Dancing with the Stars, Week Five Recap: The ’80s Strike Back

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Welcome to ’80s week on Dancing with the Stars, which for some of us involves watching a C-list celebrity rhumba-ing to the song you lost your virginity to (specifically, Nancy Grace and Spandau Ballet’s “True.”)

With ’80s songstress Chynna Phillips having exited the stage last week after forgetting her dance steps mid-tango, veteran-turned-actor J.R. Martinez and former talk show host Ricki Lake are the dance contest’s clear front-runners.

Week five is the midpoint of the competition, so before each couple dances, a judge takes the time to critique each team individually with  helpful criticism like, “David just doesn’t know that he’s sexy” and, “No one wants to see an older lady acting like a young floozy.” That’s called positive reinforcement.

Here are some of last night’s high and low points:

Inevitable ’80s group performance: The Bangles performed a medley of their greatest hits. It quickly became clear that their songs have aged more gracefully than most of the celebrities on this show.

Best surprise guest ever: Before her dance to Phil Collins’ “Easy Lover,” Ricki Lake reminded us that in the ’80s she was plucked from obscurity to star in Hairspray by filmmaker John Waters, who then walks in the door. There is nothing that is not dramatically improved by the presence of Mr. Waters.

Audience member most likely to be a future competitor: Famed fitness guru (and short shorts enthusiast) Richard Simmons sat in the crowd for the second week in a row. Anyone else think he’s scouting tips for next season?

Most surprising audience member: According to Hope Solo’s Twitter stream, the soccer star gave a jersey to Mrs. Rodham a.k.a. Secretary of State Clinton’s mother, who was in the audience during the competition.

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Best judge’s comment: After J.R. Martinez’s searing samba to “Conga” by Miami Sound Machine, Judge Bruno called him a “loin shattering sex machine.”. Apparently that’s a good thing, because Bruno awarded the star a perfect ten. Combined with the scores from the other judges, J.R. is firmly in the lead heading into the results show.

Biggest wig disasters: Nancy Grace’s fake coif looked like she had swiped it off the set of ’80s TV classic Little House on the Prairie. Unfortunately Nelly Olsen was from the 1880s, not the 1980s. Back to wardrobe, Nancy. A close runner-up was hostess Brooke Burke-Charvet who had two shoulder pads in her dress …and a matching one on her head.

Most improved: Both David Arquette and Rob Kardashian’s dancing has improved week to week. After very rough starts, both the actor and the reality star had scores that topped frontrunner Ricki Lake this week.

Still hanging on: There was a whole lotta shakin’ going on when Chaz Bono shook what his mother gave him during a samba to Kool and The Gang’s “Get Down On It.” While Chaz’s dancing still isn’t up to J.R.’s—or even Rob Kardashian’s—standard, his exuberance, élan and willingness to shake his groove thang on national television, made up for any missteps.

Most likely to be ousted: Carson Kressley was dressed as his own biggest cheerleader when he danced to Wham’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go.” Unfortunately the judges were not swayed by the outfit, and Carson’s inability to improve from week to week may finally do him in. While Judge Bruno considered his performance “a crowning achievement in madness,” that may not be enough to save the former Queer Eye star.

What song did you get stuck in your head this week? Please tell us in the comments below and come back tomorrow when we reveal the results of tonight’s competition.

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