Tonight on “Dancing With the Stars” — Cher is in the audience! Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet don’t say that, though it must true because Cher tweeted last week that she would be on the show if her son, Chaz Bono, didn’t get eliminated. Chaz is still here and even though we don’t know much about Cher, we don’t think she would lie about something like that.
There are only nine couples left, so time for the first filler segment. Tonight’s theme is Famous Movie Scores, so the “DWTS” troupe members dance accordingly. The dancers begin by gazing solemnly in the distance and then twirling around a fire pit in the middle of the hardwood floor. (Does that worry anyone else? No? Okay then.) The fire pit is soon abandoned, and the dance gets a lot better in terms of fire safety, but a lot less interesting in terms of entertainment. However, we do get some light sabers, so that helps. As Tom Bergeron sums up, “You can never go wrong with light sabers and spray tanning.”
Then, on to the dancers:
Singer Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani
Dance: Tango to “Mission Impossible”
Tony snaps at Chynna during rehearsal because she keeps forgetting her footwork. Then, she’s the one who apologizes to him — neat trick, Tony! When the dance starts, Tony is lowered from the ceiling on “Mission Impossible”-esque wires, getting points for aerial stunts, but not so much originality. Chynna joins him with what appears to be a gun strapped around her leg. They stalk through the tango and Chynna loses her steps pretty quickly. The duo grimly gets through the rest of the dance, Chynna miserable and never quite finding her place.
Chynna tears up immediately when Len rambles on about the dancers finding a balance between the movie character and a dancer, but finally arrives at a point: They obviously made quite a few mistakes. Bruno quickly steps in as Chynna’s on the verge of tears and tells her that it wasn’t all bad. Carrie Ann reminds Chynna it’s not the end of the world, and Tom Bergeron echoes this point by reminding Chynna that the prize for winning this show is a hideous-yet-coveted mirror ball trophy. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
Actor David Arquette and Kym Johnson
Dance: Pasodoble to “Raiders of the Lost Ark” theme
We get a shot of the “A-list” cheering section for the night, which includes Courteney Cox, Billy Baldwin and, of course, Cher. She showed up! Meanwhile, rehearsal footage, David is confident he can play the Indiana Jones character, but not so sure he will be able to tell his left foot from his right — he’s dyslexic, he explains. As the performance starts, David swings from a tree rope and rescues Kym, who was stuck behind a cage. Tonight’s aerial stunts are quite impressive so far. David looks like he’s trying really hard to remember all the steps, but gets more comfortable in his Indy costume and ends the dance with a flourish.
Standing ovation from the audience, and Bruno ecstatically agrees, going into an extended metaphor about going on a wild ride. Len, however, calls it a temple of doom. Zing! David attempts some back talk to the criticism, which never goes well, and all the judges start yelling at each other. Scores: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23 points.
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya
Dance: Viennese waltz to “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” theme
The “DWTS” troupe performs again, though there are no fire pits or light sabers, so it’s a snooze fest. Back to the dancers, Carson is thrilled that the judges finally like him. In rehearsal, he and Anna get a visit from a large stunt man named Storm (no last name) who teaches them how to fight with swords. Props always equal the best performances (or lead to the most hilarious mistakes), so we’re ready. Carson and Anna take the “Pirates of the Caribbean” theme very seriously, dressed in full glittery pirate garb with a parrot. In the dance, they chase each other around and get in a sword fight, which ultimately leads to a very stiff Viennese waltz, as most sword fights do.
Carrie Ann calls this Carson’s most “butch” performance (sparkly pirates are very intimidating), but says the technique was terrible. Len thinks it was great fun, even though there wasn’t much “dancing” that happened. Bruno says Carson forgot some steps, and Carson tries to blame it on wayward swords on the dance floor. It doesn’t go over well. Scores: 7, 6, 7 for a total of 20 points.
Commentator Nancy Grace and Tristan Macmanus
Dance: Pasodoble to “Flash Gordon” theme
Tristan crashes Nancy’s HLN show and tells her to bring the same scary attitude to her performance this week. Nancy says she never thought anything she learned in law school or in a courtroom would help her on the dance floor, but she’ll try to bring her inner bully.
Len and Bruno are unimpressed, Len with the lack of energy and Bruno with the lack of “ball breaking.” Carrie Ann comes to the rescue and says a bit condescendingly that they should be proud of Nancy for trying, but she needs to be more like her aggressively frightening talk show persona. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
U.S. women’s soccer team’s Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Fox trot to “Toy Story” theme
Hope and Maks bicker in rehearsal with lots of bleeping involved, as Maks accuses Hope of being too much of a perfectionist and Hope barking at Maks that she practice any other way. “Maks’s teaching style doesn’t always gel with the way I want to learn,” Hope says sweetly. During the dance, they don cowboy hats for a Western style look, with Maks looking like a dapper ranch worker and Hope looking like a rodeo clown. They twirl impressively as Maks pulls her around the dance floor, and they end in a big hug.
Bruno says it was lovely, and Carrie Ann says it was refreshing to see them both having a good time. Time for Len to spoil all the fun. “I get frustrated, and I’ll tell you why...” Tom Bergeron cuts him off: “Age?” Cue lots of giggling from the judges. Len doesn’t lose focus and sternly lectures them to practice more and focus, and they could win the competition. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Reality star Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Pasodoble “Superman” theme
Rob tells us that “Superman” is the perfect theme because Clark Kent is shy and nerdy, and so is Rob. Except, he says, he’s not nerdy — and given that he’s constantly on reality shows, not that shy. Rob says he’s taking the competition seriously now, because he wants to prove that he’s not just riding his family’s coattails. That would be much more believable if at this very moment, E! wasn’t currently in the third hour of a four-part Kardashian wedding special. Anyway, Rob dresses up in a suit, vest and glasses and drags Cheryl across the floor, ending as Cheryl rips open Rob’s shirt, which has a giant sparkly “K” on the chest.
Carrie Ann liked Rob’s movement and stature on the dance floor, but Len says Rob’s limp arm movements were more like a cater waiter offering guests appetizers. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Talk show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dance: Tango to “Psycho” theme
Derek and Ricki struggle equally with the complicated tune, and Ricki threatens to have a breakdown. She says she wants to quit because she just doesn’t “get” the tango, but somehow manages to pull through. She and Derek easily dance to the creepy music dressed in all black, and end in the shadows as Derek captures Ricki through a complex chase scene and stabs her in the stomach. Well, no one ever accused “Psycho” of being uplifting.
Another standing ovation, and the camera zooms in on Dr. Phil in the audience for no reason at all. Again, the judges love it. Carrie Ann proclaims it brilliant, and Bruno loved the spooky ending. Scores: 10, 9, 10 for a total of 29 points, and the highest score of the season so far.
Activist Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Pasodoble to “Rocky” theme
Lacey tries to pump up Chaz by comparing him to “Rocky’s” inspiring underdog theme. Chaz’s knees are in pretty bad shape so it doesn’t really help, but the show recruits Richard Simmons to dress up in a gold spandex work-out outfit and help Chaz with a boxing movie montage. Dressed entirely in American flag-themed clothes, Chaz and Lacey speed through the dance, and Chaz somewhat clumsily pretends to be in a boxing ring and runs up the stairs, true “Rocky” style.
The dance brings Carrie Ann to tears, and we get lots of reaction shots from Cher, who also looks a little teary as she gives her son a standing ovation. Len says it wasn’t a knockout performance (oh, Len and his wordplay) but it was Chaz’s best dance yet. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
Actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Fox trot to “Pink Panther” theme
J.R. immediately dislikes the fox trot, and Karina starts to lose patience in rehearsal. She brings in professional ballroom dance champion Nick Kosovich, who tries to help and says semi-encouraging things like “that was 50 percent better, but you have 500 percent to go.” Dressed entirely in pink with a top hat and bowtie, J.R. slides through the fox trot and doesn’t miss a step.
Carrie Ann isn’t impressed and didn’t like that the duo tried to inject humor into the routine — maybe she’s talking about J.R.’s fake moustache? But a very annoyed Len counters that J.R. was the best male dancer of the night. Bruno concurs with Len and thinks J.R. can do anything. Scores: 8, 9, 9 for a total of 26 points.
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