The Dancing With The Stars creative team really struck wacky gold by having the stars and their pro partners create routines saluting America. The couples were tasked to perform classic ballroom routines to the beat of such patriotic standards as “God Bless America” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy”.

Ralph Macchio: Actor
Karina Smirnoff: Pro Partner
Week 5 Routine: Samba

Rehearsal Rewind:
Ralph hoped to climb back to the top of the leader by improving his hip action for his “Sweet Home Alabama Samba”.

Showtime:
Performing a Samba to “Sweet Home Alabama” sounds like an impossible feat but Ralph and Karina gave it their best shot. The routine was a combination of Latin flavored footwork and country line dancing. Though Ralph was totally into the performance his lanky and tall body seemed to betray the awkwardness in his hip swivels and high kicks. Carrie Ann Inaba (judge) thought it was entertaining while Len Goodman (head judge) and Bruno Tonioli (judge) were more concerned with Ralph’s lack of rhythm and gyrations.

Going Home?
Ralph has been a Season 12 favorite. Though this was probably his most goofy looking performance I think voters will reflect more on his past efforts and keep him in the game.

Chris Jericho: Former pro wrestler, author
Cheryl Burke: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Viennese Waltz

Rehearsal Rewind:
The constant revolutions in the Viennese Waltz had Chris remembering the Gravitron ride at the carnival. Chris hoped to get over his dizziness in order to perform a Viennese Waltz that would impress Len. Len has been giving Chris scores of “7” so Chris hoped to get an “8” out of the head judge.

Showtime:
Chris was on set as a distinguished officer ready, willing and surprisingly able to V. Waltz around the ballroom with the lovely Cheryl Burke. Despite the few moments of clunky footwork Chris showcased a smooth glide, a sturdy hold, good posture and a dashing character. Chris’s Viennese Waltz was a great tribute to America, albeit a romantically tinged tribute. Despite some flat-footedness in his technique Len was impressed Chris’ hold and posture. As a reward Len bestowed Chris with a score of “8”.

Going Home?
The former wrestler has grown into amazing looking dancer. Since Week 2 Chris has brought some impressive technique to the dancefloor coupled with dramatically strong characters. Chris’ potential is just too good to let go of now.

Petra Nemcova: Supermodel
Dmitry Chaplin: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Quickstep

Rehearsal Rewind:
Petra and Dmitry’s Quickstep was slated to be performed to “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley. Petra confessed to Dmitry that she didn’t listen to Elvis while growing up in communist Czechoslovakia. That was okay since Dmitry felt that Petra had to focus more on her balance than her lip curl in order to do a great Quickstep.

Showtime:
While Carrie Ann felt that Petra took a step back in her dance progress Len and Bruno showered the supermodel with praise for a well performed Quickstep. Clad in a beautiful golden gown Petra was skipping and trotting along with Dmitry, for the most part. There were some instances where Petra’s feet got tangled up in the fast paced footwork but her runs around the dancefloor with Dmitry and lovely posture outshined the errors.

Going Home?
Petra’s Quickstep was very lovely to watch. Despite what Carrie Ann said I think it showed some real improvement in Petra’s dance skills. I’m hoping she is kept in the competition.

Romeo: Rap artist, actor
Chelsie Hightower: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Foxtrot

Rehearsal Rewind:
Romeo’s “swagger” has helped him to make his performances extra special. For a Foxtrot set to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” Chelsie wanted to adjust Romeo’s coolness for a 1940s era kind of setting.

Showtime:
Romeo yet again stepped into the shoes of a character that I didn’t think he could pull off. Clad in a top hat and tails Romeo looked more like he was getting ready to tap dance instead of Foxtrot. Romeo seemed to have little hesitation with the classy, retro tone of the dance and even did some Broadway-esque high kicks along with Chelsie. All three judges were very pleased with the sophistication and controlled holds Romeo displayed in his Foxtrot.

Going Home?
While Romeo’s Week 5 Foxtrot wasn’t one of my favorite routines this particular dance was another sign of Romeo’s earnestness to win the trophy. His willingness to try new characters and new styles is endearing. When he comes out on the floor and gives 100% to the concept of the evening it just makes him a formidable contender and really makes Chelsie look good, too.


Hines Ward: Pro football player
Kym Johnson: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Rumba

Rehearsal Rewind:
Hines hoped to perform a Rumba that was as romantic looking as Ralph Macchio’s Week 4 Rumba. Hines’ efforts to put sentimentality in his performance came with some bruises as he and Kym clumsily knocked into each other during rehearsals.

Showtime:
Hines and Kym’s Rumba seemed to be inspired by the classic film An Officer & A Gentleman (1982) complete with the finale where Hines scoops up Kym and Kym dons Hine’s military hat. From my viewpoint Hines’ wasn’t doing anything elaborate with his body. He honestly looked more like a balancing beam for Kym as she did her fancy twirls and kicks. What little hip action I saw Hines perform was understated when compared to his Week 4 Samba or Week 1 Cha Cha. The judges, however, were quite overjoyed with Hines’ work in the Rumba and all three awarded him with scores of “9”.

Going Home?
Based on solely on Week 5 Rumba I would at least put Hines in the “bottom two”. However, his overall progress has been pretty good so I would probably keep him around to Week 6 to see if he’s got more potential to give.

Kirstie Alley: Actress, reality television personality
Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Foxtrot

Rehearsal Rewind:
Kirstie felt the duo needed some extra assistance so they paid a visit to the “Dance Doctor”. The physician turned out to be none other than John Travolta. After some words of advice from the “Doctor” Kirstie was ready to bring her “American Woman” to the dancefloor.

Showtime:
“American Woman” by Lenny Kravitz is a funky rock-n-roll anthem so Kirstie’s Foxtrot needed to be equally so. It was an outlandish combination of edgy sexiness with the prim and proper Foxtrot. I felt that Kirstie was again light on her feet, good in holds and stayed in character for the routine. It looked like Kirstie had returned to a more confident form than the one displayed in her so-so Week 4 Waltz. Len wasn’t too crazy about the routine. Carrie Ann and Bruno were happily entertained by the performance.

Going Home?
Kirstie is a fan favorite plus she showed some genuine improvement from last week’s Waltz. I don’t think she’ll be at the top of the leader board but I don’t think her time is up yet.

Kendra Wilkinson: Former Playboy model, reality television personality
Louis van Amstel: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Foxtrot

Rehearsal Rewind:
Kendra was initially upset by the judges’ critiques of her Week 4 Viennese Waltz, especially Carrie Ann’s claim that Kendra seemed to be “afraid of elegance”. Once Kendra calmed down and Louis offered some words of wisdom the reality tv star regained her confidence. Kendra was determined to perform a Foxtrot that would win back the support of her fans.

Showtime:
Clad as “Uncle and Aunt Sam” Kendra and Louis performed their Foxtrot to “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. The performance also marked the 1,000th dance of Dancing With The Stars. The first half of the routine consisted of lots of movement out of hold. The duo performed some patriotically inspired hoofing side by side and performed the rest of the routine in hold. This was arguably the first dance where Kendra actually looked like she was enjoying a traditional ballroom routine. She didn’t look skittish or nervous or uncomfortable. All three judges agreed that Kendra’s Foxtrot was a positive turnaround from her Week 4 performance.

Going Home?
My friends are almost certain that Kendra is the next star to be cast off. Based on Kendra’s star spangled Foxtrot I would keep her in the competition. It was a good routine and Kendra danced it with an increased level of confidence and enthusiasm that really hasn’t been seen since her Week 1 Cha Cha. Frankly, I think the duo should get a free pass to Week 6 just for having to dance to “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. My hats off to Louis for the choreography and Kendra for being a very good sport about it because that routine could’ve been a major washout.

Chelsea Kane: Actress, singer
Mark Ballas: Pro partner
Week 5 Routine: Samba

Rehearsal Rewind:
While Chelsea was all geared up to perform another unorthodox routine Mark was of the mind to keep their Samba more traditional in an effort to raise their judges’ scores.

Showtime:
“Yum, yum, what a bum” said Len. Carrie Ann and Bruno were equally ecstatic about Chelsea’s contributions to the Samba. It took some adjusting on my part to see Chelsea and Mark do a straightforward routine after several weeks of watching them bend the rules. Still, Chelsea did not disappoint with infectious energy, crisp footwork and some aggressive pelvic action.

Going Home?
The only way Chelsea will be eliminated this week is if people feel that she’s safe enough to not warrant their vote. Then they’ll give their votes to those stars they feel need more help and Chelsea ends up wrongfully eliminated. Otherwise, the talented ballroom student should be making an appearance with Mark for the sixth round of competition.