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J.R. Martinez’s attempt to tango to Ray Parker Jr.'s 1984 “Ghostbusters" fell a bit short of expectations, Monday night on Dancing With the Stars.
Nevertheless, the army veteran and his dance partner Karina Smirnoff managed to lock in a solid score of 25 (out of 30) one of the highest of the evening.
“The timing was so hard,” said Bruno Tonioli who judged Martinez and Smirnoff first. “You actually lost it a few times. [But] another very solid performance.”
Carie Ann Inaba, who rocked out a kitty ensemble in the spirit of Halloween, agreed with Tonioli, but praised Martinez for trying to fuse a light hearted song with a somber dance like the tango.
“You were still very precise and sharp without being overbearing,” Inaba said. “There was a tiny slip where you sort of got out of synch with each other.”
“I have to say I think you captured the tone of this piece perfectly,” she added.
Len Goodman was not as comforting.
“For me, this performance was substandard to what I expect from you,” said Goodman, sternly looking at Martinez. “J.R. it’s your own fault.”
“The last three weeks you have set such a high standard for yourself,” he continued. “You were concentrating so much on you razzmatazz and performance that you forgot about your footwork.”
Martinez certainly did not look pleased. Furthermore, for the first time he and Smirnoff were seen bumping heads during rehearsals.
“It’s week seven. Now it’s when all the mental stress and frustration built up can either make you or brake you,” Martinez said.
“Everyone here deserves to be here and the competition is tough.”
Smirnoff gave Martinez tough love.
“J.R. is an excellent student,” Smirnoff said. “But, sometimes he just wants to walk through the steps to remember them.”
“I want to push him so he gets the form, the character, technique from the first step on,” added the dancing expert.
Martinez had a second chance to redeem his tango hiccup, with his tango team dance to Rihanna's “Disturbia,” but the judges were still not convinced.
“Each one of the individual performances was a disaster,” Goodman said adding that as a group he did think the choreography “was excellent.”
“All those parts were good, they were tight, they were together.”
Tonioli and Inaba agreed.
“I thought the kind of sexy, raunchy beginning to the slick coordinated section was very good,” Tonioli said. “I have to agree with Len, because I think when you took individually to the dance floor everybody had some mistakes.”
Tonioli, did show more compassion the Goodman saying that he understood the pressure.
“It’s very hard, it’s a full night,” Tonioli said. “There’s a lot of things to learn, but overall you did well.”
As Inaba was about to give her thoughts, Matinez looked very tense.
“I thought you guys started out extremely well,” said Inaba. “You were so tight coming down in a line. That’s not easy to do.”
"When you guys went into parts… J.R. and Karina there was a moment where I felt you guys were out of synch again.”