When Dancing with the Stars 2011 returned for week 8 of the season 13 competition on November 7, the five remaining couples faced the double-challenge of delivering not just one but two complete routines. And few rose to the challenge more effectively than soccer star Hope Solo, who made peace with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy and offered up two surprisingly solid dances.
During rehearsals, the duo took some time to deal with the tension that had long-plagued their partnership. Maks apologized for becoming "too competitive" and Hope promised to "turn down the intensity" and try to enjoy herself. Maks even arranged for the pair to dine with his parents and little brother Val, and the group had a good time hanging out (and poking fun at Maks).
Hope and Maks' heart-to-heart must have been just what the dance doctor ordered, because both of their routines were solid. Their DWTS week 8 round one Quickstep was mega-high energy, fun to watch, and a hit with the judges. Bruno Tonioli appreciated the "rebooted" and "reenergized" offering, calling it their best dance of Dancing with the Stars 2011. Carrie Ann Inaba was so pleased that she called them forward for a hug, and Len Goodman praised the dance as a "blend of speed and control." They scored an impressive trio of nines for their effort.
But the Quickstep wasn't Hope and Maks' sole hit of the evening. The judges also offered up glowing praise for the duo's instant Jive, which was set to the tune of Avril Lavigne's The Best Damn Thing. Bruno likened Hope to a "wild child" but told her to complete her movements. Carrie Ann found it to be a "definite improvement" over their previous Jive but called Hope out for having "crazy hands." Len was last to speak and surprised everyone with his enthusiastic appraisal of the routine, which he called "everything a Jive should be." Hope and Maks' Jive earned them two eights and a nine, for a total of 25 points.
Entering the November 8 Dancing with the Stars 2011 elimination show, Hope Solo and Maks Chmerkovskiy are tied for second place on the judges' leaderboard with a total of 52 points. They trail leaders J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff by eight points.
Will Hope and Maks survive to dance in next week's DWTS season 13 semifinals? Tune in to the results show at 9 PM on ABC and find out.