Photo Credit: ABC
The season 13 Dancing with the Stars semifinals were a topsy-turvy night of impressive highs and surprising lows for the four remaining contestants and their professional dancing partners.
While his fellow contestants struggled with physical injuries and confidence issues, 24-year-old Rob Kardashian -- the youngest in the competition -- had the night of the season, all but securing him and Cheryl Burke a spot in the three-way finals. Using his self-described "secret weapon" of a Kardashian booty, Rob wowed the audience (and brought mom Kris Jenner to tears). The judges rewarded his efforts in the opening samba with a respectable 28.
"Rob, it was amazing," said Carrie-Ann Inaba, before giving him his first ever 10. "That's how you turn a handicap into an asset," Bruno Tonioli joked, referring to Kardashian's bum.
But it was Ricki Lake who earned the night's perfect score. She and partner Derek Hough bounced back from a disappointing week 8 finish to earn their first 30 of the competition for a sizzling samba routine that the judges adored. "Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous," gushed the difficult-to-impress Len Goodman.
Added Tonioli: "Sizzling hot, bright and brilliant!" With another "ten from Len" for their second routine, the Argentine tango, and a second-place finish in the cha cha relay, Lake and Hough finished as the night's front-runners for the finals.
J.R. Martinez, meanwhile, had a surprisingly low-scoring week. Considered a shoo-in for the finals, he and Karina Smirnoff came in third place due mostly to an ankle injury that hobbled Martinez' performance. Their first-round paso doble earned the couple a disappointing 23, and despite a sexy 27-scoring tango, the soldier and soap star visibly cursed in frustration and pain.
And Hope Solo followed her best week of the season with a last-place finish. Despite her efforts with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy she came up short with each of her dances. The duo scored three sevens for their opening-round paso doble and never quite recovered. Their tango received a slightly higher 24, but after the judges ranked them last in the cha-cha relay, it looks obvious that the soccer champ and the outspoken pro may not make it to next week's finals.
Watch Rob & Cheryl's samba below:
Watch the cha cha relay below:
Leader Board Results, Week 9 (Semifinals):
Ricki Lake & Derek Hough:: 67 (30 + 29 + 8 instant jive)
Rob Kardashian & Cheryl Burke: 65 (28 + 27 + 10 cha cha relay)
J.R. Martinez & Karina Smirnoff: 56 (23 + 27 + 6 cha cha relay)
Hope Solo & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 49 (21 + 24 + 4 cha cha relay)