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'Dancing with the Stars' Semi-Final - Live Blog

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Dancing With The Stars presenters Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke

© ABC

As the competition heats up on Dancing with the Stars, it's onto the semi-finals stage, where the final four celebrities will battle it out in order to impress panelists Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba with their moves on the dancefloor.

Taking their chances tonight are Rob Kardashian and professional partner Cheryl Burke, Hope Solo and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, actress Ricki Lake and Derek Hough and war veteran JR Martinez and Karina Smirnoff.

Who will make their marks and who will fall short? Stay with Digital Spy throughout the broadcast to find out!

22:00 That's it for tonight! The final leaderboard after tonight's semi-final is below:

Ricki & Derek - 67 points
Rob & Cheryl - 65 points
JR & Karina - 56 points
Hope & Maks - 49 points

21:56 The judges have made their decision and decide to award points as follows: Hope and Maks - 4, JR and Karina - 6, Ricki & Derek - 8 and Rob & Cheryl - 10.

21:46 It's time for the Cha Cha Relay, which will see all four couples dance to the same song, with each pair assigned a particular part to dance in an attempt to earn extra points from the judges. The first place couple will receive 10 points and the last will receive 4, so the competition is high.

Ricki and Derek are the first to strut their stuff and do a pretty good job of it, as expected. Next are Hope and Maks. Hope is all over the place, seemingly unable to control her hips and in fact being led by them. JR and Karina fare better, upping the ante again. Rob and Cheryl are last and while not as good as Ricki and JR, Rob still does a respectable enough job.

Len thinks that the entire night has been "like going out for a beautiful meal", deeming this portion of the night as the dessert, calling it "fruity and tasty". Bruno thinks it's difficult to decide who did the best as everyone has put on a fantastic show and the margin between them is so small. Carrie Ann loves that everyone has had the chance to surprise and impress, admitting that the night unfolded differently from what she expected.

Dancing With The Stars Season 13: Ricki Lake
21:34 Ricki's grandmother was responsible for inspiring her to succeed after taking her to see her first play as a kid. She admitted that being molested while young led her to gain tremendous amounts of weight as a coping mechanism. However, she says that she has been able to overcome that hardship and find success.

Ricki and Derek's Argentine tango is great - rigid movements, intense, passionate... and I should stop acting like I know what I'm talking about. From my perspective, however, it's incredibly well done. The footwork seems really well done and more than I could ever do, so I'm inclined to think it's amazing.

Len loved the contrast of movement, the "beautiful and seamless" lifts and calls it "really good. Bruno was "totally transported" to Argentina and thinks that the chemistry and mood were spot on and fearless. Carrie Ann appreciates that her "core strength has made her a much better technical dancer, with her skill now matching her passion. The couple are given 29 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 13: Rob Kardashian
21:22 Rob says that his story is not as interesting as the others' because he's still young and hasn't lived much of his life. However, he recounts his close relationship with his father and how the late Robert Kardashian Sr's death affected him. He admits that he's still finding out what he wants to do in life but has faith that he will figure it out.

Rob and Cheryl's Argentine tango is pretty good. It's nothing overly exciting and Rob seems a bit too cautious and like he's thinking hard about getting the moves right, but it is clean and it's a good effort all around.

Carrie Ann says that you can't fake good dancing and wants to see "good, strong dancing, passion and power" like Rob displayed tonight in next week's final. Len insists that it's not where you start but where you finish, and thinks that he's finishing strong. Bruno agrees, saying that he loves that Rob has become a leading man and stopped hanging behind Cheryl, instead making a name for himself and proving his skills. The pair earn 27 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 13: J.R. Martinez
21:11 JR's life story revolves largely around his accident in the army after his vehicle hit a landmine in Iraq and he nearly died of the injuries. While he initially felt that he could not overcome his disfigurement, his 2008 casting in All My Children gave him a massive confidence boost. That, in addition to his inherent positivity, is what he believes has allowed him to succeed.

His and Karina's Argentine tango is pretty good - slick, intense, fast-paced. You can't even tell that JR has hurt his ankle, either, as he doesn't falter on any of the moves despite the injury and manages to keep it together.

Bruno thinks that he's in "lucky lover mode" and appreciates that it was "strong and fearless" and that he was able to take control of the lifts despite having no experience in it previously. Carrie Ann says that a "true fire" connected JR and Karina during the dance and applauds his command of the difficult mounts and dismounts of the lifts.

Len loves that it had mood and intrigue and says that it transported him to the back streets of Buenos Aires when watching them. The performance earns them 27 out of 30.

Dancing With The Stars Season 13: Hope Solo
20:57 Kicking off round two, Hope tells her life story, recalling her parents' divorce when she was a child. She also reveals that her father kidnapped herself and her brother, leading to his arrest. She eventually reconnected with him years later when he was homeless and they became close until his subsequent death. However, she says that her family troubles inspired her desire to succeed.

This Argentine tango the pair perform is a bit sloppy and all over the place, but I almost feel bad for Hope because you can tell she's trying, at least. It's not terrible, but she does have a few minor missteps (such as having to steady herself on the floor with her hand after a spin). All in all, it could have gone far worse.

Len thought it was far better than her paso doble and loved that it had more content. "When you got out onto that floor, I wasn't disappointed," he added. Bruno thinks that she was sexy and agrees with Len that it was much better. Carrie Ann also appreciates the performance but wishes that the "ambitious" lifts would have had slightly more grace. The dance earns them 24 out of 30.

20:50 We're treated to a professional tango performance by the Macy's Stars of Dance as well as several of two of the industry's best champion tango dancers. They're technically effortless but I don't get much from them in the personality department, to be honest.

Ricki Lake
20:38 Closing off round one are Ricki and Derek. During rehearsal, Ricki admits that while she wants to do well, so particularly wants to enjoy herself. She has reservations about performing the lifts during the Argentine tango as she still feels overweight, but Derek reassures her that she's fine. She also vows to "let loose" in the samba.

And it's the samba up first - I'm not a professional dancer by any means, but the footwork looks great to me and Ricki has obvious talent and a knack for dancing. I'd personally like to see her win and believe she deserves it, but she might have to fight her way to that spot against JR.

Len calls it "fabulous, fabulous, fabulous" and thinks that the performance guarantees her spot in the final. Bruno thinks that it was "sizzling hot" from beginning to end, admitting that he was "dazzled". Carrie Ann appreciates that she fought to keep her shoulders down and thinks that it made all the difference and allowed her technical skills to shine. Ricki and Derek receive 30 out of 30.

Rob Kardashian
20:28 Rob and Cheryl think that they have a good chance to set themselves apart during tonight's performances. In rehearsals, Cheryl pushes Rob to "shake his butt" during the samba and coaches him through the difficult Argentine tango. Rob vows to give it all he's got.

Their samba is pretty good - Rob really has grown over the season. It's far from perfect, mind, but it's got great energy and he seems comfortable on the floor and with Cheryl and like he's having a lot of fun, which is what it's all about at this point, I suppose. (You know, other than winning.)

Carrie Ann exclaims "Who are you?" and admits that she initially had her reservations but eventually found it "amazing, fluid and fantastic". Len also worried about how it would work out but says that it went from "oh no" to "oh yes". Bruno appreciates that he turned a handicap into an asset by shaking his butt, where he had been told to tuck it in all season. Rob and Cheryl receive 28 out of 30.

JR Martinez
20:15 Next, it's JR and Karina, who find it difficult to master their lifts during rehearsals. They decide upon a Zorro theme for their Paso Doble, which JR is game for but still finds challenging. He also twists his ankle and has to ice it, admitting that he is unsure how it will affect his performance.

The dance itself is a bit bizarrely themed, but works well enough. There are no major missteps and JR has always been a competent dancer. It certainly won't earn him a perfect score like last week, but I can't imagine it'll be too far behind it. However, he does admit after that he's twisted his ankle again.

Bruno could "feel the thrill and excitement", praising the roleplay of the piece. However, he urges JR to pay more attention to his posture and timing. Carrie Ann gives him credit for attacking the piece with an injury but admits that it affected his posture and made him pause uncertainly throughout. Len thinks that the dance didn't suit him at all and also points to his posture, calling it "more zero than Zorro" and saying that he should have dominated it. JR and Karina receive a total of 23 out of 30.

Hope Solo
20:03 First up are Hope and Maks. During rehearsal, Hope struggles with a shoulder injury and calls in her doctor to give her a shot to help deal with the pain. They then get back to business to begin rehearsing their two individual dances of the evening, with Hope vowing to get out there and perform despite her setbacks.

Their first dance is the paso doble to Miley Cyrus' 'Can't Be Tamed'. Poor Hope - I feel bad for her because she's so awkward and athletic... and not all that graceful on the floor. You have to give her credit, however, for doing her best. Also, does anyone else think she looks like Jennifer Carpenter from Dexter? Weird.

Len praises her and all of the celebrities for doing three dances tonight. He also appreciates that it had "attitude and aggression" but thinks it sacrificed "finesse" because of it. Bruno also loves that she went "so far for it", but is frustrated that it lacked artistry and control. Carrie Ann thinks that she nailed the character of the dance and was "in the zone" but admits that the holds were out of sync and the fluidity was absent. The pair earn only 21 out of 30.

20:00 And we're off! Tonight the stars will be performing three dances, which should be interesting!

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