“Dancing With the Stars’” most controversial couple of the season kept their reputation alive to the end. After being kicked off DWTS on Tuesday night, soccer player Hope Solo and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy pulled a vanishing act on the red carpet. Instead of granting waiting reporters the customary exit interviews backstage, Hope did one brief TV spot and then left. Her rep told flabbergasted media that Hope was a girl who had gotten very emotional and couldn’t do any more interviews. What was Maks’ excuse? Reporters weren’t told.
It was no surprise that Hope didn’t make it to the finals after she and Maks received the lowest scores on all three of their Monday dances. The athlete seemed to know the writing was on the wall that night when she claimed to reporters that the judges had been against her and Maks “since day one.” Unflattering backstage footage that was aired on Tuesday night’s DWTS showed Hope saying that the judges could “kiss my booty.” And after a season in which Maks had been constantly in the news for bad boy behavior, it was time for the trouble-plagued couple to go home.
Watch: “Dancing” Reveals Its Top Three:
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While Hope and Maks fled the ballroom without looking back, the other three couples—Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, and Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke— celebrated making it through to next week’s finale.
War veteran J.R. sighed that he was “relieved, thrilled” that viewers voted for him. “I was kind of nervous and scared like, s—! Am I gonna be able to come back and redeem myself? I wasn’t sure. But…America says, we got your back, J.R. and Karina. We’re going to push you through to the finals.”
J.R.’s agonizing ankle injury hampered him in his semi-final dances on Monday and he got an x-ray on it after the show. “It came back negative,” he informed reporters. “It was just a sprain, so now I’ve got to just keep icing it, keep it elevated, and keep taping it so that I don’t re-injure myself in rehearsal. If I can do that, then I’ll be all right.
“If I can just tough it out for one more week, regardless of whatever it is that I’m feeling with my ankle, I can say whether I win, lose, or draw, whatever, I can say I let it all out on the line.”
J.R. thinks the injury might have created sympathy in the fans. “I think last night proved to people that I am human and I will fumble and I will fall and at the same time, if I’m given a second chance, I will stand back up and I will charge.”
But the “All My Children” actor said he will face a tough challenge because “Rob and Ricki are going to bring it. Rob is on fire right now. He has a lot of momentum and it’s starting with his ass.”
J.R. jokingly said Rob’s sisters will be tough to beat, too. “It’s distracting when you see on Twitter that they’re telling everyone to vote. I was like, ‘Damn! I wish I had some famous sisters.’ ”
Rob told reporters about his progress, “It’s amazing. I definitely didn’t think I’d be in the finals. I would never have expected it at all when I started this thing.” But when asked what put him into the finals, he had an instant response: “I have a great work ethic.”
The reality TV brother now has big ambitions: “I just have to win the trophy. There is just no other option for me.” In fact, Rob has even dared to dream about where he could put the mirror ball award! “It’s going to go somewhere special. It may even have to go to my mom’s house where the whole family is. But we will see. I’m not even close to that yet.”
Expect to see his famous family cheering him on next week from the DWTS audience. “The whole family will definitely be here for the finale. They had better!”
Meanwhile, Ricki said with the finals looming, “I’m sort of in shock. It’s like a miracle I’m still here. I feel like I’ve been doing what other women and housewives and mommy friends of mine say, ‘you are living my dream.’ “
The former TV talk show hostess and Hairspray actress already knows that for next week, “Derek has a lot of stuff up his sleeve. I’m going to go get padded underpants and knee pads,” she said as she showed the press her body bruises.
“I think it’s anyone’s prize to win,” Ricki said.