It's the semi-finals of "Dancing with the Stars" and for whatever reason we're still stuck with Rob Kardashian, whose only reason for clinging to the bottom of the D-list is.... well, there isn't really a reason, other than one of his sisters made a sex tape, his mother is a marketing machine and lo and behold, the Kardashians are famous for no discernible talent or skills. In any case, his dancing seems to be progressing so we may get yet another week of Rob, but it's anyone's game at this point. Or, at least we can hope. There's some dancing and some talking to kick off the show, but pretty soon we're right in the thick of it, as our competitors have three (yes, three) dances to get through tonight. 

Hope and Maks

Hope doesn't like to complain, but her shoulder was basically ripped off and torn into pieces while playing soccer. Well, Chaz Bono and Ricki Lake certainly look like whiners now. Anyway, Hope is getting shots of something powerful administered by a doctor. She admits she had wanted to save the drugs for the Olympics, but she figured she needed them to get through the paso doble. I think Hope should have been milking this injury for the last month or so, but she's not the type. Figures. You know if Rob Kardashian stubbed a toe his sisters would be Tweeting incoherently about it for hours.
 
I wish this looked better than it does. But even though Hope is throwing herself into the dance (she's really come 180 on her performance quality since Maks decided not to ride her into the ground), but she seems to be off beat and flinging herself around. I'm so sad. 
 
Len liked her aggressive attitude but feels she lost control. Bruno thought she was unchained and untamed but she lacked artistry. Carrie thinks she nailed the character of the dance but lost her hold. 
 
Carrie Ann - 7 Len - 7 Bruno - 7
 
Ouch. But Maks will only say thank you to everyone for everything. What are these guys smoking? He and Hope are way too happy. 
 
J.R. and Karina
 
J.R. twists his ankle during practice. This does not bode well. He's working through it, but competition night is not going to be easy for him.
 
And, as expected, it's not. He seems to be grimacing through the routine and his posture's slumped -- probably from the pain. It's amazing he's getting through it, but you know the judges won't give him points for working through an injury, even if they want to.
 
Bruno could really feel the thrill of the chase, but the posture wasn't quite there. Carrie Ann gives him credit for stacking the routine, but she thinks the injury affected his posture. Len thought the dance didn't suit him. He was more zero than Zorro. 
 
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 7 Bruno - 8
 
Rob and Cheryl
 
It's Rob's time to peak now. Great, that's JUST what I wanted to hear. They'll be dancing the samba.
 
It's a fiesta of dorkiness, right down to the set and the maracas. I don't care what the judges say; watching this kid is like watching the Hulk.
 
Carrie Ann thought it was bootylicious. Len thought the float was terrible, but once the dancing started he loved it. Bruno thought it exceeded all expectations. Really? 
 
Carrie Ann - 10 Len - 9 Bruno - 9
 
Ricki and Derek
 
She wants to enjoy herself this week. Well, that's a first. But she's afraid she's too fat for lifts. She's lost at least 30 pounds. If Derek isn't concerned, she shouldn't be.
 
This was fun. It's sharp, her posture is good -- and her shoulders seem to be down for once. 
 
Len thought it was fabulous and thinks she's taken a step into the finals. I'm guessing the other judges were equally glowing, but the Slingbox crapped out on me for a few minutes. 
 
Carrie Ann - 10 Len - 10 Bruno - 10
 
Hope and Maks
 
Hope was a dirty, competitive little kid. She was Daddy's little girl, but Daddy had problems. He stole Hope and her brother (Amber Alert!), and Hope had to watch her dad be taken away in a cop car. Years later, she discovered that he was the homeless guy who came to her games. Oh man, Hope had it rough. She was kicked off the World Cup team for complaining to the press when she wasn't allowed to tend goal, but she came back and won a gold medal the next year. That's it, I'm rooting for Hope. 
 
Her flicks and kicks aren't great. C'mon Hope, you're the only thing standing between Rob Frankendashian and the finals! 
 
Len thought it was far better than the paso doble. He wasn't disappointed. Bruno thought it was sexy and more controlled. Carrie Ann thought there was more fluidity but she felt the lifts weren't great. 
 
Carrie Ann - 8 Len - 8 Bruno - 8
 
J.R. and Karina
 
J.R. grew up poor with a single mom. He didn't realize he could end up being sent to war, even though he joined the military on Sept. 12, 2002. He's got a hot girlfriend. Good for J.R. Positivity is his secret to success.
 
I think he's grimacing again. J.R. is really suffering, and he's clearly working so hard but I still think he's going to get dinged by the judges. I'm pretty sure he says the F-word at the end of the dance. I'm not sure if this is pain or he feels he screwed up.
 
Bruno thought he was in Latin lover mode and thought he did an incredible job. Carrie Ann thought there was a fire burning between the two of them. She especially liked his lifts. Len was transported to the back streets of Buenos Aires. 
 
Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 9
 
Rob and Cheryl
 
You know what separates him from the other contestants? He hasn't experienced life. Wow, that is so unimpressive. The other competitors grew up poor and had to overcome enormous obstacles, while Rob... well, Rob had to figure out how to manage his trust fund. His sisters put him in dresses. The horror. His dad died when he was 16, and he used to cry thinking about what to do after college, because he didn't have a father to guide him. Seriously? Again, Bruce Jenner is what, chopped liver? This boo-hoo-poor-little-son-of-a-single-mom thing is making me sick. His mom thinks this competition has made him a man. Then maybe he should give his stepfather a little credit for raising him. I have less than zero respect for this kid right now.
 
His kicks are more like wipes. There is an awful lot of walking in this dance. 
 
Carrie Ann thought it was good dancing. Len thought he's finishing strong. Bruno thinks he looks like a leading man. He looked like a slow rolling sack of potatoes animated by a low voltage battery, people. 
 
Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 9 Bruno - 9
 
Ricki and Derek
 
Ricki was molested in her own home, which is why she turned to food. Yikes. She got a talk show, it went off the air, then she had a rough divorce. Oh my God, they're interviewing her nanny? Does she not have friends? 
 
I like this. Ricki may be full of angst, but on the dance floor she always brings it. 
 
Len thought it was really, really good. Bruno was transported. Carrie Ann sees her core strength developing. She now has pop. 
 
Carrie Ann - 9 Len - 10 Bruno - 10
 
It's the final round -- the cha cha relay. The top scorerer gets 10 points, the bottom couple gets 4.
 
Ricki and Derek are first. Good job.
 
Hope and Maks -- her posture is terrible again! Hope!
 
J.R. and Karina -- Solid, as expected.
 
Rob and Cheryl -- Not bad. 
 
Len says the whole night has been like going out for a beautiful meal. Um, okay. Len's winner is not going to be the same as the other judges'. Hmmm. Bruno thought everyone did a great job. Aw, shucks. Carrie Ann said the relay results were not quite as expected. Hmmm.
 
Len says fourth place goes to Hope and Maks.
Third place goes to J.R. and Karina.
Second place goes to Ricki and Derek.
First place goes to Rob and Cheryl. WHAT? 
 
I'm stunned that Rob is getting a big pat on the head for what seems to me to be a non-stop parade of mediocrity. How very Kardashian of him! The leader board is topped by Ricki and Derek, then Rob and Cheryl followed by J.R. and Karina with Hope and Maks at the bottom. I'm hoping J.R. will be able to recover by next week, as the only two dancers I'm interested in seeing in the finals are Ricki and J.R. If Rob makes the final two, I will simply consider that yet another sign of the coming apocalypse. 
 
Who are you voting for? Who do you think is going to win? And which dance did you like best?