Once again, “Dancing With the Stars” front-runner Nicole Scherzinger and partner Derek Hough took the lead on Monday night. The Pussycat Doll grabbed the highest marks for her foxtrot.
The night was a double dance night — meaning the pairs took the stage twice and received two scores. As usual, the judges raved about Scherzinger’s performance, with judge Bruno Tonioli calling it “one-and-a-half minutes of pure dancing joy.” Their second dance (lead judge Len Goodman said “there is nothing I can say to criticize” the dance), claimed a perfect 30 out of 30 (her first perfect score of the season) for their second routine, a ’50s-style paso doble. Score: 59/60
The first couple to perform in the ballroom round were Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke, whose tango disappointed the judges. Goodman said he thought the football player needed more refinement. Tonioli commented that he thought the pair attempted emotional commitment but missed the slickness. For their second dance, they performed a ’60s-era super-charged jive. The judges liked this routine a bit better, saying that it was high energy and entertaining. Carrie Ann Inaba told Ochocinco that this was one of his better dances. Score: 45/60
Niecy Nash and her partner, Louis Van Amstel, were the low scorers of the night. Their Viennese waltz failed to resonate with judges, who said there were too many odd transitions. Still, Goodman said he was pleasantly surprised and thought the dance had a “lovely floaty” quality about it. Their next dance was a ’90s-themed paso doble. Tonioli said that Nash was a “scary mama” and liked that she threw herself into it, but he wasn’t sure if it would end in disaster at various points in the routine. Score: 43/60
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the Argentine tango, a routine that earned her one of the night’s highest scores. The judges loved her “so hot” routine, and Inaba said it was “fantastic.” Goodman raved and joked that Andrews is a “dirty, dirty girl.” Their next dance was an ’80s rumba, which drew less than impressive reviews from the judges. Inaba said that the ESPN reporter doubts herself too much, and Goodman agreed, calling the entire dance “jerky.” Score: 53/60
Olympian Evan Lysacek and partner Anna Trebunskaya performed the waltz, and Lysacek joked in rehearsals that “the waltz has no hip action. I love it!” The judges appeared to be mixed on the routine: Goodman said even though he thought Lysacek’s footwork was great, he wasn’t sure whether he liked it overall. For their second dance, they performed a futuristic cha cha, and Lysacek joked that his hips “will be better in the future.” The judges loved their characters, with Tonioli calling the pair “Mr. Spock Meets Barbarella: The Next Generation In 3-D.” Score: 53/60
Which couple was the best on last night’s “Dancing With the Stars”? Who should go home? Share your reviews in the comments below.