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ROB KARDASHIAN AND CHERYL BURKE: WORST Week 1: Viennese Waltz (16/30)
Rob managed to get through a competent but very, very stiff Viennese waltz without being swallowed whole by Cheryl's Elvis collar during the season 13 premiere. Clearly the boy with the krazy family had a ways to go before he'd be a man at ease in the ballroom.
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ROB KARDASHIAN AND CHERYL BURKE: WORST Week 6: Cha Cha Cha (22/30)
Rob attempted to assume the identity of Mark Ballas with spats and short pants for Broadway Week, and the judges weren't buying it. ''It wasn't oily,'' DANCMSTR Len Goodman complained. ''It was stiff and starchy.''
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ROB KARDASHIAN AND CHERYL BURKE: BEST Week 8: Quickstep (27/30)
As expected, the judges verbally perpetuated their season-long fixation on Rob's ample buttocks — and this time, they were pleased with how Rob tucked them in and achieved a nice, tight hold with Cheryl on their quickstep set to ''Take On Me.'' ''I got a good look at your buttocks,'' said the DANCMSTR, clearly inspired by the song. Bruno called him ''speedier than a drag race'' once Rob and Cheryl ''took off'' in hold in the middle of the dance, and Carrie Ann called him ''the ideal contestant,'' who started out not so hot but has showed steady improvement throughout the season. Rave reviews across the judges' leaderboard, ''and you had the best week of any Kardashian!'' quipped Tom. Ha!
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ROB KARDASHIAN AND CHERYL BURKE: BEST Semifinals: Samba (30/30)
I'd been liking Rob more and more as a dancer (instead of merely a funny contestant with a freaky family) over the past few weeks, and his semifinals performances — this party float samba along with round 2's Argentine tango — only enhanced that impression. Rob's arm snaps/twists are really, really convincing these days. He's pointing his toes, he looks the part, and he's embracing the cheese big-time. Works for me. ''Rio!''
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RICKI LAKE AND DEREK HOUGH: WORST Week 1: Viennese Waltz (20/30)
''Who's got three mirror balls and two thumbs?'' Um...a scary monster? Nope, just Derek Hough. No wonder he made such a profound scrunchy face when Len awarded their Viennese waltz a dreaded 6. No time to get picky on Ricki, man, this returning wunderkind has got to win! ''You are a little princess and Derek is a perfect prince,'' said Carrie Ann, laying it on a little thick.
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RICKI LAKE AND DEREK HOUGH: BEST Week 4: Tango (29/30)
It's a good thing Derek is such a Psycho about perfect choreography! I loved how he built suspense at the beginning and end of this tango with the silhouette motif — and I'm glad he felt free to ''go there'' at the end and actually murder his partner. She had finally quit, just as she had promised during rehearsal footage — just not by choice. Two 10s it is! The first 10s of the season — too soon, on Week 4?
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RICKI LAKE AND DEREK HOUGH: WORST Week 5: Foxtrot (24/30)
I still can't decide which was worse — Ricki's terrible tiered turquoise frock or the fact that a foxtrot was set to Phil Collins' ''Easy Lover.'' Ricki tragically messed up her Roger Rabbit moves on '80s night, giving the judges a great excuse to knock her down a few pegs and make it not quite so obvious that she and Derek Blue Hair were their faves.
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RICKI LAKE AND DEREK HOUGH: BEST Semifinals: Samba (30/30)
Ricki and Derek got their first PERFECT 30 for this yellow-feathered samba, after which Big Bird pouted throughout the judges' critique because she didn't think she'd done well. I'm still befuddled. So was Tom. ''What, you're not happy? Everyone else is!'' Get in the game, Lake! It doesn't matter how you think you did. If Bruno says you're sizzling hot, bright, and brilliant, you gotta keep your mouth shut and go with it.
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J.R. MARTINEZ AND KARINA SMIRNOFF: BEST Week 3: Rumba (26/30)
This ''Unchained Melody'' rumba — dedicated to the families of soldiers who didn't get the second chance J.R. did — will definitely rank among the top routines in Dancing With the Stars history because of its emotional impact. J.R.'s feet ''skimmed the sand'' like Bruno had always wanted — but I think the MVP of the night was actually Karina for her careful and not too schmaltzy orchestration of such a beautiful routine. It was all very Ghost-like — well, maybe not as sexy as Ghost, but I don't think the point of this rumba was to be sexy.
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J.R. MARTINEZ AND KARINA SMIRNOFF: WORST Week 7: Tango (25/30)
After a tense week of rehearsals (''When you build a house, you build the f---ing foundation first!'' —Karina), the pair was sacked with a Halloween Night tango set to the Ghostbusters theme. Much like Cheryl's Morticia-as-Cousin It weave, the long white fringe on ghost Karina's ''dress'' often obscured J.R.'s moves. This dance was so prop-tastic, but not even a ghost-busting gun that shoots streamers — or his-and-hers crypts with a zebra-print-jacketed skeleton in the upright coffin on the left (come on! amazing!) — could save J.R. from the judges' notes about his lost timing and shoddy footwork. Oh, well. Carrie Ann still gave him a 9.
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J.R. MARTINEZ AND KARINA SMIRNOFF: BEST Week 8: Jive (30/30)
This week didn't have a theme — I felt so lost! — but ''The redemption of J.R.'' was sort of the unspoken one. Not only was he referred to as ''last week's fallen star,'' but he had a group of soldier buddies in the audience (the real Dancing With the Stars troop?), he earned the first two perfect 30s of the season, and he thanked his mom, God, and Justin Bieber for making it all happen! The couple's ''Tutti Frutti'' instant jive had J.R. doing split jumps off the stairs, keeping up with Karina's artfully arranged eight-counts of choreography, and attempting to heel-slide like Derek. (''Only Derek can do that.'') Len tiptoed into dangerous competing-network territory when he told J.R., ''You've got the X factor and the feel-good factor mixed together.'' Tehhhhhhhhhhhhn!
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J.R. MARTINEZ AND KARINA SMIRNOFF: WORST Semifinals: Paso Doble (23/30)
J.R. had twisted his ankle during studio rehearsals, and tweaked it even further during his and Karina's Mask of Zorro paso doble. Let's hope J.R. got to rest and ice it enough over the weekend so that he won't suffer any ''uncertain pauses'' in tonight's liiiiiiiiiiiiive performance finale! For my money (which is merely a heap of digitized hidden gems), he's been the strongest, most consistent contestant of the season.