One of the youngest celebs on the dance floor, Disney star Chelsea Kane, and her partner, Mark Ballas , took it to the top on Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars” telecast.
The hit ABC show had the dancers performing either the paso doble, waltz or Viennese waltz in front of a 46-piece orchestra.
“We supersized our band,” said co-host Brooke Burke.
Kane and Ballas earned the top scores for their Viennese waltz, knocking favorites Hines Ward and Kym Johnson and Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff down to a tie for second place.
“Mark, you are a marvelous teacher and a great choreographer. Chelsea, you are a fantastic dancer. So why is it, every time I see you, there’s something I don’t like?!” shouted head judge Len Goodman.
Still, he was impressed, giving Kane and Ballas an 8. Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli each gave the pair 9′s, for a total of 26. “Technically speaking,” Tonioli said, “it was the best of the night.”
Here’s how the others fared:
Ward and Johnson: The football star’s paso doble was considered energetic and right on. “You were in the zone!” Inaba said. Goodman couldn’t mask how impressed he was with Hines, who said he’s never listened to classical music before. “You’re really doing great,” Goodman told him. Score: 25.
Macchio and Smirnoff: The judges raved about their dance lines and ability to tell a story through song. “I believe you,” Inaba told the “Karate Kid” star. “When you do it, I was swept in; I was carried through the story.” Score: 25.
Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke: Inaba and Tonioli thought their paso doble was majestic. Goodman, not so much. “Watch out for this guy!” Inaba said. Score: 23.
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin: Inaba thought their patriotic paso doble was absolutely gorgeous. Score: 23.
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower: The other young couple in the bunch (Romeo is 21) impressed the judges, but their score still placed them somewhere in the middle of the pack. “Focused, powerful, action-packed — and six-packed, as well!” chirped Bruno. Score: 23.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: After last week’s fall, Alley was determined to make this performance a sharp one. She said she was fighting through hip pain but wanted to impress with her waltz. Yet, as she was performing a swirling movement, her shoe came off. In spite of the mishap, the judges once again were impressed with her ability to pick up and keep on moving. “I thought you did amazingly well,” Tonioli said. Score: 22.
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya: The boxer and his partner danced the Viennese waltz, and the judges found him to be wildly entertaining. “I don’t think I’ve ever smiled that much,” Inaba said. “I absolutely fell in love with that dance and both of you.” Tonioli added: “It had a wonderful cartoonish charm.” Score: 21.
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis Van Amstel, meanwhile, were criticized for not quite nailing elegance in their Viennese waltz. “Elegance is not so different than sexy,” Inaba said. “Don’t be afraid of elegance. …You’re a beautiful dancer. You need to have more confidence.” Score: 18.
Who do you think should go home on this week’s “Dancing With the Stars”? Share your thoughts in the comments.