'Dancing With the Stars' diary: Hold on... it's story week

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dancin-with-the-stars-diary-week-3-season-13.jpg Zap2it's weekly "'Dancing with the Stars' Diary" offers fans a backstage pass to everybody's favorite only reality competition that throws celebrities at the mercy of that fickle mistress we call dance.

As the always perceptive Kathie Lee Gifford says, everyone has a story.

And stars are no exception.

"Dancing With the Stars" put its remaining 10 contestants through the week 3 ringer Monday (Oct. 3), with its seasonal tear-jerking rite of passage, "Story Week."

Those stories varied from the deeply personal ( J.R. Martinez's tribute to the troops; Nancy Grace's near-death experience) to the exciting ( Kristin Cavallari's Beyonce-infused foray into her career) to the baffling ( Hope Solo dressed like a gypsy hooker because, you know... soccer?).

It was also a night of high scores, though even Chaz Bono's best showing to date left him alone at the bottom of the leader board.

But who surprised us with their polished performance? Which stars benefited from some curiously inflated scoring? And, most importantly, what did they all say backstage after the ballroom went dark? So many answers await you...

We didn't see it coming

  • Rob Kardashian had us making Kyle Massey comparisons with his jubilant Foxtrot. He smiled his way across the floor, compensating for some slightly slower steps with the palpable excitement. And the score seemed fair until the same tally went to three other competitors, not all of whom rose to the occasion. 
  • We figured Chynna Phillips dancing to "Hold On" would be saved later in the competition, but she brought out the big guns in Week 3. Upping the magic factor, Carnie and Wendy Wilson were in the front row... crying!
  • The odds-defying (and thankfully-secured) Nancy Grace continued to warm our frosty hearts, previously jaded by her HLN personality. The story about the traumatic birth of her twins, her commitment to the show and our shared affections for one Mr. Henry Mancini all made for a great routine -- and it probably shouldn't have her second from last.
  • Our previous assessment of Hope Solo's lack of story (and pants) may have tipped you off to the fact that we didn't much care for her Cha Cha Cha. How any of the judges managed to remember the word "sexy," much less utter it, after her chemistry-free performance still has us scratching our heads.

Scores and steps

  • Are our memories short or is a 27 sort of a big deal in week 3? Ricki Lake and her perfect Rumba managed to earn a 9 from each of the judges, easily nabbing the top spot for her. She's 
  • Again at the top of the pack, Chynna Phillips and J.R. Martinez, shared Ricki's triumphant 9 earning -- though they didn't get as many. Cumulative 26s left them tied for second.
  • Hanging out in the middle, all with a 24, are Rob Kardashian, David Arquette, Kristin Cavallari and Hope Solo. Arquette and Kardashian probably deserved an extra point, Cavallari seemed to be at the right spot and Solo apparently had the dance gods on her side during scoring.
  • Carson Kressley made a strong comeback this week, earning high praise from the judges and a score (23) that reflected his improvement.
  • At the bottom, Nancy Grace (21) still managed to avoid getting anything lower than a 7, but Chaz Bono did not share her luck. Performing a tribute to his father, Bono's Rumbo only earned 18 points from the judges, placing a giant target on his head for Tuesday's elimination.

Backstage banter

  • Given those low scores, Bono does know there's a chance he'll go home. "We don't get high scores here for some reason. We are the peoples' champion, not the judges," he told press backstage. "We've had a great time, and if we go home, we go home.... If we get to stick around, great."
  • Carson Kressley was one of the few contestants to be playful with his story. He says he's just trying to keep things fun. "Our tango had to be different, because I'm different," he says. "As gorgeous as Anna is, I was never going to be able to fake being in love with her. Some gays are really good at that, but I'm not."
  • Yes, that was Cavallari's ex-fiance, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, sitting in the audience. You probably noticed because the camera found him two or three times. "I have nothing to do with that," she says, admitting that she did invite him. "I don't direct where the cameras go."

Does someone really have to go home after Story Week? It seems sort of dismissive, and kind of insulting. But go home they will. And though we have no idea who, we sure do have suggestions... How about you?
Photo/Video credit: ABC