Judges Soften the Blow for Chaz Bono on 'Dancing with the Stars'

Week 3 was emotional for the contestants on "Dancing With the Stars." Dancers shared their personal stories by performing routines that depicted their most memorable years.

Pack of the Pack

At this point, Chaz Bono is running on borrowed time. This week, Chaz and Lacey Schwimmer performed a rumba that he dedicated to his father, Sonny Bono. Unfortunately for Chaz, he looked stiff and pained. He barely danced throughout the entire number.

Despite having to give him a low score (18) for the performance, the judges softened the blow by complimenting his personality. Len Goodman complimented Chaz for his courage in responding to negative criticisms. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli commented that he looked "lost" during the dance. However, they also called him an inspiration and an endearing personality.

ABC seems ready for Chaz to leave. They just want to give him a humane send-off.

David Arquette, last week's bottom 2, is finally finding himself in the competition. His story likely touched the audience because he talked about the breakdown of his marriage with Courteney Cox, and about how much his daughter meant to him. His rumba with Kym Johnson landed him safely in the middle of the pack with a score of 24.

Given his improvements and the fact that he was in the bottom 2 last week, his fans will probably do their part to keep him around for another week.

This week's second-lowest performer (with a score of 21) was Nancy Grace. Dedicating the routine to her twin children, she captured the emotion, but lost points for technique. Len commented that she needed to improve her ballroom posture. I'm hoping viewers will keep her around, if only so I can look at eye-candy Tristan McManus for another week.

Middle of the Pack

All the contestants showed growth from last week, including Carson Kressley who was gunning for this week's Most Improved Award. Carson sought to inspire all the "gym class dweeby kids" to show them that they too could dance. His technique has improved (earning him a score of 23), but his movements could still use a little polishing. Still, he's always fun to watch!

Rounding out the middle of the pack were Rob Kardashian, Kristin Cavallari, and Hope Solo. Rob's movements have become smoother and more graceful. Just when I was really starting to dig Rob, they had to show his father defending O.J. Simpson! Oh well. To quote Rusty Cartwright, "you can't blame Luke Skywalker for being Darth Vader's son."

Kristin Cavallari tried to channel her inner Beyonce, whose style wasn't Len's cup of tea. Still, the technical merit of her performance was enough to keep her out of the bottom.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy wanted Hope to bring out the sexy. The judges loved it, but I was a bit underwhelmed. Hope's movements are a little too masculine for this type of dance. She seems long on power and short on grace.

Head of the Class

Ricki Lake, J.R. Martinez, and Chynna Phillips are turning out to be a formidable top 3. Ricki Lake and Derek Hough turned in a fluid and sexy rumba that put them at the top of the leader board with 27. Ricki is also looking quite a bit trimmer lately!

J.R. Martinez touched the audience with a tribute to men and women of the military. After surviving injury in Iraq, J.R. has arguably the most compelling story of the season. Len took off a point because he wanted more grace in his arms. This gave him a score of 26, one point away from the top. However, it's safe to safe that this routine was the performance of the night.

Tied at second place was Chynna Phillips and her partner, Tony Dovolani who performed to her hit, "Hold On." Chynna's movements are light, crisp, and graceful. She has a nice ethereal quality, though she could use a little more power. With Hope's strength and Chynna's grace, "DWTS" would have a perfect contestant. Still, I have no doubt that Chynna will "hold on for one more week."

More From This Contributor:

Rob Kardashian is a Better Dancer Than Kim Kardashian

Evaluating the Middle of the Pack on 'DWTS'

Who Had It Worse: Michael Stagliano or Melissa Rycroft?

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