‘Dancing with the Stars’ Recap: Week 9

Tonight’s Dancing with the Stars was the semi finales, which means next week someone will be awarded the coveted Mirror Ball trophy. But the dancers have a ways to go before one of them walks away a winner, and tonight they were asked to perform three dances: an Argentine Tango, a Cha Cha, and one other one. First to dance was Hope Solo, who performed the Paso Doble. Hope explained she was looking forward to this dance because she has an easy time conveying aggression and power on the dance floor, so she thought she would be really in her comfort zone. But the judges said that in the routine she performed, she got all caught up in the power and forgot about staying in control and having any grace. Bruno commented she had to “combine the energy with the artistry,” and she got 21 points.

Then came JR and his Paso Doble. During rehearsals, JR twisted his ankle pretty significantly and his injury impacted his performance. The judges said they could tell his movements were a bit more reserved because he wanted to protect his ankle from getting hurt even more, and unfortunately, they couldn’t score him based on what they knew he could do. They gave him 23 points.

Third was Rob with the Samba, and Cheryl Burke spent rehearsals encouraging Rob to shake everything he had because they were in the semi finals, and now was the time for him to give it his all. And even though their dance took on a slow start with a curious float, the judges were mightily impressed with his skills and how he didn’t miss one beat. They gave him 28 points.

Ricki Lake and her Samba were next, and during rehearsals she said she was super nervous about the lifts because she didn’t want to injure Derek. But she vowed to let loose a little bit and enjoy herself, which is exactly what she did because she earned a perfect score from the judges.

Hope’s second dance was the Argentine Tango, and we learned from her family that she was always the girl who was playing with the boys and who had a competitive drive, but her parents’ divorce was very hard on her. She also revealed that one day, her dad kidnapped her and her brother. Then we got a little information about how her career in soccer took a dip in 2007. But when she finally performed the routine, the judges said it was better than her Paso Doble in that it was more controlled and gave her 24 points, bringing her final score of the night to 45 points out of 60.

JR and his Argentine Tango followed Hope, and JR told us that he joined the Army in September of 2002 to get money to go to college. We heard from a few people about JR’s resilient spirit, and what it was like for him to recover after the accident of driving over a landmine left him severely burned. His second dance was outrageous, and probably easier for him to dance because a lot of the routine had him flat on his feet. Bruno said they were incredible, Carrie Ann said he was in command the entire time, and Len said it was great that he came back strong. They got 27 points, earning him a total of 50 points.

Rob and his Argentine Tango were next, but first he described what it was like for him to lose his dad to esophageal cancer when he was 16. He explained how after he graduated college, he had trouble figuring out what he wanted to do with his life – but since joining the show, he has learned that he’s capable of making his own path for himself and capable of following through. And I have to say their tango was highly enjoyable. The judges said they were proud of him for working with Cheryl as opposed to hiding behind her, and gave him 27 points, meaning he earned 55 points.

Ricki Lake’s second dance was also the Argentine Tango. But before she took to the dance floor she explained that she developed a problem with food as a means of coping with the fact that she was molested as a child. And even though she went on to make Hairspray, she continued to have problems with her weight. But then she got her talk show, and it was a great source of joy for her. When the time came for her to finally dance, it was extraordinary as usual (Derek really is an outstanding choreographer – perhaps the best in the competition). They got 29 points, bringing them to a grand total of 59 points.

And then came the Cha Cha Cha relay, which involved everyone dancing at once. To me, these kind of relays are pointless because nobody ever gets to dance long enough so they can showcase their skills. But it certainly signifies that we’re nearing the end of this competition.