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'Dancing With the Stars' Week Eight Performance Recap: Kirstie Is 'Hot,' Ralph Crashes and Burns

by Katy Kroll, posted May 10th 2011 1:15AM
It was the last dance-off before the semi-finals, and there's still no clear front-runner on this season of 'Dancing With the Stars."

Monday night's performances were all over the map, with the leaderboard once again being shaken up like a snow globe. Neither of last week's toppers (Ralph Macchio and Hines Ward) were able to retain their front-runner status. In fact, while Hines only fell to the number two spot, an injured Ralph took a major tumble all the way to the bottom again.

It was an unfortunate downfall for someone I had hoped would make it to the finals. With just five contestants left, chances are that he'll be in serious jeopardy of going home next unless viewers vote to save him. Despite putting everything he had into his two dances, he just couldn't overcome a bum leg.

While Ralph and partner Karina Smirnoff usually rehearse for at least 40 hours each week, they only spent nine hours practicing for not one but two dances this week because Ralph suffered a ruptured cyst on the back of his knee. His time was cut short after he collapsed in pain during rehearsal and had to stop training.

It was potentially the worst week for his body to crack under pressure, since each celeb was expected to perform both a pre-rehearsed individual number and an off-the-cuff "instant dance." While each knew what style of dance was expected of them, they had no clue what song they'd be performing to, making it extremely difficult for them to put something together ahead of time. They literally had about 30 minutes to prepare a routine after blindly picking a song from a mirrorball bowl.

Powering through the pain and walking with a limp, Ralph's pre-rehearsed Viennese waltz went over well. The judges praised him for not dropping out of the competition, and equated his determination to the triumphant 'Karate Kid' character Daniel LaRusso, the role that made him famous. They paddled him with a respectable two eights and a nine.

When it was time for his insta-dance, though, he had absolutely nothing prepared. After a false start where he and Karina pretended he was in too much pain to go on, he did the exact cha-cha-cha moves he nailed last week as part of Team Chelsea's group dance. This time, however, he was slow, stiff and clearly in pain. The judges again praised his "perseverance and determination" but gave him the lowest score of the night (three sevens), landing him in last place. As he limped off the dance floor, Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli gave him a standing ovation ... a sad sign he's sure to go?

Although Ralph stole the spotlight with his injury, Kirstie Alley wasn't about to let him hog the whole night. No, the woman-who-cannot-be-ignored scored her first 10 of the season after performing a killer Argentine tango that Len called "hot" and Carrie Ann said was Kirstie's best dance to date.

She didn't do quite as well with her "instant salsa," in which she was clearly slow, off-beat and continually missing steps. Yet the judges heaped praise on her and gave her two eights and a nine, bouncing her out of last week's last-place status and potentially insuring that she'll move forward instead of Ralph.

Whether she makes the finals or not, Kirstie is clearly a winner when it comes to shedding pounds. In the last two weeks alone, it looks like she's dropped about four dress sizes! (Partner Maksim Chmerkovsky revealed her weight-loss secret during the show: She hasn't been eating. In fact, she got dizzy and almost fainted a few times during rehearsals because she had been starving herself.)

But while the night was dominated by the powerful personalities and behind-the-scenes stories of Ralph and Kirstie, the other three dancers -- Hines, Romeo and Chelsea Kane -- proved they're not going down without a fight. (And might very well wind up being the final three left standing.)

Chelsea once again topped the leaderboard with a rather traditional waltz and an energized insta-dance, becoming the first star to score two 10s this season. Hines fell a rung from the top of the leaderboard, but the judges oozed all over him, so there's no doubt he's a shoo-in for the finale. And Romeo dusted himself off, pulled himself together and impressed the judges after tying Kirstie last week for last place.

When all was said and done, I was surprised it was Ralph who fell apart at the seams this week -- I had assumed Kirstie would most likely be the one to crash and burn. While he was the comeback kid last week, I'm not sure he's proved himself to be consistent enough to hang on another week after such a serious setback. But if viewers are voting for the person with the greatest desire to win, he just might avoid elimination Tuesday night.

Take the poll below and tell me who's most likely to go next ...

'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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Cindi McKinnis

Dancing with the Stars has become a terrible joke and should be taken off the air. It is no better than any other reality show. I stopped voting some time ago. The popular vote supersedes the judges who know their stuff. I love to see the underdog make headway, but omg, how long did we have to watch Kate Gosslin be such a weenie. Plus, Bristol Palin beat out Brandi. I don't think this show even starts out fair. Some stars have a definite advantage at the get-go. Others, like Kelly Osbourne really step up to the plate. How can we even vote here? It would be fun for me just to watch these folks improve and ALL OF THEM STAY ON UNTIL THE END TO SEE WHO HAS IMPROVED THE MOST. As it is now, I don't even care to see anyone dance. Why bother?

May 16 2011 at 5:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jruggie

How can the public even consider Kristy..she is sloppy (cut the hair) foul mouthed and a terrible dancer!! Do we feel sorry that she blew her other chances?

May 10 2011 at 10:36 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jruggie's comment
Cindi McKinnis

I think the whole show should be on the cutting block. We endured Kate Gosslin for a longer time than necessary. I don't think dancing ability keeps people on this show. Look at the great dancers voted off by the "fans."

May 16 2011 at 5:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

Great recap of the show! I just finished watching it. A benefit to being a DISH Network customer and employee is that I can watch thousands of titles for free at http://bit.ly/dJzWgo, this includes Dancing with the Stars! I normally don’t get a chance to watch Dancing with the Stars on TV all that much and I’m glad people like me have other options.

May 10 2011 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob's comment
Cindi McKinnis

But, Bob isn't this whole voting thing becoming a joke? I love to watch the dancing, but then "someone has to go" and it is never reasonable. I love the underdog, but gave up voting a long time ago. Why can't they all go the 8 weeks then get voted for who is really good then most improved, etc? This show is no longer fun to watch. Just another popular (votes) reality show on tv. I'd rather watch a sitcom.

May 16 2011 at 5:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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