'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Week 8 Dances
'Dancing with the Stars' Recap: Week 8 Dances
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Only 5 remain...

Now that we've lost more than half of the Dancing with the Stars season 13 cast to eliminations, things are getting pretty interesting. No rest for the frontrunners. No mercy for the stragglers. And no pre-set choreography and music for anyone -- not now that we're into Instant Dance time.

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What will happen? It's anyone's guess. But if you're wondering where the DWTS cast stands before tonight's dances, here's the rundown:

  • Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 205 points overall
  • J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 201 points
  • Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 183 points
  • Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 182 points
  • Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: 169 points

Each of these remaining couples must face a new dance style and an Instant jive performance if they want to survive into the semi-finals. And there is absolutely no guarantee of anyone making it from this point forward.

So let's get to it!




Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the quickstep

My Comments: Hey! "Take on Me!" Love this song. Rob looks like he's having fun in this dance. Maybe it's the aftereffects of doing well last week? There's not much in the way of flair going on in the dance, but it does look pretty good. Rob is managing to keep up with Cheryl very well, which seems to be the big challenge in a dance like the quickstep. Not the most exciting dance from Rob but a very good and solid performance. 

Judges' Comments
Len: "That opening section was terrible." "Once you got in hold, the whole thing changed." "Your best dance so far."
Bruno: "Once you took off, you were speedier than a drag race." "Once you know what to do with your bum, everything else falls into place." "It's incredible, the improvement. Incredible!"
Carrie Ann: "He grew and you grew and you grew!"

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27

Rob Kardashian's favorite group ever is Hall & Oates? Seriously? Seriously???


Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the quickstep

My Comments: Awwwww... Maks and Hope are having a touching moment and stuff. How long will that last? Long enough to get to the dance anyway. Where they have umbrellas. It was hard to tell behind that umbrella, but it's possible that Hope was a little off in the beginning of the dance. Not by much and it was caught up by the time the umbrellas flew across the stage. Hope seems to be keeping up with Maks fairly well, although there are moments where it looks like Maks is carrying her across the floor. Nice ending with the balloons there. 

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was a blend of speed and control, it was fast, it was energetic." "It's your best dance. You fulfilled your potential!"
Bruno: "What's going on tonight? Is the night of miracles!" "You never moved so well!"
Carrie Ann: "Hope, come here. I just want to give you a hug!" "You guys were so in sync with each other."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27

On an unrelated note, what's up with Carrie Ann Inaba's hair? Her eyes seem to have disappeared behind some bangs...


Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dancing the waltz

My Comments: That's a very flowy beginning. That beginning is followed by a whole lot of spinning. This should not be a shock for a waltz. The dance doesn't look particularly complicated, but it's still lovely. Unlike most dancers (even at this point in the competition), Ricki never looks hesitant or awkward while dancing. She just looks good. Another pretty dance for Ricki Lake. 

Judges' Comments
Len: "This was like a river, gently going through the dance. It was beautifully executed, the whole way through."
Bruno: "It was deliciously dreamy, floatingly soft!" "It just was absolutely beautiful."
Carrie Ann: "You had a little stumble at the end there... but your movements, they're exquisite." "When you dance, you lose yourself completely in the dance."

Scores: 9+9+10 = 28


Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the tango

My Comments: Um, why is Tristan so pretty? It's distracting. I'm not sure that Nancy is moving quite right for the dance, although she seems to be hitting the steps well. There is too much hesitation in some steps, and her posture seems a bit off at times. Considering that Nancy isn't afraid of conflict, it seems odd that an angry dance wouldn't suit her. But this does not seem to very well. 

Judges' Comments
Len: "After all these weeks, being on that plateau, up you've gone."
Bruno: "Oh you brazen Jezebel!" "It was the right attitude."
Carrie Ann: "I just love your spirit." "What you did tonight was very clean, very sharp."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24


J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the waltz

My Comments: There is a very large heart on the stage. Also, some sad dancers. Oh, not so sad now. I guess they needed to dance. J.R. is having a little trouble with the typical male-dancer problem of looking a bit silly while waltzing. But not too much, especially when he's not doing those quick baby steps. The emotions of the dance are definitely there. It's hard to say how the dancing went, but I think it was pretty good.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Last week you retreated a little bit... You came back, all guns blazing."
Bruno: "It was like a musical Valentine card. You danced with your heart on your sleeve." "You were so in tune, it was divine."
Carrie Ann: "You have this incredible natural grace and fluidity... Something happened in the middle there that was just magic."

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

So he got his 30. Nice. Also, this score has allowed J.R. Martinez to thank Justin Bieber on national television. That's the true win.

Time for the Instant Dances now!

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the jive to "Maneater"

My Comments: Rob is starting on the judges' table? Scary. The actual dancing had a bit of a shaky start, but Rob seemed to get into it quickly. He's still having fun out there. The dance isn't quite as smooth as his earlier quickstep, but it's pretty good for an Instant Dance. They didn't skimp on dance steps either, which is always nice.

Judges' Comments
Len: "There was no glaring mistakes." "I thought you did great -- gotta flick a little bit more."
Bruno: "Great job. Great pace. Youthful energy."
Carrie Ann: "I'm impressed with the seamlessness of the transitions." "I'm still recovering from the booty shaking."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24

Ah, DanceCenter! Easily the best part of every season of Dancing with the Stars. Tomorrow night!


Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the jive to "The Best Damn Thing"

My Comments: Since they just showed us Hope's earlier jive, it's easy to see how much she has improved since the early weeks. This is a very fast jive, and Hope seems to be keeping up well with Maks. She got a very small bit off toward the end, and that we're-never-going-to-stop thing was odd. But otherwise, that was very entertaining.

Judges' Comments
Len: "This was fantastic, Hope! It was everything a jive should be!"
Bruno: "The fast and the furious! You're like a wild child!" "Hope, you've got to stretch the back of your legs."
Carrie Ann: "Definite improvement from the last time you did the jive." "Something that was a little strange were just your hands."

Scores: 8+9+8 = 25


Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Dancing the jive to "Land of 1000 Dances"

My Comments: They're certainly not going the slow route with this jive. It's not anywhere near as polished as many of Ricki's other dances, making her seem stiffer than she usually does. Derek is also doing a lot of the dancing-around stuff that pros do. It makes it look like Ricki is taking it a bit easy. She may not be. But that's the look. Still, it's a very good dance.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I thought you coped very well." "It was good, it's a tough dance, and I thought you did very well."
Bruno: "Very demanding choreography as usual." "Some sections didn't go together as well as they could have."
Carrie Ann: "There was a few little stops and starts, Ricki." "You got right back into it."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24


Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the jive to "Upside Down"

My Comments: Did Tristan bop Nancy's head when he jumped her? It might have just been her hair. The jive seems precise, although it doesn't have the excitement of some other jives seen tonight. Nancy just isn't bouncing enough to make the dance snap quite right. On the other hand, her steps look nice and precise. Plus, she did a cartwheel (in heels!) at the end. That's impressive.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Yours is the Cinderella story... however, for me, it's midnight and it's time to go home."
Bruno: "It was a little bit laid-back and loose for a jive."
Carrie Ann: "Unfortunately, you got lost in the choreography." "The chemistry that you two have saves you."

Scores: 7+6+7 = 20

Ouch.


J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the jive to "Tutti Frutti"

My Comments: Now, there is energy in this one. J.R. definitely brought his performance skills to this one. He and Karina are all over the place, in the best possible way. There was a moment in the middle, when it looked like J.R. might not be perfectly in sync, but it's entirely possible that it was just the choreography. They also managed to stop right at the right moment, which is just plain impressive.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You've got the x factor and the feel-good factor, mixed together."
Bruno: "J.R., you were off like a rocket!" "Your side kicks were sensational!" "You've got it man, you've got it!"
Carrie Ann: "You're in a class all of your own. There's nobody even coming close to you guys tonight."

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

So it's safe to say that J.R. is going to be safe tonight.

Want more Dancing with the Stars info? Check out our DWTS Insider page on Facebook.

And that's it for week 8 of Dancing with the Stars! Which star was your favorite? How about your least favorite? Who is the most likely to go home? How awesome was J.R. tonight? Let us know what you think below!

(Images courtesy of ABC)




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