The five remaining celebrities on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars’” season 13 took to the dance floor for a special, Halloween-themed show tonight.
The show (which started a half-hour later to accommodate the special “Scared Shrekless” Halloween animated feature) featured dancers in over-the-top makeup and costumes, dancing their spooky best. In addition to their individual performances, the celebrities had to compete against each other in two group dances.
The score earned by each team would be added to each competitors’ individual score, for one grand total for the night.
David Arquette’s cha-cha — as the actor channeled a magician with his assistant — won a warm reception from judges, who praised his overall progress during the season. But they pointed out that he needed to have more rhythm, was out of time on occasion and needed to pay more attention to his hold.
“David, your improvement in phenomenal,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said.
The actor earned a 24 out of a possible total of 30.
Fan favorite J.R. Martinez’s tango — performed to the song “Ghostbusters” — got mixed reviews.
While judge Bruno Tonioli said the performance was “solid,” he said Martinez had lost his timing a few times due to the complexity of the music. Inaba agreed, but head judge Len Goodman was far less impressed.
“For me, this performance was substandard to what I expect from you,” he said.
Martinez was tied for the top spot after last week’s performance. Tonight, he earned 25 points.
Asked whether he was happy with that score, he told show co-host Brooke Burke Charvet that he was, but said he hoped the audience voted to bring him and partner Karina Smirnoff back next week so they could “redeem” themselves.
TV host Nancy Grace seemed to enjoy her devil-inspired jive, but judges weren’t thrilled.
Inaba said Grace “lost” the choreography at times, and Goodman said she wasn’t suited to the dance. He said her kicks weren’t sharp enough and lacked bounce in her foot.
Added Tonioli: “Nancy, my darling, either the devil got you or your shoes were too tight,” as he, too, mentioned that she lost the timing in the fast-paced dance.
She got 21 points.
Reality TV personality Rob Kardashian earned a standing ovation for his spooky “Addams Family”-inspired tango.
Inaba told him it was his “best dance so far.” Tonioli said he was “manly and in control,” but cautioned him to keep his “bum” tucked in so he wouldn’t ruin his frame.
Goodman said Kardashian did a terrific job.
Kardashian earned 25 points, tying with Martinez for second place.
Despite having to dance with bruised ribs, Ricki Lake’s paso doble — a dance floor retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood story — brought the audience to its feet with rousing applause. There was equally enthusiastic feedback from the judging panel.
Tonioli said it evoked “passion and fear in the frozen woods,” while Inaba complimented Lake’s shapes. Both warned her to be conscious of tension in her shoulders.
Goodman thought it was lovely, saying her precise footwork and the shapes she formed on the floor were what he loved about this style of dance.
She earned 27 points, and the highest score of the night for the individual dance.
Soccer World Cup star Hope Solo’s samba met with the judges’ approval.
Solo has struggled during the competition, and her pro dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy was so frustrated by judges’ harsh reviews of her performance last week that he ended up in a heated exchange with Goodman, ending by testily suggesting that the judge “get out” of the industry.
He has been strongly criticized for his outburst, but many others say his frustrations over perceived judging inconsistencies were valid and deserved to be aired.
Tonight he stood silently by his partner’s side when she got her judges’ reviews.
Inaba said she believed Solo had a newfound ease of movement that made the performance better than her past best dance. Goodman told Solo she handled a difficult dance well.
Tonioli said Solo had “better timing, better placement, better finish,” adding that she should be proud.
She earned 24 points.
The group dances followed, first a performance from Team Tango — comprising Grace, Martinez, Arquette and their partners.
The group dynamic was good, but when the team broke into pairs, “each one of the individual performances was a disaster,” Goodman said.
The other judges agreed, awarding Team Tango 23 points.
They were followed by Team Paso — with Solo, Lake and Kardashian. Their dance won enthusiastic approval from the judges, and earned them 26 points.
Tonioli said the dance was powerful, moody and dramatic, while Inaba said it was amazing and poetic.
Each team member had his or her team’s score added to the individual score from earlier in the evening.
With the judges’ and audience votes combined, the star with the lowest total will be sent home tomorrow. The three remaining celebrity competitors and their partners will battle for the championship.
Activist Chaz Bono was voted off last week. Also booted off the show this season were fashion guru Carson Kressley, reality TV star Kristin Cavallari, Italian model Elisabetta Canalis and NBA champ Metta World Peace (former Ron Artest).
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 27; 26 (53 points)
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 25; 23 (48)
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 25; 26 (51)
David Arquette and Kym Johnson: 24; 23 (47)
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 24; 26 (50)
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: 21; 23 (44)