But she has to share with J.R. Martinez, who also scores a 29 on Broadway night. By Kelley L. Carter
Ricki Lake and Derek HoughPhoto: ABC It was Broadway week on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," and naturally, the theatrics were high. The cast of Broadway's "Sister Act" performed, as did Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth. The remaining celebrities pulled out all the stops with creative costumes and over-the-top performances. This also was the first time the celebrities danced a group performance, to "Hey Big Spender" from "Sweet Charity" and "Money" from "Cabaret." The performance didn't get scored, but the judges commented and thought it was a fitting tribute. As for the dances that were scored, it was a dead heat at the top of the board between war hero J.R. Martinez and former talk-show host Ricki Lake, who impressed the judges with their takes on the quickstep. Here's how everyone fared: Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke The duo took on a tune from "Jersey Boys," the Four Seasons' "Walk Like a Man," and danced the cha-cha. The judges found the performance to be a bit muted and not at all daring for a high-stakes week like this. "It was clean. It was precise. It had good timing. Each dance gives you new challenges. The cha-cha-cha has got to show rhythm. There was no rhythm. It was all too stiff. It wasn't oily. It was a bit ... starchy," head judge Len Goodman said. 22/30 Nancy Grace and Tristan MacManus The TV host was asked to do more after last week, when they found her routine to be a bit drab; this week, they took on the foxtrot and danced to a tune from "Spamalot." The judges said the pair upped the ante and considered her performance to be a showstopper. They thought much more of her personality came out and she performed with great flair, earning her highest score in the competition. "It's Nancy Dance-alot! I've seen the musical, and you captured the theme of it, and yet you did a foxtrot. Well done!" Bruno Tonioli said. 24/30 David Arquette and Kym Johnson The actor earned his highest score of the season last week, and he said he wanted to keep that momentum going and stay at the top. They danced "We Go Together" from "Grease" and did the quickstep. The judges thought it was rough around the edges but high-energy and fun. "It's a really tough number to live up to. But as far as performance goes, I thought you completely lived up to any expectation that we'd have for 'We Go Together' from 'Grease.' It's not easy. That was the good side. The bad side: You guys were out of sync today. But ... there was a fluidity that was going. You just got a little ahead of yourself," Carrie Ann Inaba said. 23/30 Ricki Lake and Derek Hough The former talk-show host and actress had previously dominated the leaderboard but fell last week to the #5 position after failing to impress the judges during '80s week. Also a former Broadway star, Lake was hoping that would give her the edge during Monday night's competition. They danced the quickstep to a track from "Guys and Dolls," and the judges gave her a standing ovation. "You don't need luck if you've got talent. And this number, you proved your talent. I loved it," Goodman said. 29/30 Chaz Bono and Lacey Schwimmer The activist tangoed to a track from "Phantom of the Opera," and he was hoping his newfound confidence from last week would continue in Monday night's performance. The judges thought it was the most aggressive they've seen him, but think that he needs to be pushed a little further. "It was like watching a cute little penguin trying to be a big menacing bird of prey. This is the truth: It has to be menacing. Dark. Dangerous. Naughty. The tango wants to be driven continuously. It is hard. It's very difficult. To me, this character didn't fit you," Tonioli said. 19/30 Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy The soccer star and her partner danced the rumba to "Seasons of Love" from "Rent," and they were hoping this would be the performance that would push them to the top of the pack. Goodman thought it was her worst dance of the whole season and got into it with Chmerkovskiy, who argued that the judges' comments were too, well, judgmental. "I see all the effort that you're putting in towards your movement. For the first time, I saw you relaxing and trusting your natural sexiness. But still ... I think it goes against your natural feistiness, which I love and respect. But sometimes you force the move," Inaba said. 20/30 J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff Last week's top scorer wowed the judges and earned his first 10 last week. This week, the war hero took on the quickstep and danced to a tune from "Chicago." (Director Kenny Ortega was in the audience and applauded his dance.) They thought famed choreographer Bob Fosse would have approved of the performance. "You are truly relentless, and you just keep on keeping on. Tonight, you have really come up a notch," Goodman said. 29/30 Who had your favorite dance of Broadway night? Let us know in the comments!