The Dancing with the Stars Semifinals of Season 12 places Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas at the top of the leaderboard with 73 points. Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff round out the bottom with 48, and are most likely to be eliminated unless some serious power voting takes place. Ralph began losing ground with his first dance, which was a perfectly executed Argentine Tango, but the judges underscored him. His salsa didn’t fare much better, and he lost his winner take all cha cha round.
On a happier note, pro dancer Kym Johnson danced beautifully tonight, after having sustained a frightening neck injury on Friday. She and Hines Ward, after bringing everyone including themselves to tears with their Argentine Tango, scored perfect 10s in both their individual dances and won their first cha cha round. See the video at left which shows how Kym injured herself, but please be advised it is upsetting to watch. They couldn’t beat Chelsea and Mark in the 2nd cha cha round though, and I think the quest for the mirror ball trophy is going to be between these two couples in next week’s finals. Chelsea and Mark also received a perfect score of 10 for their rumba, and although their Argentine Tango was clean and precise, judge Len Goodman found some fault with it. Kirstie Alley and partner Maks Chmerkovskiy gave a flawless Viennese Waltz and a fiery paso doble, but they too were underscored.
Even though the competition was fierce and the pressure was at it’ greatest, there were some tension relieveing funny moments in the show. Judge Bruno Toniolo was out of control for much of the evening, but that is hardly anything new. He may get a call from ABC’s Standards & Practices though, after having referred to Karina in her leopard custom with another word for “cat.” Bruno was bleeped just in time. Brooke Burke bungled the coin toss when it was time to decide who would dance the bonus cha cha round first. It’s always a treat when she goofs. Instead of grabbing host Tom Bergeron’s butt, Maks planted a couple of kisses on his face.
The ‘winner take all cha cha’ was the subject of some controversy among fans. Many feel it was the show’s way of getting who they want into and out of the finals. The winner would get 15 points added to their score, making the margin that much wider for fans of the losing three to overcome with voting. Having the 1st place couple and 4th place couple face off means you have the lowest scorer up against the highest. How could the lowest of the night possibly top the highest in a 45 second dance? So naturally, Ralph was beat by Hines. Then Kirstie was beat by Chelsea. It’s pretty clear who the show wants in the finals and at the top. Ralph was able to overcome Romeo’s 6 point lead last week, but can his fans rally to overcome the gap this week?
- Chelsea & Mark 73 Definitely Safe
- Hines & Kim 60 Definitely Safe
- Kirstie & Maks 54 Definitely Safe
- Ralph & Karina 48 Most Likely to be Eliminated
The couples left it all on the floor tonight, and it’s all up to the voting fans now. Dancing with the Stars will have a two hour block on Tuesday, first with the hour long Dancing with the Stars Live: Freestyle Special at 8 p.m., followed by the Results Show at 9 p.m. Two former champions, Apolo Ohno (Season 4), and Donnie Osmond (Season 9), and finalist Warren Sapp (Season 7) will provide commentary on their freestyle routines. Season 2 winners Drew Lachey and Cheryl Burke will perform their fan favorite freestyle, “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy”.
The Results Show will feature musical performances by Stevie Nicks and Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer. We’ll also see pro dances by Tony Dovolani, Cheryl Burke, Anna Trebuynskay, Chelsie Hightower and Lacey Schwimmer. Viewers in Newark, NJ can watch the two hour Dancing with the Stars block on Channel 7 WABC-TV.