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'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: Week Seven Performances

by Katy Kroll, posted May 3rd 2011 1:00AM
It's getting down to the wire on this season of 'Dancing With the Stars,' and the show finally cracked the whip to separate the winners from the losers.

In what might have been their toughest week yet, each of the six contestants had to learn not one but two dances -- their own and a group number. (Their individual scores were added to the overall group score for a total combined possible high of 80 points.) Since it was Ballroom Legends Night, each couple was given rehearsal tips by either Luca Baricchi or Shirley Ballas, pro dancer Mark's mother. (Of note, Mark's rumored girlfriend, 'American Idol' castoff Pia Toscano, was in the audience, too.)

Perhaps the biggest news is that after four straight weeks of missteps by either a star or a pro, everything seemingly went off without a hitch (as long as you don't count guest judge Donnie Burns picking up the wrong paddle when doling out the night's final score).

Otherwise, it was just another week of ups and downs on the leaderboard, as Ralph Macchio blasted back to the top, tying Hines Ward, after hitting a rough patch the past few weeks. And somehow, both Romeo and Kirstie Alley garnered lower scores than rhythmically (and socially) challenged Kendra Wilkinson, who should have been sent packing weeks ago.

It was indeed a night of redemption for Ralph, who seriously stepped up his game after last week's mishap by partner Karina Smirnoff that landed them in the bottom two. He finally took judge Bruno Tonioli's advice and learned how to sex things up during his two performances.

He found himself on Team Chelsea for the group dance, alongside last week's leaderboard toppers Chelsea Kane and Romeo. The three stars cha-cha-cha'd their way through Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way,' and Ralph shined if only because, at age 49, he easily kept up with two celebs more than half his age. It was clearly the better of the two group performances, but for some reason Team Chelsea tied with the less polished Team Hines.

Consisting of Hines Ward, Kirstie and Kendra, the second group came across as sort of sloppy and pandering by doing a lot of butt shakin'. Yet the judges always lap up Kendra's lap-dance moves, proven by Len Goodman's quip that their team won "the booby prize." In past seasons, the lowest scoring group dance has lead to one of its members being eliminated the next night. But when both scored 30 out of 40 points, the judges did nothing but basically kick it back to the viewers to decide who'll go home this week.

So it all came down to the individual scores. As previously mentioned, both Ralph and Hines landed at the top of the leaderboard, each scoring their first 10 of the season. Ralph got his from guest judge Donnie for his super-sleek, old-timey quickstep that ended with him and Karina purposefully toppling off a bar in a cutesy embrace. Meanwhile, Hines got his perfect score from Bruno for a solid if not safe tango.

Both Chelsea and Romeo fell from the top of the leaderboard, with Chelsea sliding into second with her "biker chick" paso doble and Romeo dropping to the bottom with his oddball Hawaiian-slash-military-themed routine. While the judges are always demanding "more hip action," they clearly hated his, as he gyrated across the dance floor for no apparent reason. (Hey, it has worked for Kendra, right?)

With 60 out of 80 total points he tied Kirstie for last place, followed by Kendra with 61/80. At first it was thought he tied Kendra, but then it was revealed that guest judge Donnie had accidentally pulled an eight paddle for the cameras but told the producers his score was actually a seven. So Romeo suffered double embarrassment at the hands of the judges.

Speaking of Kendra, she somehow escaped the bottom yet again with a mediocre tango where she flubbed her footwork while partner Louis van Amstel dragged her around the parquet. Her feet are never quite right, like she's struggling to keep up. But the judges never mention that, and it seems like every week Carrie Ann Inaba tries to make up for her "you're afraid of elegance" comment. This week, Carrie Ann told Kendra she had reached "a new level of sophistication." And, yes, she was the most fully dressed she's been in weeks, if that's what "sophistication" means here.

And speaking of outfits, what was up with Kirstie's? It rivaled her questionable 'American Woman' getup, as she forgot her steps while wearing a sparkly bodysuit and giant purple tutu. That said, she's looking good these days, clearly having shed several pounds since joining the show (she claims she's down to a size six). So we wish the costumers would start dressing her better.

Overall, the night appeared to belong to Ralph, with Romeo being the most likely to go. (You know, aside from should go, like Kendra ... but I give up on wishing her gone, as it hasn't worked so far.) So tell me, who do you think will be eliminated Tuesday night? Take the poll and sound off below!

'Dancing With the Stars' airs Mondays at 8PM ET and Tuesdays at 9PM ET on ABC.

Watch the full episode here:

Part 1

Part 2

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Ralph all the way!

May 03 2011 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The show is a mess. The group dance was obviously fixed so that no one would win. Kirstie was absolutely the worst of the night and how she could get a 9 from one judge was ridiculous. Obviously ABC is doing everything they can to make sure she is in the finals.

May 03 2011 at 9:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gibson Family

I really hate the double standard of the judges this season. You are right in your review about Len. He found Romeo ranchy for his hip thrusts when he was suppose to be doing sexy but he was all great with an almost naked Kendra shaking her ass directly in his face. I though that was so classless. At least Romeo was dressed. We need a shake up in the judges for next season. The double standards and the blatant favoritism has becomes so tiresome. I do love the show and the dancers. I hope Kendra finally get s the ax. She deserves to go. As a side, I loves Ms. Balas. She was great. I hope we see more of her on the show.

May 03 2011 at 7:53 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I was kind of dissapointed that the group number was a complete waste of time. Having the two teams end up in a tie was ridiculous. The group dances were to help one team get a big advantage over the other team by helping them in their individual scores, but since they both had the exact same points it was just a waste. As the celebrities said a few times, the person that goes home every time there is the group dances is usually on the losing team, this time we have no idea and just have to base who is going home off of their individual dances.

I think Kendra and Romeo are in trouble. Kendra is the only remaining contestant that hasn't been considered or wasn't statistically a leader. I feel that she has been in the Bottom 2 for a couple of weeks now, but we just haven't been told yet. Ralph was not Bottom 2 last week, but wanted to put him there for dramatic effects because of the mishap. I think despite the low score from the judges, that Kirstie is getting the audience help right now and should be safe. My bet is Kendra, with Romeo only with an outside shot of going home.

May 03 2011 at 3:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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