UPDATE: ABC execs have their fingers crossed in hopes Chaz Bono does not get the hook on Tuesday night’s “Dancing with the Stars” results show, even though he suffered the lowest judges score Monday, with his rhumba to his Dad, Sonny’s tune “Laugh at Me” — and he’s been voted most likely to get booted on the WaPo TeamTV “Dancing” poll, with a hefty 70 percent of the votes.
That’s because Chaz’s mom, pop icon Cher, has promised to appear on the show next week if Chaz survives Tuesday’s elimination.
“Hope Chaz hangs on till next week so I can come sit in the audience and watch!” Cher tweeted Monday night.
”Dancing” needs all the celebrity wattage it can get this season: while it’s still pulling in a hefty crowd on both Monday and Tuesday nights — it’s one of the new TV season’s most watched franchises — its numbers are down noticeably compared to last fall.
ORIGINAL POST: Tonight on “Dancing With the Stars” is Depressing Stories Night, in which the celebrity dancers can tell a story from the most memorable years in their lives. And if you don’t think that every celeb won’t share a tragic tale ... well, you probably don’t watch very much reality TV.
“You might want to have a box of tissues ready,” Brooke Burke Charvet notes, as Tom Bergeron adds that judge Carrie Ann will need two boxes.
Reality star Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Fox trot to Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”
Rob’s most memorable year: 2003, when 15-year-old Rob lost his father (Rob Kardashian Sr., known to most of the world as an attorney in the OJ Simpson trial). Rob shows Cheryl a tattoo of Robert Sr. and gets teary as he says his father was his best friend. He decides to dance the fox trot to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to Moon” because that was one of his father’s favorite songs.
Rob glides around the dance floor and looks much more coordinated than he has in the last couple of weeks. The audience applauds wildly, including a table full of Kardashian family members. Len kicks things off with some wordplay. “You just put the dash into Kardashian,” he gushes. “I hope your dad is looking down and saying, ‘Rob, you did good,’ because you did.”
Over in the Celebriquarium, Brooke asks just the right questions to try to make someone cry (”You dedicated this performance to your father. How did it feel out there to honor him with this dance?”) Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Singer Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani
Dance: Rumba to Wilson Phillips’s “Hold On”
Chynna’s most memorable year: 1990, when singing group Wilson Phillips’s first single, “Hold On,” was released. Chynna describes suffering from depression and anxiety after a feeling of abandonment from her father, and she also leaned on drugs and alcohol. But one day she decided to turn her life around, went to therapy, and met her future husband Billy Baldwin.
Tony comes up with a routine that symbolizes Chynna running away from her problems, and also running to a new future. This involves actual running, and Chynna starts to get confused about all the moves, and goes into the corner to have a mini-nervous breakdown. Luckily, she pulls herself together for the actual routine, and gracefully prances through the rumba without missing a beat.
Bruno says he KNEW she could do it. He also knew she was a smoldering siren, so he clearly knows more than the other judges. Carrie Ann has a new appreciation for “Hold On,” and Len is equally pleased. Scores: 8, 9, 9 for a total of 26 points, the first nines of the season.
Activist Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Rumba to Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me”
Chaz’s most memorable year: “This year, because now I’m happier than I’ve ever been,” says Chaz, though not specifying why. (A documentary on the Oprah Winfrey Network?) He chooses a song by his dad, because Chaz says he feels like it’s his own personal theme song: “If you have a problem with me, it’s your problem, not mine.” Chaz doesn’t go into any more detail, though we do see Lacey finally start to get frustrated with the fact that Chaz can’t actually dance.
Chaz improves slightly from last week, but is still dancing like both legs are injured (which they are.) Carrie Ann says she’s impressed that Chaz showed up, because that alone takes courage. That’s not a good sign. Sure enough, Carrie Ann thinks the dance was particularly unfortunate this week. Len, on the other hand, says it’s the best dance that Chaz has ever done, which might be known as damning with faint praise. (”I love the positivity, but what did you do with Len?” Tom Bergeron wonders, speaking for us all.) Somehow, Carrie Ann and Len both award a score of 6, as does Bruno. Scores: 6, 6, 6 for a total of 18 points.
Reality star Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas
Dance: Samba to Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love”
Kristin’s most memorable year: 2005, when she graduated high school and moved to Los Angeles, choosing whether to go to college or pursue a career as a reality star (and I think we all saw how that turned out). Kristin panics about the samba, trying to channel her inner Beyonce.
The dance is a lot of fringe and a lot of shaking and hair twirling that’s supposed to look sassy, but ends up looking like Kristin is frantically trying to stall while she remembers her next move. Len is not a fan of the hair twirling or the “Beyonce stuff,” though that was only 20 percent of the dance, and Len loved the other 80 percent. As Bruno says a lot of nonsense about Kristin driving the judges crazy, the camera cuts to ... Kristin’s ex-fiance, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. Why don’t they interview him in the Celebriquarium? Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Style expert Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya
Dance: Tango to No Doubt’s “It’s My Life”
Carson’s most memorable year: 2003, when “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” debuted on Bravo, and he became famous. Hooray, fame! Still, Carson manages to tug at the heartstrings explaining how it was the first time he felt like he was able to be himself, after growing up feeling like he couldn’t tell anyone he was gay. Now that he feels like he can genuinely be himself, he also has to accept the fact that he’s not a very talented dancer. “The upside of it is that you can only get better,” Anna tells him cautiously, as they rehearse their tango to make Carson the “most improved” dancer of the week.
It works! Carson appears to have memorized the steps and doesn’t do any chicken dances. “It was brilliant!” roars Bruno. Carrie Ann loved it and says he brought drama and entertainment and sexy and fun and many other important factors, including technique. Len, on the other hand, goes with this: “You put the ‘boy’ in flamboyant,” adding that Carson had just the right attitude and technique. Scores: 8, 7, 8 for a total of 23 points.
Actor J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Rumba to Tim McGraw’s “If You’re Reading This.”
J.R.’s most memorable year: When he was a soldier in Iraq, and was severely injured by a land mine. He recalls seeing his scarred face for the first time, suffering with depression and anger, and thinking he would have been better having not survived. It’s a brutal story, accompanied by a tragic song: “If You’re Reading This” by Tim McGraw, which chronicles a letter that a soldier wrote to his family before he died. J.R. dedicates the performance as a tribute to the men and women who didn’t make it home from war.
J.R. and Karina fly through the rumba, and both break down crying at the end as the audience gives them a long standing ovation. Carrie Ann is also moved to tears. A subdued Len dares to make a critical remark and says he thinks it could have been more musical (which earns Len quite a few boos), though he said overall, he loved the performance. More tears. Scores: 9, 8, 9 for a total of 26 points.
Commentator Nancy Grace and Tristan Macmanus
Dance: Waltz to “Moon River”
Nancy’s most memorable year: We don’t get an exact year, but we get a horrific story of Nancy almost dying while pregnant with her twins, Lucy and John David. Now, the twins are three years old, and we also get some adorable home movies of the family — you almost forget Nancy’s the scary commentator on HLN. “Moon River” was the first lullaby Nancy ever sang to the twins, so she’ll be dancing to the song tonight.
Wrapped up in a blue dress that won’t come close to giving her the same widely publicized wardrobe issues as last week, Nancy moves rather stiffly, and going cautiously through the arm movements. The judges think she showed a lot of emotion, and Carrie Ann calls the performance a “live action lullaby,” which you just know Disney is going to start developing before the episode is over. Scores: 7, 7, 7 for a total of 21 points.
Talk show host Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dance: Rumba to Sara Bareilles’s “Gravity”
Ricki’s most memorable year: 2010, when her house burned down in a fire. On a happier note, she also met her fiance, Christian, even though she assumed she would never get married again after going through a bad divorce. She dedicates her song to him, and hopes that her performance can inspire others to find love.
She floats through the song with a very soap opera-esque expression on her face. The judges love it. Bruno compares it to a poem, though they’re short on compliments, so it’s possible the show is just running long. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points, the most of the night.
U.S. women’s soccer team’s Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Cha cha cha to Enrique Iglesias’s “Tonight (I’m Lovin’ You)”
Hope’s most memorable year: 2011, when the U.S. women’s soccer team went to the World Cup ... though they didn’t win. Hope talks about the crushing disappointment but realized winning isn’t everything. “Hope has a problem with being sexy,” Maks says rather condescendingly as Hope starts off a bit clunky in rehearsal. She attempts to fix this problem in a backless black dress with lots of tulle. Besides the end of the performance when she smacks her hand against a light on the floor, she performs the dance well.
Carrie Ann tells Hope that she needs more femininity in her movements and not as much strength in her walk. Len isn’t thrilled and says it was a little provacative for his taste, but he thought it was her best dance so far. Bruno is indeed revved up and calls Hope a panther (in a good way). In the Celebriquarium, Hope complains about how difficult it is to be sexy. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Actor David Arquette and Kym Johnson
Dance: Rumba to Five Stairsteps’s “O-o-h Child”
David’s most memorable year: This last year, when his marriage to Courteney Cox fell apart. But David said his daughter, Coco, is what gets him through everything, so he dedicates the dance to her.
We get our Adorable Coco Moment of the week right before David’s dance starts, as she’s in the audience with mom Courteney. The performance starts with a simulated thunderstorm, and a shirtless David glides around on the floor, though without much actual skill.
The judges think it’s a nice comeback, and Len is pleased with the mix of motion and emotion. Carrie Ann calls it magical, which might not be enough to get David out of the bottom vote-getters this week. Scores: 8, 8, 8 for a total of 24 points.
Now that the tragic stories have been revealed, which dancer will get the least amount of sympathy votes? We’ll find out tomorrow.