The unthinkable happened Monday night when just moments after Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy began their serious Rumba, the pair fell to the floor and looked like they might not make it back up. But they managed to shake off the incident and gracefully move on — but were they penalized with their scores?
It was a story of tragedy and triumph, which ironically was the theme of Kirstie’s tale for Story Week on “Dancing with the Stars.” The 60-year-old actress revealed how within days of moving to Los Angeles and scoring her first big role on “Star Trek” came the tragic news that her mother died in a car accident, and how Alley had to cope with dealing with tragedy and triumph in her life at the same time.
Watch Maks and Kirstie’s Catastrophe on “DWTS”:
That aside, there was a shakeup at the top of the leaderboard with Petra Nemcova scoring a 25, Kendra Wilkinson finally finding her groove to score her season-high of 23, and Romeo and Ralph Macchio dropping a bit in position. Wendy Williams, however, is still holding onto the low end of the totem poll and not showing much improvement.
Best line of the night? “Later tonight, Len goes to the wizard for a heart,” quipped co-host Tom Bergeron after giving Romeo’s emotional Rumba – dedicated to his two deceased cousins – not so great comments.
Runner-up? “You’re a better girl than I am,” said Chelsea Kane to partner Mark Ballas when it came time to shake her hips in a Cha Cha Cha.
Let’s take a look at the emotional twists, turns and tumbles this week:
Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani: Fox Trot
The talk show host, whose been tweeting about her injuries (knees, hips, and feet, ouch!), chose to tell the story of how she got started in radio. She talked about sleeping in her car and taking “bird baths” while she worked those early-career grueling hours. But her Fox Trot to “Last Night a DJ Saved my Life” didn’t quite tell that story and barely showed improvement from weeks 1 and 2. Len Goodman said, “It was a struggle… It’s a dance more suited to the radio.” Ouch. Bruno Tonioli agreed with Len. “At times it looked like you put down roots,” he said. Carrie Ann Inaba said she took “a little step backwards.”
Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas: Cha Cha Cha
They needed redemption after last week’s totally creative Jive that totally backfired, so the pair opted to play it safe with tale about her first love. She danced to the song “Chelsea” written for her by her ex-boyfriend’s band, Brian Dales’ the Summer Set. “The delicious first taste of love, tasty, tasty Chelsea,” squealed Bruno. “I’m a big fan of love and romance, and I’m a big fan of that Cha Cha,” said Carrie Ann. “It was just adorable.” Len called it her best dance.
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke: Rumba
Dancing to the Beatles’ “Let It Be” in a story about his late mother, Chris shredded that rock star WWE persona and showed off his tender side. The tough guy talked about showing the audience the real him – the Chris Irving [his real name] side of him – for the first time. “That was a beautiful tribute to your mom,” said a teary-eyed Carrie Ann before calling his hip action “a little strange.” Len said it lost fluidity because there weren’t enough arms, but “Overall I thought you did an excellent job,” he added. Bruno thought it was a good job.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel: Rumba
In a story about the beginning of Kendra and Hank Baskett’s relationship, the reality star talked about the haters who didn’t think the NFL star should be with a former stripper and ex-member of Hugh Hefner’s harem. Her message? Follow your heart. It surely seemed like a rough start, what with Kendra caught up in all that smoke, giving her trouble down the stairs. Len said there was unnecessary gyrating and that she was unstable at times. Bruno told her, “There is nothing wrong with a good stripper… it was hot and arousing darling.” Carrie Ann said she too got excited and called it “hot, hot, hot.”
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower: Rumba
Was it just me or did Romeo hardly dance during this dance? Sure the story was there and the mood was somber, but Chelsie really did all of the work most of the time. Carrie Ann liked how he “committed emotionally during the dance,” but noted his “funky footwork.” Bruno said last week was a huge step forward but this week was a huge step back.
Hines Ward and Kym Johnson: Samba
The footballer chose to celebrate his hard-working mom – who was in the audience – in one of the most upbeat numbers of the night. He rocked it out of the park, but, oopies, Kym almost fell toward the end. Regardless, the audience went wild. “Booya, baby’s got bounce,” cheered Carrie Ann. “Thank you! Thank you! Good job!” Len said he was proud of him. Bruno went on about bouncing and butt shaking. The pair scored the first 9 of the season and the highest score of all three weeks.
Petra Nemcova and Dimitry Chaplin: Waltz
Hands down, the most emotional dance of the night came from Petra, who brought us back to the heart-breaking 2005 tsunami and her inspiration for her Happy Hearts Foundation. They were going for “angelic,” and that’s what they delivered. “It had grace, it had elegance, it had fluid movement,” said Len, who added that this is his favorite season because each week changes, with the couples shifting in momentum. Bruno called the model a vision from Heaven and said she danced like an angel. Carrie Ann called her “a super graceful inspirational dancer.”
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunsakaya: Paso Doble
The boxer honored his sport by having the “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” announcer introduce their Paso Doble, to which he came out with his black-and-red boxing robe and faux championship belt…and with a punching bag to boot. Nice touches. But did it make up for his disappointing turn on the dance floor last week? Here’s what the judges’ had to say. Bruno said, yep, he’s “back in business.” “I think I saw a lot of improvement…I’m so proud of you,” glowed Carrie Ann. Len agreed that Ray came out stronger this week.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Rumba
The dance started out graceful enough but things quickly took a turn for the worse when Maks fell while trying to hold Kirstie in a turn and they both went down, leaving Maks visibly injured and the audience with their jaws dropped to the ground. “My thigh just gave out. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry,” said Maks after the dance. Carrie Ann said sometimes tragedy leads to amazing moments and they had some. “Dancing is a bit like life,” Len said. “It’s about overcoming adversities. You got up, you dusted yourself off.” Bruno said, “You can’t keep good talent down, because once you got up it was better than ever.”
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff: Rumba
The second shocker of the night, after Kirstie and Maks’ big fall, was how young Ralph looked in his wedding footage in his rehearsal package about falling in love with his wife. Dedicating his dance to his wife of 24 years during their anniversary week, Ralph was graceful and romantic as he danced to his wedding song, “Stay Gold,” which was also the theme song from one of his early breakout films, “The Outsiders.” But the judge’ were surprisingly harsh on him and argued with each other over it. Len called it manic and Bruno focused on what he needs to work on, while the newly engaged Carrie Ann “got it” and thought it was “a very sweet Rumba.”
Week 3 Leaderboard Totals:
Petra and Dimitry: 25
Hines and Kym: 25
Chelsea and Mark: 23
Kendra and Louis: 23
Chris and Cheryl: 21
Ralph and Karina: 21
Kirstie and Maks: 21
Sugar Ray and Anna: 20
Romeo and Chelsie: 20
Wendy and Tony: 15