Dancing Recap: Gilles Marini Tangos to a Perfect Score!
03/31/2009 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Dancing competitors, take note: you might want to step up your game -- ASAP. With a sultry, show-stopping Argentine tango on Monday's show, Gilles Marini once again proved why he might already have his hands on the mirror-ball trophy. As for the rest of the field, Melissa Rycroft trailed just one point behind the leader, the Woz improved his score by 20 percent and Grammy-winning rapper Lil' Kim scored the night's first 10. But most others fell flat.
Comedian David Alan Grier, whose foxtrot earned rave reviews last week, tried to keep the momentum with a high-energy Lindy hop. It wasn't "too bad," according to head judge Len Goodman, but his footwork was off and timing needed some improvement. Chuck Wicks found himself in the same position, in an upbeat dance where the country singer finally let loose … - but perhaps a bit too much. "It has to be crispier," Bruno Tonioli said. "All you moves have to hit the beat."
Practice was an uphill battle for Lil' Kim and partner Derek Hough, who admitted that he was unfamiliar with the Argentine tango. But the duo shook off a case of the giggles and executed a serious yet seductive dance that -- with the help of the rapper's sharp legwork … - got the crowd on its feet. "That was the tale of a fatal beauty, enticing a stranger with the promise of forbidden pleasure," raved Tonioli. "I wasn't so impressed with the sensuality of the dance," Goodman said, as a shocked Tonioli responded, "It worked for me!" Lawrence Taylor's routine also caused a split at the judges' table. "It was heavy. It lacked any passion and you looked uncomfortable," Goodman said about his lukewarm tango. Carrie Ann Inaba pondered if chemistry existed between the NFL champ and partner Edyta Sliwinska, while Tonioli "totally disagreed: "I thought you were menacing and intense!"
Once again proving why he could give his toughest competitors a run for their money, Ty Murray jump and kicked his way up the leader's board. Arguably one the most improved dancer, the cowboy left Goodman satisfied. "So beyond my expectations," he said. Melissa Rycroft also pulled out all the stops with what Tonioli called an "eye-popping, bursting with excitement" Lindy hop. Tony Dovolani's unconventional training method during practice -- attaching toilet paper to the bottom of the Bachelor star's shoe and having her shake it off -- might have done the trick.
Holly Madison and Steve-O fought through their injuries -- but still failed to impress the judges. "I just don't feel like you're building strength," Inaba told the former Playboy Playmate. "Be assertive when you perform," added Tonioli. "There's a lot of work to do." And while the Jackass star got through his routine more smoothly than last week, all three judges noted there's (a lot of) room for improvement. Step one: listen to the music. Step two: keep up with Lacey. Step three: be a leader on the dancefloor.
Steve Wozniak's tango -- which included holding a long stem rose in his mouth and doing leg rub with partner Karina Smirnoff -- left the judges scrambling to find some positive feedback. "We all know the tango originated in the gutters of Buenos Aires," Tonioli said, "but the only right thing you picked up there is the stench because this dance really stunk." The Woz, however, still scored two more points than last week, while Shawn Johnson fell behind by two. The gymnast packed her performance with a tumble of tricks, flips and lifts but the performance just didn't have enough actual dancing that the judges were looking for.
He was one of the last dancers to step on the floor -- and Gilles Marini was worth the wait. Performing a flawless tango that received an extended standing ovation (and also left Inaba fanning herself), the Frenchman … - looking dapper in a dark suit with his hair slicked back … - looked more like a pro than a trainee. "Ladies and gentlemen," Bruno addressed the audience, "what you have here is the quintessential Latin lover who danced a tango with almost deadly animal magnetism and ferocious intensity. Bravissimo!" --Eunice Oh
Here's how the remaining 11 contestants stacked up after Monday's dance: David & Kym: 22 out of 30 for their Lindy hop Lil' Kim & Derek: 27 out of 30 for their Argentine tango Chuck & Julianne: 22 out of 30 for their Lindy hop Lawrence & Edyta: 19 out of 30 for their Argentine tango Ty & Chelsea: 25 out of 30 for their Lindy hop Steve & Karina: 12 out of 30 for their Argentine tango Melissa & Tony: 29 out of 30 for their Lindy hop Holly & Dmitry: 16 out of 30 for their Argentine tango Steve-O & Lacey: 15 out of 30 for their Lindy hop Gilles & Cheryl: 30 out of 30 for their Argentine tango Shawn & Mark: 25 out of 30 for their Lindy hop
Tell us: Are you surprised by how many 10s the judges handed out in week 4? Do you like the introduction of these two new dances--the Lindy hop and Argentine tango? And who do you think will be ousted on Tuesday's double elimination?
MORE: Dancing Poll: Whose 10 Was Most Deserved?