‘Dancing With the Stars’ Season 2011: Week 3, Dance by Dance

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It’s week three of  ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”, and tonight was the  the episode when the celebrities’ dances evoked the most memorable year of their lives.  The dancers did not disappoint, bringing personal, emotional performances.

First up were Rob Kardashian and his professional partner Cheryl Burke.

Kardashian’s foxtrot — dedicated to his late father, attorney Robert Kardashian — won good reviews from the judges.

“You just put the ‘dash’ in Kardashian,” judge Len Goodman said. “I hope your dad’s looking down and saying ‘Rob, you did good,’ because you did.”

Singer Chynna Phillips got even higher praise — and tied for second-highest score of then night — for her soulful rumba. She danced to “Hold On,” a song by her former group, Wilson Phillips, and said the song had been written against a backdrop of her depression and personal turmoil.

“I knew you could do it. You are a smoldering siren, seductive, stylish,” judge Bruno Tonioli said of her performance.

Phillips got an eight and two nines — the first nines of the season.

Chaz  Bono danced to “Laugh at Me,” a song by his father, the late Sonny Bono, and he drew mixed reviews.

Goodman called Bono’s rumba “the best dance I’ve seen you do,” but Tonioli and judge Carrie Ann Inaba didn’t find it and memorable.

“You looked really distracted,” Inaba said, adding that Bono didn’t dance enough.

Reality TV star Kristin Cavallari received a standing ovation when she and partner Mark Ballas danced a high-energy samba to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love.”  For Cavallari, the song recalled the year when she graduated from high school and decided to pursue an entertainment career.

Judges liked it. “You fast-moving devil woman,” Tonioli said in approval.

Fashion guru Carson Kressley danced to No Doubt’s song, “It’s My Life,”  in celebration of his 2003 show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

Growing up gay, Kressley said, meant he always felt like an outsider.

“You feel like you have this flaw,” he said, adding that his show made him feel proud of who he was.

The three judges were all happy with his over-the-top tango.

“You put the ‘boy’ in flamboyant,” Goodman said, while Tonioli called it “insanely brilliant.”

J.R. Martinez — the actor who was badly burned while serving in the military in Iraq — brought the audience to its feet with his poignant rumba dedicated to those who lost their lives during military service.

Tonioli said Martinez danced from his heart.

Added Inaba: “You touched us all. That was one of the most poignant, honest dances I have ever seen.”

Martinez also earned two nines and an eight, winding up tied with Phillips for second place.

TV host and attorney Nancy Grace dance a waltz in honor of the year her twins were born.

“Your love and your tenderness for your daughter and your son truly came through in the dance,” Inaba said.

Goodman and Tonioli told her she needed to work more on her posture, but agreed that emotion came through.

Ricki Lake’s sleek rumba recalled her finding love again, and the former talk show host said she hoped to inspire others to not close themselves off from the possibility of doing the same.

“Ricki Lake is on fire!” Inaba said of Lake’s performance. “That was fabulous.”

Goodman and Tonioli also had high praise for Lake and her partner, Derek Hough.

“Your love and your tenderness for your daughter and your son truly came through in the dance,” Inaba said.

Goodman and Tonioli told her she needed to work more on her posture, but agreed that emotion came through.

Soccer player Hope Solo sizzled with her cha-cha, and judges said she nailed the routine, but Inaba thought Solo’s dance needed more fluidity and femininity.

“For me, it was your best dance so far,” Goodman said.

Actor David Arquette’s tender rumba brought smiles to the faces of those in the audience. Tonioli said Arquette brought “sensitivity and vulnerability” to the dance.

Arquette’s performance recalled this past year, in which his marriage fell apart and he sought solace in alcohol. But he said he wanted to show his daughter, through the dance, that she was “everything” to him.

“I thought you did a great job,” Goodman said of the final routine of the night.

Bono was is the low scorer tonight, with a total of 18 points, and Lake leads the pack with 27 points.

Tonight’s Scores

Lake and Hough: 27 out of a possible 30

Phillips and Dovolani: 26/30

Martinez  and Smirnoff: 26/30

Kardashian and Burke: 24/30

Cavallari and Ballas: 24/30

Kressley and Trebunskaya: 23/30

Arquette and Johnson: 24/30

Solo and Chmerkovskiy: 24/30

Grace and MacManus:  21/30

Bono and Schwimmer: 18/30

Based on a combination of judges’ and viewers’ scores, one celebrity will be voted off during Tuesday’s results’ show.   NBA champ Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) and Italian model Elisabetta Canalis have already been eliminated.

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