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October 9, 2015

'Dancing With the Stars' Season 13 Semi-Finals: Hope's Attitude and J.R.'s Injury

by Crystal Bell, posted Nov 14th 2011 11:35PM
dancing with the stars season 13 semi-finals After tonight, I'm not sure the 'Dancing With the Stars' judges want Maks to continue on this season -- or any other season. Things got pretty awkward during the judges' critiques of Hope Solo and Maks' sexy-but-clumsy Argentine tango. When Carrie Ann started to criticize their sloppy lifts, she called out Maks for smiling.

"That's fine, Maks, you can go ahead and keep smiling," she said, thinking that the professional looked a little too smug for her liking. Maks looked visibly stunned. I was pretty stunned too. I'm still not sure what she meant. Was he smiling inappropriately?

Well, this didn't exactly go over well with Hope, who, after weeks of tension, exploded. "Maks was smiling because we should be smiling," the soccer star told Brooke Burke. "So Carrie Ann, thank you, Maks was smiling. This is my partner. Finally, we're happy!" Maks tried to stop his partner from making his previous mistake, but the damage was already done.

Unfortunately, for Hope, Carrie Ann wasn't smiling when she gave the pair an 8.

You know what? I have to agree. While I don't think Hope was at all graceful during her lifts, Maks wasn't smiling out of spite. There's some serious tension between Maks and the judges, and it makes me think he might not be returning for Season 14.

Hope hit her breaking point this week -- in more ways than one. She was seriously breaking. After years of being a pro athlete, we find out that Hope's shoulder is shot. She even had to use one of the morphine shots she's been saving for the Olympics to get through rehearsals. Unfortunately, for Hope, it didn't help her dancing.

The soccer star's paso doble was clumsy and stompy, but at least it excelled in attitude.

Meanwhile, it looks like Maks had a stern talking to behind-the-scenes because when he's not saying anything or trying to stop his partner from saying anything, he's giving some pretty plastic responses. "Thank you, everybody, for everything that you've ever said or did," a cheeky Maks told the ballroom crowd. To which Tom Bergeron replied, "It's Stepford Maks!" Nice one, Tom.

Poor Maks can't win. When he says something nice, it's criticized, and when he smiles, he receives a lashing from Carrie Ann. And the worst part? He and Hope received the lowest score for their relay cha cha, which, honestly, wasn't the worst of the night.

Hope Defends Maks on 'Dancing With the Stars'

As much as I hate to admit it, the paso doble also claimed an injured J.R. Martinez. Last week's golden boy fell from perfection this week with a so-so paso doble. J.R. and Karina had a nasty fall during rehearsals. Seriously, I flinched every time they showed it -- which was about six times. Not to mention that he twisted his ankle in the aftermath, which ultimately affected his usually fancy footwork.

"It was more zero than Zorro," said Len. Ouch. Looks like J.R.'s going to have rely on his fans this week to carry him to the finals.

And then came the Argentine tango. It was a great effort from the injured actor. In fact, if he hadn't been wincing through it, I probably wouldn't have known he was injured. That is, until the dramatic ending. He was visibly distraught and upset, and it was clear that he just wanted everything to be perfect. He certainly redeemed himself with his Argentine tango, but it was clear that J.R. wasn't at his physical best this week, and he let the pain get to him.

However, his choreography and lifts seemed more challenging than some of his competitors' -- like Hope and Rob. J.R. obviously has the potential to win the Mirror Ball, but he'll need to conquer his injured ankle and not let it affect him like it did this week. For the first week that I can remember, J.R. wasn't his usual cheery self.

If it weren't so painfully clear that the judges -- and producers -- of 'DWTS' want to get rid of Hope and Maks, I'd be concerned for our Army veteran.

Once again, Ricki showed her weight insecurities during rehearsals, but all seemed forgotten on the dance floor. Ricki -- or is it Big Bird now? -- returned to the top with her furiously fast samba. It even earned the former talk show host her first 10 -- from Len! She then earned her second 10 from Len for her Argentine tango.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Ricki works hard, and Derek is a phenomenal choreographer. Their Argentine tango was just as solid as their 'Psycho' tango in week 4, but from week 1 it was pretty clear that these two would be in the finals. Now, we just need to see who will join them.

And based off this week's performances, it's pretty clear that it will be Rob and Cheryl.

Rob and Cheryl brought the Rio Carnival to the ballroom this week, and although the float was a terribly tacky idea, Rob proved that he's a serious contender for the Mirror Ball. His samba was fun and flirty, but most of all, his footwork was on point. Rob scored his highest score of the competition with his booty-shaking samba, earning his first 10 of the season from Carrie Ann. It even brought mama Kris Jenner to tears. His one-year-old nephew, Mason Dash Disick, however, remained unfazed.

Rob and Cheryl's Argentine tango was passionate and precise. Out of all of the contestants, he really has come the furthest in terms of skill and ability. As much as it pains me to say this, if I were J.R., I'd be feeling a little bit frustrated at this point. Believe me, I want nothing more than to see a J.R./Ricki showdown in the finals, but there's no denying that the Kardashians have a rabid fan base.

One of the real highlights of tonight's semi-finals (other than Kermit's spastic freestyle) was getting to know the contestants' backstories. Basically, everyone has a sob story -- even Rob Kardashian -- but it was hard not to feel a little overly emotional listening to J.R.'s story.

Every week, there are a few commenters that seem to think J.R. will win the Mirror Ball because of sympathy. I'm not denying that. In fact, I think that we all agree that 'DWTS' is more a popularity contest than a dancing competition, but I have to ask: Have they seen J.R. dance? Week after week, he brings everything he has to that dance floor. In terms of skill and work ethic, he's right up there with leaderboard topper Ricki Lake.

We also learned that Kourtney, Kim and Khloe used to dress their baby brother up in women's clothing -- and Brooke wasn't going to let him forget it. Not only that, but once again, Kris Jenner makes it clear that 'DWTS' made her son a man. Obviously, nothing can turn a 24-year-old Kardashian boy into a man like glitzy costumes and extreme booty-shaking.

Side note: Is it bad that I can't look at Kris Jenner without seeing Kristen Wiig? I'm sure I'm not the only one, right?

Now for my picks. Although he had a rough night, J.R. has too much talent -- and too much support -- to not make it to the finals. Ricki and Derek have been the favorites since day one, so they're definitely in. And then there was Rob. You can hate him for being a Kardashian, but you have to admit the boy man has improved, and there's no doubt that those Kardashian fans will help him through to the finals.

What do you think? Who's making it to the 'DWTS' finals, and which star is heading home?

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

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If you don't want to be judged, do not go on DWTS. Hope was the one with the smirk...not Maks this this time. The second night when the microphones were opened for us to hear, they were cursing the judges during judging. This is bad competitive spirit. I always heard that when you take criticism graciously, you get less of it.

November 17 2011 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Does anyone know the name of the song and artist that Hope and Maks danced to in the first dance? I think it was the paso doble. Thanks.

November 16 2011 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope was the right one to go home! I used to like Max but after him and her this season, goodbye Max too. They just couldn't take critisim of any kind. I felt sorry for the judges as they knew it too. Don't the dancers watch their taped performances? Hope was never relaxed and it showed. She was stiff and her and Max had no chemistry UNTIL they got mad at the judges! TO LATE. Stick to the olympics Hope, dancing wasn't your thing....

November 16 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I read that Hope was so distraught after the elimination that she couldn't make it through an interview without getting upset. My guess is that Hope and Maks refused to go on Jimmy Kimmel.

November 16 2011 at 10:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In all honesty, I will be surprised if DWTS brings Maks back next season. And, why weren't Hope and Maks on Jimmy Kimmel after their elimination? I guess ABC did not want to give them another opportunity to criticize the judges and the show. I would hope that the judges, the pros and their partners could give and take constructive criticism and do their jobs as professionals. Additionally, I would hope that the judges would not "attack" the dancers personally and maintain their professionalism by judging the technique. Some of the comments by the judges have been rather harsh and unnecessary. We can do without the sarcasm -- and leave the jokes to Tom Bergeron!
I am looking forward to the conclusion of season 13 and wish the finalists good luck in their performances. I would like to see a season with the past champions competing for the prize ---just an idea!

November 16 2011 at 9:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Gail H
I think Maks has had his run on the show - he has always been somewhat rude over the years, but he is just over the top now. If he is the wonderful professional he thinks he is, then he should be able to take the criticism as well as the compliments. He NEEDS TO GO off the show, which he thinks is his show, made and created by the "Amazing Max" His rudeness to the judges is inexcusible!! It is time for Dancing without Maks!!

November 16 2011 at 8:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they should replace the judges. Instead of giving them contructive critisism they berate the stars...calling Chaz a penquin? I think they should look in the mirror. The stars and dancers should stick up for themselves and not let the judges cut them down. If my dancing is bad just say it's bad. Don't attack me personally.

November 16 2011 at 7:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To me, Maks and Hope should have been gone a couple of weeks ago after the attitude starting showing. If they don't want to accept the critiques on form and technique from the trained judges or respect their comments, you may as well have three random audience members behind the desk. Maks and Hope just seemed to start having more and more of bad attitudes after Maks' outburst to Len's comments the one evening. Maybe it is time for Maks to take a break from the show.

November 16 2011 at 1:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

ever seen**

November 15 2011 at 10:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope was just an okay dance throughout the whole season. She never showed any real improvement and most of her dances looked like she had zero control and was just being flung around by Maks. I felt like the judges were too generous with the scores they gave her most of the time. Her attitude was absolutely horrible and she could take no criticism. The clip they showed tonight where she was saying "F*** them I don't even want to look at them" to Maks about the judges before she even got a score was extremely immature and out of line. For an Olympic athlete she has some of the worst sportsmanship I have even.

November 15 2011 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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