Welcome back to TIME’s Dancing with the Stars recap. Today’s theme: There Will Be Tears.
This week, the contestants were made to dance to a song from the most meaningful year of their lives. Each star delivered a heartfelt explanation of their choice, complete with tears, triumph and a whole orchestra of the world’s smallest violins.
For some, it was the year they chose Hollywood over college (that’s you, Kristin Cavallari). For others, it was the year they were disfigured by a land mine while fighting for their country in a foreign land. It’s not like the show’s producers have stacked the deck or anything.
Most financially savvy song choice: Chynna Phillips opted to dance a rumba to her own song. Specifically, Wilson Phillips’ ’90s mega hit, “Hold On.” This clever move means that she collected song royalties while also being paid to perform on the show. Multiple revenue streams! I guess if you are married to Billy Baldwin, one of you has to be the breadwinner.
Most surprisingly poignant dance: Chaz Bono selected his late father Sonny Bono’s song “Laugh at Me.” Watching Chaz rumba in a furry leopard print vest and a sparkly sleeveless pantsuit as his father’s words, “Why do they care about the clothes I wear?” rang out was undeniably touching.
Biggest overall tearjerker: With his emotional dance to Tim McGraw’s ode to lost soldiers, “If You’re Reading This,” veteran-turned-actor J.R. Martinez brought the house to a standing ovation. J.R.’s performance looked back on the year he was injured—and disfigured—while serving in Iraq and he dedicated the performance to all the soldiers who didn’t make it back. The emotion in the dance was tangible, bringing not only J.R., but the judges, his partner Karina Smirnoff, and almost every audience member to tears.
Worst luck: After J.R. Martinez’s dance and story brought the house down, someone had to follow him on to the dance floor. That somebody was Nancy Grace, who delivered a happy/sad/happy story about her choice, “Moon River,” a song she both walked down the aisle to and sang to her twins when they were fighting for life. Not surprisingly, she made herself cry. (She’s good at that.) Luckily, partner Tristan MacManus called her “a bit dorky,” which might help her with voters. Stars, they are just like us.
Most unexpected tattoo of a deceased person’s face: Rob Kardashian offered up a touching reminiscence of the year that his father, lawyer Robert Kardashian (a.k.a. O.J. Simpson’s attorney), passed away. However before performing his foxtrot to dad’s favorite tune, Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” Rob revealed that he had his father’s face tattooed on his forearm.
Biggest dedication-to-dance disconnect: David Arquette selected the Hallmark-y song “Ooh Child” and dedicated his dance to his daughter Coco, who kept him strong during his divorce and rehab stint. Then to honor his love for his child, he proceeded to booty dance with his bare chest and six-pack (who knew?) hanging out while partner Kym Johnson—clad in a glorified swimsuit—did the splits. Estranged wife Courteney Cox didn’t look amused.
Corniest dedication: Ricki Lake had a rough year that included a house fire and a bitter divorce that made her swear she would never love again. But then, she did fall in love again and was recently engaged. So her dance was dedicated to love (with a secondary dedication to her affection for her crimping iron), which is marginally better than dedicating her dance to weight loss.
Most likely to go home: David Arquette. While his scores were higher than Chaz Bono’s, it’s just not clear that America cares enough to keep him around. Also in the running for worst is Hope Solo whose rumba to World Cup soccer had her admit that it’s really difficult to find her inner “sexy minx.” We noticed.
Join us tomorrow, when we discover whose tears went unheeded by America.