A new contender has stepped forward and unseated Ricki Lake from the top spot on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Former “All My Children” actor and army veteran J.R. Martinez, along with professional partner Karina Smirnoff, pulled off the first big upset of the season, sprinting to the top of the leaderboard on Monday night with a heart-racing samba.
“Ricki’s doing a great job,” J.R. said of his competition during the show’s broadcast on ABC. “She set the bar really high for everybody so we’re working hard and we’re trying to catch her, hopefully we do tonight.”
And catch her they did. Taking the floor to Miami Sound Machine’s “Conga,” J.R. pulled from his Latin roots and swept across the dance floor, shaking his hips all the way to a loud, show-disrupting standing ovation from the studio audience, who collectively couldn’t stop clapping.
The judges, too, couldn’t contain their enthusiasm for his prowess in the ballroom.
“Talk about hip action,” judge Bruno Tonioli screamed. “You were like a loin-shattering sex machine… The Kardashians are gagging.”
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was so overcome, she admitted to accidentally swearing on air as she complimented the duo who earned a 29 out of 30 — their best score this season.
For the second week in a row, David Arquette also improved by leaps and bounds, moving all the way into a tie for second place (with Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke) after rocking out to an ‘80s-inspired tango with Kym Johnson, which had his adorable daughter Coco Arquette (seated between mom Courteney Cox and David’s sister, Rosanna Arquette) squealing in delight.
Despite a little help in one of their pre-competition practice sessions from the man who discovered Ricki and put her in “Hairspray” – John Waters — Derek Hough’s decision to add in a Roger Rabbit to their foxtrot cost them big time, and landed the disappointed duo in a tie for fourth (with Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy), which could put the former frontrunners in jeopardy if the voters don’t carry them over.
While Cher wasn’t in the audience this week, she was cheering her son, Chaz Bono, on from home as he performed one of his best dances yet – a spirited samba with Lacey Schwimmer – which Carrie Ann noted was full of moves.
“Chaz did GREAT 2nite THIS IS AMAZING!It’s A dream come true WAIT ! It’s More than a dream ! I’m sure he NEVER DREAMT HE’D STILL B THERE,” Cher Tweeted after watching the pair.
The two earned just 21 out of 30, and a seventh place finish (behind Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus), but they actually stayed out of the bottom spot once again.
He was a blast in the ballroom, but Carson Kressley’s cheerleader-inspired jive with Anna Trebunskaya, to Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” failed with the judges and earned just 19 points out of 30 and the bottom spot on the leaderboard.
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The Leaderboard standings for Week 5 were:
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff performed the samba and earned 29/30
David Arquette and Kym Johnson took on the tango and earned 25/30
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke tried out the rumba and earned 25/30
Ricki Lake and Derek Hough performed the foxtrot and earned 24/30
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy tackled the tango and earned 24/30
Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus took on the rumba and earned 22/30
Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer performed a samba and earned 21/30
Carson Kressley and Anna Trebunskaya took on the jive and earned 19/30