Maksim Chmerkovskiy Makes Post-Meltdown Return to Dancing

Dancing with the Stars Performance: Maksim Chmerkovskiy Makes Nice
Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

10/31/2011 AT 10:15 PM EDT

On Halloween night, Maksim Chmerkovskiy dressed as a werewolf – but was as gentle as a lamb – in his first competitive performance on Dancing with the Stars since his ballroom outburst.

Dancing a samba with soccer star Hope Solo to "Werewolves of London," the outspoken pro let his feet do the talking this time, and it paid off: the pair collected a solid 24 points – and a kudo from recent detractor Len Goodman.

"It's such a demanding dance, but I must say, Hope, well done," said Goodman, whom Chmerkovskiy had derided last week as over-the-hill.





All eyes also were on Rob Kardashian, whose sister Kim dominated celebrity news throughout the day by filing for divorce from Kris Humphries after just 72 days of marriage.

With his other sister Kourtney, along with son Mason and boyfriend Scott Disick, in the audience, Rob and Cheryl Burke delivered a playful and sexy 25-point-scoring tango to the "Addams Family" theme. Kardashian even nibbled on Burke's arm.

"You've never been so manly and in control," say Bruno Tonioli.

At the other end was a devil-clad Nancy Grace, whose tango to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" with Tristan McManus collected the night's low score of 21.

"Certain dances suit you and certain dances don't, and for me, this wasn't a good dance for you," said Goodman. "It was a disappointment for me."

In other dances:

• Ricki Lake and Derek Hough sizzled as Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf in their paso doble to Beyoncé's "Beautiful Nightmare," getting the night's highest score of 27.

• David Arquette dressed as a magician and Kym Johnson was a flapper, and the result was a respectable 24. "David, your improvement is phenomenal," said Carrie Anne Inaba.

• J.R. Martinez had a rare off-night as his "Ghostbusters"-themed tango with Karina Smirnoff garnered 25 points – below his usual highs. "This performance was substandard from what I expect from you," said Goodman.

• In team dancing, the paso doble combo of Lake, Solo and Kardashian topped the tango-ing Martinez, Grace and Arquette 26 to 23.

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