!

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Hope is a daddy's girl. Her dad was a Vietnam vet and one day "kidnapped" her and her brother. He got arrested and they reconnected years later. He died a few weeks before the 2007 World Cup, during which Hope infamously blasted the coach for benching her. But, as all teammates and family point out, she persevered and won an Olympic gold medal a year later. They start off with Hope writhing around on the judges' table in a slip. Can't hurt, right? The kicks, lifts and attack are well done, but Hope is still not sturdy enough. And let's not get started on the complete lack of chemistry. You guys may have settled your differences, but you each might have more sexual tension with a chair at this point. Len says it was like a "buffet" when Hope was on the table. Dude, food analogies are not sexy. Bruno loves the control and aggressiveness. Carrie Ann tells Maks not to smile (WTF?) and likes the ambitiousness of the lifts, but not the story behind them. "I think from Day One, they've wanted me off the show, but I'm still here!" Hope tells Brooke defiantly.
Score: 24

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Grab your Kleenex! J.R. joined the Army on Sept. 12, 2002, but never processed that he could be in a war. He says he hit his lowest point after he saw his facial burns from the landmine explosion, but his mom lifted his spirits. He joined All My Children in 2008 despite never having acted before. (Ex-)AMCers and Dancing alums Susan Lucci and Cameron Mathison chime in on J.R.'s awesomeness, along with his girlfriend, who is adorable. Luckily, this is easier on J.R.'s ankle, except for the lifts, which are gorgeous. J.R. is decent, but you know he would be miles better if he was at full strength. Bruno says he was in lucky lover mode. Carrie Ann loves the way he negotiated the mounts and dismounts of the lifts. Len says he was transported to the backstreets of Buenos Aires. What exactly happens back there, Len?
Score: 27

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
The producers are pure evil/genius for putting Rob on after J.R. "How can his story even compare?" you say? "I haven't really experienced life like everyone else," Rob acknowledges. Kris says Rob Sr. was so excited to have a boy and Khloe admits to the girls used to dress up their lil' bro in drag. Rob was 16 when his dad died and he set out to go to USC like his dad did. But he had no idea what to do afterward (you mean, you didn't want to be famous?) and Dancing has forced him to grow up. Cue the requisite "boy to man" talk. All joking aside, Rob has evolved into quite the dancer. He's totally taking the lead here and is slick, confident and precise. The lines are lovely and his butt is in check. Carrie Ann says there was no faking involved. No faking with a Kardashian?! Must be a first. Len says he's finishing strong. Bruno says he's a leading man.
Score: 27

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Ricki turned to food after getting molested as a child and landed Hairspray when she was 18. After she dropped 100 pounds, she got her talk show, but then went through a tough divorce in 2003. Interesting that there isn't any mention of her new beau. Ricki's brought the gams out and with good reasons. Her legs are extended and pointed for days. The kicks and staccato hooks are acute and quick, but she's also smooth and fluid throughout the rest of the dance. But it all looks a little too mechanical and there isn't any real sultry connection between her and Derek. Len loves the contrast of movement. Bruno is transported into the underworld of Buenos Aires. How many parts of Buenos Aires are we gonna go to tonight? Carrie Ann sees the core strength developing in her.
Score: 29

Round 3

Cha-cha relay! All four couples will dance in sequence to the same song for bonus points (highest: 10; lowest: 4). They picked the order last week: Ricki, Hope, J.R. and Rob. Do we really have to go through with this? We all know how it's going to turn out.

Ricki and Derek kick it off with their signature "strut forward and finger-wag" move. She's technically sound and plays it rather safe. Hope and Maks do their signature "back dip and slide her head over" move. Hope is still gawky, but more solid on her steps, which is too little too late. J.R. and Karina are actually kind of a snooze, not that they're terrible, but we've been spoiled with all the awesome J.R. dances. It's respectable, but he's very economical with his movement. Rob and Cheryl close it out with another crowd-pleasing effort. Len calls it fruity and tasty. Bruno acknowledges everyone for doing three dances. Carrie Ann says it was a surprise how everything turned out.

The rankings:
4th place (4 points): Hope and Maks — Total: 49
3rd place (6 points): J.R. and Karina — Total: 56
2nd place (8 points): Ricki and Derek — Total: 67
1st place (10 points): Rob and Cheryl — Total: 65

So comeback gal Ricki does it: She's on top with 67, while Hope is way behind with 49. The writing's on the wall, no?

What did you think? Was having three dances sadistic? Did you like everyone's life stories? Did Rob look good in drag as a child? Did Ricki look like Big Bird? Will J.R.'s ankle heal in time? Is there any hope for Hope? Who's Carrie Ann to tell Maks to stop smiling? What other shady parts of Buenos Aires can dancing transport us to? Who do you think will get the boot?

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Dancing with the Stars' final four face off in the semifinals — with three dances and lots of injuries! Did J.R. remain perfect? Did Ricki make a comeback? Read on to find out!
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Premiered: June 01, 2005, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Celebrities are paired with professionals in a ballroom-dance competition, with one pair typically eliminated each week.

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