Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars” was an emotional event, as the celebrities were asked to choose a song that told a story about themselves. Some songs talked about their career challenges, some called up memories of now-deceased parents and others were about relationships and the challenges that go along with romance in the pubic eye.
At the top of the judges’ list were football star Hines Ward and supermodel Petra Nemcova, who both grabbed scores of 25 out of 30. Talk-show host Wendy Williams earned the lowest score of 15.
Here’s how the dancers fared this week:
Williams and her partner, Tony Dovolani, told the story of Williams’ dreams of having a radio career. She performed the foxtrot to “Last Night a DJ Saved My Life,” and the judges thought she lacked fluidity. Judge Len Goodman said she worked extremely hard, but it wasn’t great. “It was suited to radio,” he told her. Bruno Tonioli told her “at times it looked like you put down roots.” Carrie Ann Inaba worried that Williams took a step backwards from her performance last week. Score: 15/30.
Disney star Chelsea Kane and partner Mark Ballas danced to “Chelsea,” which was written for her by her first love. Her cha-cha was a big hit with the judges, who thought her performance was sexy and energetic. “Chelsea! Chelsea! Sexy! Sexy!” Tonioli said. Goodman joked, “I remember my first love, and she didn’t look anything like you!” Score: 23/30.
Wrestler Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke performed an emotional rumba to “Let It Be,” the same song that Jericho played at his mother’s funeral. The judges loved the powerful dance, and Inaba was in tears by the end. Score: 21/30.
Model and reality star Kendra Wilkinson told her partner, Louis Van Amstel, that she wanted to dance to a song by Musiq Soulchild, which reminded her of the beginning of her relationship with her husband, Hank Baskett. She talked about “haters” who didn’t care for her dating her husband because of her background as a Playboy model and the former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner. They called her a “stripper,” she said. “There is nothing wrong with a good stripper!” exclaimed Tonioli. Score: 23/30.
Rapper and actor Romeo and his partner, Chelsie Hightower, danced to “I’ll Be There,” which was in memory of two of his cousins who died at a young age. They danced the rumba, and the judges thought that his footwork needed a bit of work. 20/30.
Football star Ward danced to Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Fantasy,” a tribute to his single mom, and judges were in love with his performance. “My whole life experience has been great. I’m very blessed. This is a tribute to her. It’s a celebration. We’re going to the moon, Ma! We’re on ‘Dancing With the Stars’!’ ” he said to his mother, who was in the audience. Score: 25/30.
Supermodel Nemcova danced to “You Raise Me Up,” a song she said she listened to after she revisited the area destroyed by the tsunami in Thailand that she was in. The song, she shared, gave her the encouragement to start a foundation to benefit those affected by the tragedy. She and her partner, Dmitry Chaplin, danced the waltz, and the judges called her performance elegant. Score: 25/30.
Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard picked a fun song, “My Prerogative.” He and partner Anna Trebunskaya did the paso doble, and the judges said he needed to work on his lines a bit more. Score: 20/30.
Actress Kirstie Alley and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, danced the rumba to “Over the Rainbow,” a song that Alley said embodies “the hopefulness after the despair” she felt in 1980 when in 72 hours she lost her mother, almost lost her father and got her first film role. The judges said she made an improvement. Score: 21/30.
Actor Ralph Macchio danced to “Stay Gold,” from his movie “The Outsiders,” which he said also was his wedding song from 24 years ago. He and partner Karina Smirnoff danced the rumba, and Macchio closed the dance by running over to his wife and kissing her. Inaba said he needed to work on his core strength. Score: 21/30.