It’s the halfway mark for season 10 of ‘Dancing with the Stars‘ and for the first time we’re thinking that Pussycat Doll and frontrunner Nicole Scherzinger might finally have some real competition to contend with.
We’re talking about Olympic skater Evan Lysacek who nailed three 10s for his Argentine Tango tonight with partner Anna Trebunskaya. This was quite an improvement from last week’s low score of 21 for his Samba. But, let’s not forget, the poor guy was suffering from a mild concussion last week when Anna flipped him on his head.
Still, we had expected Nicole and partner Derek Hough to be the first to score that perfect 30 of the season. Tonight, the couple raked in a 27 for their Waltz to “You Light Up My Life.” Hot on her heels is ESPN reporter Erin Andrews whose Quickstep with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy was dubbed her best tonight by judge Len Goodman. Erin and Maks also scored a 27.
Coming in next were two sets of 25s from Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel (Quickstep) and Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke (Viennese Waltz). This means the woman we feel is the most underrated of the season, Pamela Anderson, ranks last tonight with a score of 24 for her Waltz with Damian Whitewood.
Who shined the most tonight? It was “what” not a “who.” Yes, that huge piece of bling around Cheryl’s neck was another lavish gift from oh-so-generous Chad. The heart-shaped diamond necklace was a birthday gift.
Loved the team dances again in the Cha-Cha-Challenge. This time we had Team Gaga (Nicole and Derek, Chad and Cheryl, and Pamela and Damian) dancing to “Telephone,” and Team Madonna (Niecy and Louis, Evan and Anna, and Erin and Maks) twirling around to “Holiday.” Team Gaga wins with 27 points to Team M’s mere 24.
Here’s the lowdown:
Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya, Dance: Argentine Tango
What a rise from the ashes of last week’s triple 7s and the biting comment that it was his worst dance ever! We wait all season to see three 10 paddles rise, but we must admit we never expected it to come from this pair. “Going all James Bond on the tango,” said co-host Tom Bergeron. “Evan Lysacek has the eye of the tiger…It was so sexy!” said Carrie Ann. “I knew you were nice on ice, but I had my doubts that you were going to be good on wood…That was fantastic,” said Len. “You dance like a true alpha male. You really conquered your territory tonight,” said Bruno.
Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, Dance: Waltz
While the favored one was quite frustrated in rehearsal, it didn’t show one bit on the dancefloor. “You are by far the best dancer we’ve ever had on this show,” said Carrie Ann, who complained that she didn’t feel their connection. The audience booed quite loudly. “I loved the routine. I loved the performance,” said Len, who pointed out a few technical things that went wrong. “You are as close to dancing royalty as you can possibly be,” beamed Bruno. Nicole dedicated the dance to her aunt with Down’s Syndrome, who was in the audience and handed her a lei at the end of her gorgeous Waltz.
Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Dance: Quickstep
Even though last week Len told Maks he was sick of seeing his shirt off, the sexy dancer insisted on ripping his pants off tonight despite Erin’s disapproval. Personally, we thought it was much ado about nothing as all he did was rip off one pair of pants to reveal another. Boring! “I didn’t mind that,” Len said of the pants off-dance off. “Erin, without doubt your best dance,” he added. Bruno called it “brilliant,” while Carrie Ann said, “Erin, that was gorgeous. I thought it was fantastic.”
Chad Ochocinco and Cheryl Burke, Dance: Viennese Waltz
Even with not one, but two pros – Cheryl and special guest Tony Dovolani – on hand to help him reach his goal of 10s, the NFLer came up quite short. “I can’t believe you can be so graceful…Truly a gentle giant,” said Bruno. Carrie Ann agreed: “There is nothing sexier than watching a man find out how to be tender and graceful and treat a woman with kindness. I loved it. I was mesmerized.” Len loved the “fluidity” of his arms and said this was the night he became a contender.
Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel, Dance: Quickstep
“Louis and I on a scale of 1-10, I would give us a 2,” Niecy joked in their rehearsal. Well, they did way better than that when showtime came. “Niecy, you never looked more gorgeous,” said Bruno. “Your best dance to date.” Carrie Ann and Len also said it was her best performance so far. “Just perfect. I loved it!” said Carrie Ann. When she got her great scores, she screamed, “I can dance!”
Pamela Anderson and Damian Whitewood, Dance: Waltz
She can’t catch a break. Even with a solid Waltz and that great leg extension, and she’s still not impressing the judges like we thought. But, they had some good points. “You’ve just got to work on firming up your upper body. It’s a little bit loose,” said Len. “Darling, so pure tonight. So demure,” said Bruno, who then pointed out how she always gets the character right, but not all of moves. “I saw huge improvement,” said Carrie Ann about her legwork.
Leaderboard totals (individual scores plus the cha-cha-challenge points):
Evan and Anna: 54
Nicole and Derek: 54
Chad and Cheryl: 52
Pamela and Damian: 51
Erin and Maksim: 51
Niecy and Louis: 49
Who do you think will take home the mirrorball trophy? Do you think Evan deserved a perfect 30? Hit the comments below!