Monday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See

Monday’s Dancing: What You Didn’t See
Photos: Kelsey McNeal/ABC (2)

04/22/2008 AT 12:00 AM EDT

Another Medical Timeout? Two weeks in a row dancer Derek Hough had to be rushed to the hospital. First it was a neck injury. The second time it was food poisoning. This week, when the 22-year-old was put on the spot about his relationship with partner Shannon Elizabeth, he joked to PEOPLE, "I actually have to go to the hospital right now. I'm feeling a flush of something. I have them on speed dial."

Photos of the couple frolicking on a Malibu beach surfaced last week, causing many to speculate whether theirs was a true romance or a "showmance." But the actress told PEOPLE last night, "No, we're partners and we're focusing on the dancing right now." As for the photos, she explained that they were all part of the DWTS plan: "We were out in Malibu doing this shoot for the package ... What can we say? We were just trying to get into the rumba."

One Singular Sensation! Season three's runner-up Mario Lopez and the 18 A Chorus Line dancers that accompanied him were an absolute sensation during a special pre-taped segment that will be aired on Dancing's 100th episode May 6. Lopez and company brought the audience and all three judges to their feet during the synchronized dance number. After the performance, Lopez and the dancers lined up to do the number again, but not before one woman sitting in the balcony gave a shoutout: "I love you, Mario!" Lopez waved and blew her a kiss. "You are so sexy!" the woman screamed. Lopez blew another kiss before focusing on take two of the dance, which was, in a word, sensational.

Pretty in Pink "I think I should wear pink all of the time," Cristian de la Fuente said of his foxtrot ensemble. "It's the first time we got love from the judges, and it's good." The lucky garb garnered him and partner Cheryl Burke their highest score of the season, a 27 out of 30. De la Fuente wasn't the only man wearing pink: Judge Len Goodman sported a fuchsia tie.

During the show's first commercial break, audience warm-up comedian Corey Almeida joked with Goodman, saying he'd found a woman in the audience whose dress matched his tie. “How old is she?” Goodman asked. “She’s 21,” Almeida responded. “Too young,” Goodman quipped. “I need someone in their 70s.” After a pause, Goodman delivered his punchline, “The sex is no good but you get a great breakfast.” The audience roared with laughter while Carrie Ann Inaba buried her head into her hands. Yup. You can dress him up, but …

Pre-Game Huddle Moments before they were introduced to dance the cha cha, Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska hugged and knuckle-bumped Mario, Cheryl Burke and Cristian de la Fuente. “We have a great relationship with Jason and Edyta,” de la Fuente said. “Our trailers are next to each other,” Sliwinska said. “We go out every Monday after the shows. Last season I was in New York and I missed out on a lot of this (socializing).” Taylor, whose family made the temporary move with him from Miami to Los Angeles, says his new friends are tops. “It’s very close to football, the camaraderie. I’m enjoying making new friends, running in new circles and meeting different .”

Operation Overdrive Now that the competition has four weeks to go, Marissa Jaret Winokur is on a mission. “We have to get in the final three! Vote for us so I can go to the Indy 500," a giddy Winokur said. "That would be so cool." The Broadway star says she’s not afraid to sit close at the race–or do just about anything–after her ballroom accomplishments. “I never thought I’d been doing a waltz in a million years," she said. "Tony Dovolani is pushing me so far. I feel like I can do anything. I’m fearless.”

More Stuff You Didn't See • Less than 48 hours after losing an IndyCar series race in Japan to Danica Patrick, season five Dancing champ Helio Castroneves was on the ballroom floor conducting post-show interviews for Entertainment Tonight.

• Because of the show’s strict minimum-age policy, most of the kids hole up in Dancing's green room to watch the action. “My daughter Laura is always here. Every show,” de la Fuente said. While he tickled and kissed his 3-year-old, his wife, Angelica, chatted up Marlee Matlin's husband, Kevin Grandalski. -- Monica Rizzo

Photos: Kelsey McNeal/ABC (2)

From Our Partners