Movie theme night on Dancing With the Stars means it's easy to be distracted by the familiar strains of songs from Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rocky.
So, it's up to the celebs and their pro partners to make the visuals match the audio (and, tonight anyway, the Cher sighting).
Did front-runners like Chynna Phillips, Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez make it happen?
Well, Chynna didn't.
"It's not a serious competition! It's a ballroom dance competition, it's supposed to be fun!" judge Carrie Ann Inaba reminded the singer after one flub during her Mission: Impossible tango sent her spiraling into stiff, mistake-riddled purgatory.
After a sympathetic drubbing from the judges, Chynna was truly remorseful, apologizing to the fans and partner Tony Dovolani for being off her game. (It's OK, girl! It's just a ballroom competition!)
But Ricki Lake offered up a top-notch, dramatic tango to the Psycho theme that ended with Derek Hough stabbing her in silhouette. Well, he mimed stabbing her, but it was still creepy and, ironically, the killing pumped life into the ballroom after a number of merely satisfactory performances.
Oh, and she got 10's from Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli!
And though he was wearing hot-pink to go with The Pink Panther theme, J.R. Martinez was as smooth as ever doing the fox-trot.
Carrie Ann didn't think he needed the humor, but Len Goodman thought the show-closing performance was the best dance from a male star all night.
Cher was in the house, meanwhile, to watch Chaz Bono paso doble to the Rocky theme. Len, who even sung a few "feeling strong now" bars, deemed it Chaz's best dance yet and Carrie Ann—not to mention Cher, who gave her son a standing-O—was brought to tears.
Hope Solo, whom we find painful to watch when she's solo (seriously, no pun intended) but is tolerable in hold, really impressed the judges with her fox-trot to "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story, and Len even thinks she could "go all the way" if she and Maks Chmerkovskiy rehearse more.
We don't, but it was nice of the Brit—who all night sounded as if he was still steaming from Kristin Cavallari's surprising ouster—to say.
Rob Kardashian continued to improve with a Superman-channeling paso doble that had Bruno Tonioli encouraging him, "It's time to leave Smallville and take on the world!"
Len said he couldn't "go into raptures" over it, but quite liked it just the same.
There was a 2-1 split decision after David Arquette's Raiders paso doble, with Bruno and Carrie Ann loving his attitude (and the way his muscles looked in a sleeveless shirt and tight pants) and Len complaining that he wasn't seeing the "tight buttocks" that his fellow judges were raving about.
Even Courteney Cox, in the audience for the fourth straight week, looked annoyed at Len's diatribe.
Carson Kressley's Viennese waltz to the Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl theme was more jocular than Johnny Depp, and overall came off as rather cheesy, albeit entertaining in a very basic kind of way.
"It was kind of like being on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, only weirder," observed Carrie Ann, calling it his "most butch" performance yet. And although Len though it entertaining, he also compared the routine to childbirth: "Terrible when it's happening and a joy when it's over."
Nancy Grace stumbled at the very end of her paso doble to Queen's Flash Gordon theme—of course, what else?!—but otherwise kept her baring, er, bearings.
Here's how the leaderboard stacked up:
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough: 29
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff: 26
Hope Solo & Maks Chmerkovskiy: 24
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke: 24
David Arquette & Kym Johnson: 23
Chaz Bono & Lacey Schwimmer: 21
Chynna Phillips & Tony Dovolani: 21
Nancy Grace & Tristan MacManus: 21
Carson Kressley & Anna Trebunskaya: 20
Another star will be eliminated tomorrow night following special dance performances from Julianne Hough and her Footloose costar Kenny Wormald to music sung by Blake Shelton, plus songs from Raphael Saadiq and Susan Boyle.
Who do you think is on the way out? Share your thoughts on tonight's performances in the comments section!
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