It was a good night to be Hope Solo. After an embarrassing night on the dance floor during last week's 'Dancing With the Stars,' and that very public falling out between her partner Maks and judge Len Goodman, Hope proved that she could once again have fun in the ballroom. Meanwhile, Maks was quiet on the dance floor, but even more self-righteous than ever in rehearsals.
Is he always like this or are the producers giving him a rough edit? My guess: It's a little of both. Let's face it, we all know Maks has a bit of an attitude. He's fiercely competitive, and likes to win. After 12 seasons of not winning, poor Maks must be feeling more pressure than ever -- if only he didn't take it out on Hope.
This week, all three judges praised Hope and Maks' sexy werewolf samba. Perhaps they didn't want to upset the big bad wolf like they did last week? For one of the first times ever, Hope looked like she was finally having a good time on the dance floor -- but it didn't look that way during rehearsals.
In fact, it looked pretty painful.
Maks had a bum toe and, apparently, that meant that he couldn't dance during rehearsals, but he could dress like a werewolf and boss Hope around from the sidelines. Meanwhile, their samba was the perfect redemption after last week's lifeless mishap.
The dance floor fog was a pretty good tactic on Maks' part. After all, you can't criticize Hope's footwork if you can't see it! The critics loved Hope's samba, even saying that it was her best dance yet. Although, did they really mean it? It was a good performance from Hope, but she's still not a dancer. After last week's calamity, I think the judges needed to do some damage control. But no one needed needed to do more damage control than Maks.
Maks stayed pretty quiet throughout the judging, only speaking (or showing any emotion, really) after Brooke asked him a question. I guess if you don't have anything nice to say, then you just shouldn't say it at all.
It was a pretty frightening night in the ballroom -- none of the performances were really that spectacular -- but nothing was scarier than Maks, whose poor attitude during rehearsals wasn't doing him any favors when it came to voting. However, I have to wonder if the producers of 'DWTS' had anything to do with it. Maks didn't necessarily come out looking like a good sport this week -- especially when it came to the group performances.
It was J.R., David and Nancy with their disturbing tango vs. Ricki, Rob and Hope with their chilly pasodoble.
And while it looked like captain J.R. was at a disadvantage, with both David and Nancy on his tango team, in my opinion, J.R.'s team totally rocked it. However, the judges didn't agree; Len, in particular, thought their individual parts were terribly weak, scoring a poor 23 overall. Meanwhile, team pasodoble was having a few issues in rehearsals. OK, there was really only one issue: Maks. I'm pretty sure the way he started throwing Hope around like a rag doll could be considered borderline abusive. Seriously! I used to be a Maks fan, but he's been less-than-gentlemanly toward Hope.
Now, I know that Hope is an athlete, but it looks that she excels more under the instruction of other teachers. This week, one of the house ensemble dancers worked with Hope in rehearsals, instead of Maks, who was injured this week. And you know what? It was one of her best performances of the competition. Even Derek had to help her with some choreography for the group number after she and Maks were having some major issues.
Just because Maks wears a scarf during almost every dance does not make him sweet and sensitive. In fact, I think he needs a pretty big attitude check.
Does anyone else notice that when Hope and Maks dance, it looks like they're competing against each other? Yeah, if you can't tell, I think it's finally time to put Hope out of her misery.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated that Maksim Chmerkovskiy has appeared on "Dancing With The Stars" for the last 12 years, when the program has only been on since 2005. Maks has appeared in 12 seasons.