Week three of "Dancing with the Stars" was touted as an "emotional" journey in which each couple performed a personal story to a song of their choice. The biggest surprise of the night was Maksim Chmerkovskiy falling at the beginning of his dance with Kirstie Alley. They recovered and completed their dance but their 21 points placed them below four other couples on the leader board. Also falling in points were Ralph Macchio and partner Karina Smirnoff, who also earned 21 points. Supermodel Petra Nemcova and NFL star Hines Ward were the top dancers on Monday with 25 points each. Showing tremendous improvement former playmate Kendra Wilkinson tied for third with Disney star Chelsea Kane. They each had 23 points.
The celebrity and his or her professional dance partner who receive the lowest combined score of judges' points and viewer votes will be eliminated on Tuesday's results show.
Scores for the third week of competition:
25: Supermodel Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin
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25: NFL star Hines Ward and Kym Johnson
23: Former playmate Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and Louis van Amstel
23: Disney star Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
21: Actor Ralph Macchio and partner Karina Smirnoff
21: Actress Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
21: WWE star Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke
20: Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya
20: Singer Romeo and Chelsie Hightower
15: Talk show host Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani
"Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio and partner Karina Smirnoff told the story of Ralph's 24-year marriage during their rumba to "Stay Gold." It was his wedding song and this week marks his wedding anniversary. When Karina told Ralph to look sexy he said "This is my sexy face. It's worked for my wife for 24 years, I think." They earned 21 points (7 from each judge).
Head judge Len Goodman: "Crisp and clear but it needs a tad of refinement." He needs to work on his feet, hands and hips.
Judge Bruno Tonioli: "It was a very beautiful dance... I told you about the hands from week one."
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba: "I thought it was a very sweet rumba... you do need to work a little on your core strength."
Actress Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced a rumba to "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to tell the story of Kirstie's most emotional 72 hours. She got her first major acting role in "Star Trek 2" and then she learned her parents had been in an accident. A drunk driver had hit their car and her mother was dead. At the beginning of the dance Maks slipped and fell to the floor briefly. He grimaced through the rest of the routine but he and Kirstie recovered beautifully. "My thigh just gave out," Maks said after the dance. It didn't hurt their score too much. They earned 21 points (7 from each judge). After dancing, Maks wished his dad a happy birthday. In rehearsals, Kirstie struggled. "I don't like acting sexy in front of people unless I've got a beer... I don't know how to be sexy. It doesn't help that you laugh," she told a giggling Maks.
Carrie Ann: "Sometimes tragedy leads to amazingly beautiful moments... Wonderful job."
Len: "You got up, dusted yourself off and came back stronger."
Bruno: "You can't keep good talent down... Once you got up it was better than ever."
Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and partner Anna Trebunskaya wanted to beat the odds with their Paso Doble just like Sugar Ray did when he won comeback fights. They didn't want to be in the bottom two like they were last week. They danced to "My Prerogative" and legendary boxing announcer Michael Buffer introduced the dance by saying "Let's Get Ready to Paso." Sugar Ray and Anna got their highest score of the season, 20 points (7 from Carrie Ann and Bruno and 6 Len).
Bruno: "Back in business, I think."
Carrie Ann: "I think I saw a lot of improvement."
Len: "You've come out tonight stronger and you fought back... Well done."
Supermodel Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin did a waltz to "You Raise Me Up" for the children of Thailand who survived the same tsunami that Petra survived. Petra said she hoped people would find "hope and inspiration" in the dance. The judges loved it. She and Dmitry earned 25 points (9 from Len and 8 from Bruno and Carrie Ann).
Len: "This season, it's my favorite... At this moment, you're the one. That was brilliant."
Bruno: "You're like a vision from heaven and you danced like an angel... Your beauty is great but your heart is even more beautiful."
Carrie Ann: "Your heart was all over the movement... You've gone from supermodel to super graceful."
NFL wide receiver Hines Ward and Kym Johnson danced a samba to thank Hines' mom who worked multiple jobs when Hines was a kid. The Korean-born woman stayed in America after she and her husband divorced because she wanted Hines to have a better life than she had. Her proudest moment was when Hines went to college at the University of Georgia. Hines struggled in rehearsals but refused to give up. "She didn't raise no quitter... She's the heart and soul of who I am," he said. After the dance, the audience stood and waved their Terrible Towels as if the Steelers had just scored a touchdown. The judges were pleased, too. They gave Hines and Kym 25 points (9 from Carrie Ann and 8 from Len and Bruno). Hines' mom was in the audience. She smiled, laughed and seemed to enjoy watching her son dance.
Carrie Ann: "Hines you're dancing like you danced the samba your whole life."
Len: "Your mom's proud of you. Carrie Ann's proud of you, and I'm proud of you."
Bruno: "Bouncing, butt-shaking, two-for-the-price-of one happy hour."
Actor and singer Romeo and Chelsie Hightower danced the rumba to "I'll Be There" in honor of Romeo's two cousins who died as young men. "I was dancing for everybody who lost somebody," Romeo said after the dance. Romeo and Chelsie earned 20 points (7 from Bruno and Carrie Ann and 6 from Len).
Bruno: "You really put your heart and soul into it."
Carrie Ann: "There was something really nice about the way you committed emotionally to the dance."
Len: "Well, last week, Romeo, there was a huge step forward. This week there was a huge step back."
Reality star and former playmate Kendra Wilkinson-Baskett and Louis van Amstel danced a Rumba to "You and Me." Their story was about how difficult things were for Kendra's husband Hank Baskett when he started dating Kendra, a former stripper and playmate who dated Hugh Heffner and appeared on "The Girls Next Door." Kendra said it was hard to rehearse a sexy dance with Louis. "He's the complete opposite of Hank," she said. When Hank and son "Lil Hank" came to watch rehearsals, Hank said he was never ashamed of Kendra. "I'm honored she chose me to be her husband." Kendra and Louis received 23 points (7 from Len and 8 from Carrie Ann and Bruno).
Len: "Week one I spoke to you about your legs... You've come out with beautiful feet, gorgeous leg action."
Bruno: "There's nothing wrong with a good stripper... It was hot and arousing, darling! If it has that effect on me can you imagine the men in the audience?"
Carrie Ann: "That was hot, hot, hot... I love that you're celebrating who you are."
WWE star Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke danced a Rumba to "Let it Be" in honor of Chris' mom who passed away in 2005. Mom encouraged Chris to keep wrestling even after he wanted to quit and return home when she was in a bad car accident. "I love her and I miss her everyday," he said before he danced. Though they criticized his hips and arm movements, the judges applauded his emotional connection to the dance. He and Cheryl got 21 points (7 from each judge).
Carrie Ann, who was blinking back tears: "That was a beautiful tribute to your mom... emotionally amazing."
Len: "It lost fluidity... The lines or poses that you did were excellent... Overall I thought you did an excellent job."
Bruno: "You brought a great sense of warmth, an almost naked sense of vulnerability."
Disney star Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas danced to "Chelsea" which was written for the star by her first love singer Brian Dales. In rehearsals, Chelsea said the butt and hip motion needed for the Cha Cha Cha was hard. "I don't consider myself sexy," she said. "You're a better girl than I am," she told Mark after watching him demonstrate the moves. Their dance received 23 points (7 from Carrie Ann and 8 each from Bruno and Len).
Bruno: "Sexy, Sexy. I could really feel that excitement running through you... tasty, tasty."
Carrie Ann: "I'm a big fan of love and romance, and I'm a big fan of that Cha Cha." She said Chelsea needed to work more on her hip action.
Len: "I remember my first love and she didn't look anything like you. Old Sally Frosty Knickers just wasn't a looker... That was your best dance. Well done."
Talk show host and author Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani told Wendy's story of strength. She talked about getting started in the radio business and sleeping in her car at rest stops between assignments. It took her 23 years on the radio before she found fame. She and Tony earned 15 points (5 from each judge) for their Fox Trot. When she heard the score, Wendy shouted "help" into the camera. She'll need it. The judges said her story about struggle was a struggle to watch. Ouch.
Carrie Ann: "There is more inside you."
Len: "It was a struggle. It lacked fluidity."
Bruno: "You really have to deliver it."
The first elimination of Season 12 was on week two. Radio personality "Psycho" Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer went home. They earned the lowest combined points for their first two dances.
The combined scores for weeks 1 and 2:
45: "Karate Kid" Ralph Macchio and partner Karina Smirnoff
44: NFL wide receiver Hines Ward and Kym Johnson
43: Actress Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
42: WWE star Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke
42: Actor and singer Romeo and Chelsie Hightower
39: Disney star Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
37: Reality star and former playmate Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel
36: Supermodel and Tsunami survivor Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin
34: Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and partner Anna Trebunskaya
31: Talk show host and author Wendy Williams and Tony Dovolani
30: Radio personality "Psycho" Mike Catherwood and Lacey Schwimmer