‘DWTS’ Halloween: Ricki vs. J.R. – One Thrills, One Chills

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough (Photo: ABC)

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough (Photo: ABC)

Getting into scary costumes and piling on fright makeup was no chore for the “Dancing with the Stars” celebrities this week—they’ve been doing it all season! The final six proved during the Halloween episode Monday night that most of them have nothing to fear and truly belong on the ballroom floor.

After Broadway week’s surprises, when pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy had a diva-style meltdown and the season’s most controversial star, transgender Chaz Bono, was eliminated, this writer feared Halloween night might lack drama. But then competitor Rob Kardashian’s sister, Kim, announced a spook-tacular split from her husband Kris Humphries on Halloween.

Wow, the “DWTS” backstage press couldn’t wait to see how that would affect the Kardashian bro and whether his sisters would still stir the cauldron—er, I mean cheer him on—from their usual audience cheer section.

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But enough with the ghoulish speculation and on with the dancing! Here’s your guide to who was a treat and who was a horror…

David Arquette and Kym Johnson (cha cha):
Rehearsal footage showed how David’s dance would combine Dracula with a magician. David brought in illusionist Todd Karr to help them create the perfect mood. The actor said if Kym can get his hips moving she’s the real magician! During the dance, Kym was almost unrecognizable in a curly brown wig. David’s restless spirit changed, too; as he got back to his better form from a few weeks ago. They kept in smooth time to their song, “Abracadabra.” At the end, David pulled cobwebs out of his hat, and Courtney and Coco clapped happily again from the audience. Judge Carrie Ann, wearing sexy cat ears, said “your improvement is phenomenal.” Usual nasty judge Len Goodman even smiled, “Good footwork. Well done!”
Score: 24

J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: (tango)
The pair will dance to “Beetlejuice,” and argued during rehearsal about his steps. She wanted to push him into better form, and J.R. had to force his partner to give him a hug. These two have usually been sweet to each other, but Karina was witchy this week, telling J.R. how FRUSTRATED she was! He quoted the Ghostbusters line, saying “I ain’t afraid of no tango!” (or was that one written for him?) J.R. began the dance by wielding a chain saw before going into hold with Karina. He looked great from the waist up, but Karina was right—his footwork still needed work! The war veteran ended the dance by closing Karina up in her coffin (would her ex-fiancee, Maks Chmerkovskiy, like to do the same?). The backstage journalists agreed that it was an off week for J.R. and judges concurred. Bruno said “you lost it a few times” and Len thought it was substandard. Only Carrie Ann gave some faint praise, thinking it was well done.
Score: 25

Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus: (jive)
Fresh from her triumph on Broadway night, Nancy was shown exulting about it in rehearsal. But hold on, Nancy, it’s time for the jive! She said the judges will be waiting for her to mess up her footwork. Tristan told her not to take it too seriously and Nancy thought he was trying to say she wasn’t any fun. She just never stops talking! Dancing to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” Nancy didn’t stay on top of the fast footwork although she had a stiff smile plastered on during her dance. It was all so stilted. Her devoted hubby and twin children, however, loyally cheered her on from the audience as usual. Afterwards, the judges all slammed the TV prosecutor. “This week was not so good,” Carrie Ann opined. Len agreed, saying certain dances don’t suit everyone and “You were flat-footed.” Bruno thought she looked as if her shoes were too small. Backstage, hostess Brooke Burke-Charvet tried to help Nancy play the age card, pointing out the jive is tough because she is 52 years old, people!
Score: 21

Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke (tango):
Oh, but of course Rob reminded us of his famous family yet again—they’re dancing to “The Addams Family” theme. J.R. interrupted their rehearsal by throwing a spider down and coming into the studio in a mask. Rob and Cheryl descended the stairs to the creepy kooky song and Rob sported an aggressive, determined look and delivered some solid high leg kicks. It was a bit repetitive. Still, Cheryl worked her sexy magic as Morticia and Rob rebounded–it looked much better than last week. The Addams family met the Kardashian family: the cameraman showed Kourtney and Scott and baby Mason in the audience, with the little boy dressed in Indian garb and Kourt as Pocohantas. Standing O! “Terrific job,” Len raved. “The right amount of attack.” Bruno said he’d never been so manly (a bit of a stretch, but okay). Carrie, always his biggest cougar fan, deemed it his best dance so far. Kim’s pending divorce hasn’t rattled him at all—go Rob!
Score: 25

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough (paso doble):
Ricki complained about her rib in rehearsal (as Xfinity has previously reported, the former talk show hostess has had this nagging injury for a while) and this cued the obligatory doctor’s visit (I believe the first medical report on “DWTS” so far this season!). The doc said her rib wasn’t fractured but she had an inflamed nerve that required rest. Yeah, right! Of course, front runner Ricki didn’t listen and the couple hit the dance floor. Oh, it looked like Ricki and Derek yet again had the best theme with Ricki playing Red Riding Hood. Despite her rib injury, Derek twirled her around with abandon and she danced with both energy and style. This was the best dance so far, hands down. The judges didn’t even have to weigh in but they did, with Bruno called it, “a blizzard of passion in the frozen woods,” Carrie Ann sighed, “gorgeous” and Len looked as excited as he has all season, praising Ricki’s precise footwork. But where’s the love on the scoring? Not one 10!
Score: 27

Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (samba):
After last week, who knows what will happen with this couple? Mad Maks hurt his toe in rehearsal, so he brought in another dancer, Teddy, to help coach Hope. Maks had said “DWTS” was “my show” on air last week and this week, he continued the theme, saying about the rehearsal that Teddy isn’t controlling it because, “It’s MY house. I’m in charge.” Hope seemed to enjoy the distraction of a substitute partner. Will it pay off on the live show? Yes! Dancing to Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London,” their number began with Maks howling at the moon. How appropriate! Hope seemed a lot more relaxed than last week, and although it wasn’t Ricki Lake or anything, the soccer star looked like she had fun. Carrie Ann noticed the change in her spirit. “It was so much fun to watch,” the kind judge said. With Maks looking worried, Len said well done and credited the hair, makeup and costume. “Better timing,” Bruno said.
Score: 24

Watch the “DWTS” Halloween special episode now on xfinityTV.com:

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Now it’s time for the team dances, which have provided “DWTS” fans with lots of unexpected thrills during past seasons. It’s Team Tango, composed of J.R. and Karina, Nancy and Tristan, and David and Kym versus Team Paso with Ricki and Derek, Hope and Maks, and Rob and Cheryl. Team Tango hits the floor, dancing to Rihanna’s “Disturbia.” Then It’s Team Paso, dancing to Evanescene’s “Bring Me to Life.” Each team will wind up getting the same score added to their individual score, so they’ll all have to work together.

Team Tango: J.R. and Karina were the team leaders and he told them they were dancing first. The rehearsal hijinks included Nancy stepping on a pumpkin. The guys had to release themselves from straitjackets before they hit the floor. Nancy moved a bit better than in her jive, because it was a slower dance. David’s shoulders were a little hunched during his tango, but after all, he’s just escaped from the mental hospital, tee hee. Then JR. and Karina showed everyone how it’s done with their fierce tango. The men got back in their cages to end the dance and got a standing ovation. However, it was a mixed bag. Len said the group part of the dance was great but the individual portions were a disaster. Carrie Ann concurred and said David and Kym were out of sync.
Score: 23

Team Paso: This group was all ready with Ricki vowing to kick the other team’s ass. Rob talked about his confidence again (yawn). Ricki seemed the most focused but she was still grabbing at her rib. Maks was manhandling Hope, swinging her around aggressively. Derek stepped in and showed Hope what to do—whoa! Will trouble be brewing between the pros? This dance was much more ethereal than J.R.’s team’s and Cheryl showed her beautiful back in a grey gown. Too bad I don’t notice Rob! Hope and Maks did well but she still seemed to be resisting his hold. Surprise, surprise—Ricki and Derek are the best with the pro doing a spider man move. Loved this one, especially with the guys swirling their capes dramatically at the end. Bruno said everyone went for it and Carrie Ann yelled it was powerful.
Score: 26

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