Carrie Ann Inaba said the routine was "ridiculously amazing," while Bruno Tonioli called it her "best performance" so far in the competition – and their score, a personal best with 23 points, reflected that sentiment.
Still, Mark and Bristol's best wasn't enough to put them in first place on Rock Week. Once again, Brandy rolled away at the top of the leader board after earning the night's highest score and dominating the dance marathon.
Gave GoosebumpsThe singer and her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, left Carrie Ann covered in goose bumps after their tango to "I Need a Hero." The judge called the performance "very impressive," and Len Goodman agreed, proclaiming their routine "the dance of the night." The judges dished out an eight and two nines (the only nines of the night) to the duo, and Brandy let slip a few happy tears.
The singer admitted that after an emotional week of rehearsals, the pressure to win is starting to get to her. "But Maks helped me through it," she told host Brooke Burke.
Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani tied with Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke for the second-place spot this week after each pair scored all eights. The judges encouraged the reality star to work on her character development after her paso doble to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" left them wanting more.
"You've got the potential to blow us away," Len told Audrina. "But you've got to work on that character and get into it."
Whiplash After TangoBruno joked that Rick and Cheryl's tango to "You Really Got Me" gave him whiplash, but Carrie Ann called the routine "really, really well done."
Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer shared the third spot on the leader board with Bristol and Mark. Both couples earned two eights and a seven – landing just one point shy of a four-way tie for second place. The judges praised Kyle for his improved footwork during the tango but encouraged him to find the right balance between performance and technique.
Meanwhile, perennial leaders Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough slipped into the bottom two after a missed step threw the pair off at the end of their routine. "It was a rough, rough ride," Carrie Ann said of their paso doble to Pink's "So What."
Even a visit from rock star Bret Michaels couldn't help Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya during Rock Week. "You looked like you're doing karate," Bruno joked of their paso doble to "The Final Countdown." The judges dished out straight sixes to the duo, which prompted loud booing from the studio audience.
After all the dancers performed their first routine, they competed in a marathon competition for ten extra points. Brandy and Maks claimed victory by out lasting Jennifer and Derek, who has won the marathon the last two years in a row. The dancers were knocked out in the following order: Kurt and Anna, Bristol and Mark, Rick and Cheryl, Kyle and Lacey, Audrina and Tony, and Jennifer and Derek.