On Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars,” the remaining celebrities were challenged to dance two routines. To make it even tougher, the stars had to perform an instant dance to a song they’d heard only moments ago.
At the top of the pack was war hero and actor J.R. Martinez, who nabbed the first pair of perfect scores of the season with both his routines.
Here’s how the others fared:
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke
Reality star Rob Kardashian wanted to make good on his #2 position from last week with his routines on Monday night. His first dance was the quickstep to A-ha’s “Take on Me,” and the judges found him to be on point. Last week, they criticized him for his backside (saying it got in the way) but thought this first dance was an incredible improvement. “When you started, I thought, ’This isn’t going to work.’ That opening section was terrible. But once you got in hold, the whole thing changed. Your posture was good. I had a good look at your buttocks. Your buttocks were tucked in. Your best dance so far,” head judge Len Goodman said. 27/30 For their instant dance, the twosome danced the jive, and the judges said he needed to sharpen up his feet a bit. “It was no glaring mistakes. To get through this is tough,” Goodman said. 24/30
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
The athlete danced the quickstep for her first routine, and after weeks of harsh judging, the pair finally hit their stride. The judges found them to be in sync with one another and said they had a blend of speed and control. “What’s going on tonight? It’s the night of miracles. Rebooted. Re-energized. You never moved so well. What’s going on? Your best dance yet!” Bruno Tonioli gushed. 27/30 For their instant dance, they had the jive, and this was to be their redemption dance (they’d danced the jive earlier in the season, and Solo got off her count and messed up the dance weeks earlier). The judges thought they’d made a definite improvement since the last time they did the jive, and Goodman, who had been a big critic of the couple before, said it was everything a jive should be. “The fast and the furious! You were like a wild child!” Tonioli said. 25/30
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
The talk-show host and her partner danced the waltz, and just like weeks before, the judges thought the dance was beautifully executed the entire way through. “You had a little stumble at the end there, but your movements are exquisite. What I love and what makes you so special is that when you dance, you lose yourself completely in the dance,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. 28/30 Lake was confident going into the instant dance, because when she last performed the jive, she’d earned one of the highest scores that night. Her goal, she said, was to stay calm and not panic. “There were a few little stops and starts. You were on it, your energy was great, but there were a few moments where I thought you got lost. You got right back into it though,” Inaba said. 24/30
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus
The HLN anchor took on the tango for her first dance of the night, and the judges said she broke through her plateau. They thought the pair had command of the stage, and their dance was frisky and clean. “You’ve been on a plateau. But now, after all these weeks, up you’ve gone,” Goodman said. 24/30 The talk-show host took on the jive for her instant dance, and the judges thought she got lost in the choreography. “I enjoy the way you trusted Tristan. The chemistry that you two have saved you,” Inaba said. 20/30
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
After dropping down the leaderboard last week, the war hero wanted to move back up. For their first dance, they took on the waltz, and Martinez said he wanted to push himself to get the first 30 of season 13. The judges thought his performance illustrated incredible grace and found the routine to be magical. “It was like a musical Valentine card. You danced with your heart on your sleeve. Totally involved. Totally dedicated. You made beautiful music with Karina,” Tonioli said. 30/30 The night’s top scorer, Martinez, danced the instant jive, and the judges said he was in a class all his own. Inaba said no one came close to the couple that night. “You were off like a rocket! Your timing was impeccable! You’ve got it man, you’ve got it!” Tonioli yelled out. 30/30
Who had your favorite dance of the night? Let us know in the comments below!