Dancing With the Stars Recap: Year-View Mirror

J.R. Martinez made everyone weep. Chynna Phillips held on for one more day (in a big way). Kristin Cavallari channeled her “inner Beyonce” and (pretty much) pulled it off! Let’s take a closer look at the ebbs and flows of Week 3, which found each of our 10 remaining celebrities drawing inspiration from his or her “Most Memorable Year.” (By the way, your regular recapper, Michael Slezak, was on assignment interviewing Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid tonight, but he’ll be back on DWTS duty next week!)

Dance of the Night: J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff
Scores, schmores! Technically speaking, this particular rumba only tied for second place on the Judges’ Leaderboard, but J.R. transcended the dance and stole the night via the power, poignancy and sheer authenticity of his emotions. It was impossible not to be riveted by the way J.R. commanded the ballroom, and by the way he allowed his connection to the spirit of the song — “If You’re Reading This,” Tim McGraw’s stirring 2007 tribute to military families — to sweep him (and anyone with a heartbeat) away. Said Carrie Ann: “That was one of the most profound, honest dances I’ve ever seen.” Preach it, sister!

Runner-Up: Ricki Lake and Derek Hough
Fabulous performance and scores — their 27 topped the night — but is it me, or is the fabulous Ricki starting to look a tad like Demi Moore? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Worst of the Night: Nancy Grace and Tristan McManus
So what if Chaz and Lacey scored three points lower? And maybe this opinion means I have a stone-cold heart. Emotionally speaking, though, it was an impossible task for Nancy to follow immediately after J.R.’s tale of how his Humvee hit a land mine when he served as a U.S. army infantryman — even if Nancy wanted to do something “beautiful and magical” on the ballroom floor for her twin toddlers. The biggest problem, though, was the actual dancing. Carrie Ann called Nancy and Tristan’s waltz a “live-action lullaby” and I couldn’t agree more; it prompted immediate drowsiness and a desperate lunge toward a pillow — to bite!

Probably Will Go Home: Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer
Patricia Arquette, Courteney Cox, and Kim Kardashian bringing added star power to the live audience this week prompted immediate fantasies of Chaz’s proud mama Cher glamming up the proceedings in the immediate future. (Like clockwork, guess who Tweeted during the show that she’d be there in-person next week — if Chaz survives, that is!). But alas, I think the chances are slim the uni-monikered diva will get the chance to show her son how to burlesque — or any other dance, for that matter.

Top 5 Lines of the Night
3a) “You put the boy in flamboyant.” –Len to Carson (was it the hot pink blazer, Len?)

3) “Maybe if I can nail this tango, all the dweebie kids who don’t get picked for any sports, maybe they’ll be like, ‘Hey, I can be a ballroom dancer, look at him!’” – Carson Kressley on being an inspiration.

2) “You sell it like a sexy b**ch, not like a big girl who’s used to doing this (pumps his fist over his head) in the locker room.” — Maksim to Hope, on how to incorporate her sex appeal into the cha cha cha.

1) “It’s a new video game.” –Tom’s timely response to Rob Kardashian’s quizzical ‘What’s Guys and Dolls?’ after Bruno referenced the classic musical as a compliment.

Judges’ Leaderboard (Carrie Ann, Len, Bruno: Total)
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough: 9, 9, 9: 27
Chynna Phillips and Tony Dovolani: 8, 9, 9: 26
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff: 9, 8, 9: 26
Kristin Cavallari and Mark Ballas: 8, 8, 8: 24
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke: 8, 8, 8: 24
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 8, 8, 8: 24
David Arquette and Kym Johnson: 8, 8, 8: 24
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya: 8, 7, 8: 23
Nancy Grace and Tristan McManus: 7, 7, 7: 21
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer: 6, 6, 6: 18

What did you think of this week’s DWTS? Who was your favorite couple? Who do you think will and should go home? Sound off below! –Mitch Rustad