Can you believe Dancing With the Stars is down to the final five already?
The stakes doubled for Cody Linley, Lance Bass, Brooke Burke, Maurice Greene and Warren Sapp Monday, with each called upon to do two dances—one ballroom and one Latin—with the latter featuring 15 seconds of solo time for each contestant.
While the scores started to soar for the pairs, did the celebs shine when the spotlight was focused on them, or did the alone time only emphasize which one should be relegated to the shadows?
Here's how it went down:
Cody Linley: Dancing with Edyta Sliwinska one more time while Julianne Hough rests up, the Hannah Montana star had a lot to prove tonight after a disaster of a team performance and a gangly Viennese waltz last week. Hey, the boy can't help being all arms and legs at his age! But this fox-trot was far more dashing than his previous ball-room rounds.
Judges said: 24. "Your most grown-up performance to date," Bruno Toniolo decided. Carrie Ann Inaba thought it was fantastic, but docked them for a lift.
Brooke Burke: We're assuming that, so long as they don't break hold, she and Derek Hough are going to score awfully high. Their tango wasn't exactly dripping with drama, but the footwork was fancy.
Judges said: 28. Bruno and Carrie Ann raved about it and offered up 10s, but Len Goodman thought that their tango was "riddled with mistakes."
Maurice Greene: The quickstep has downed lesser legs than Greene's, but you'd think that a track star would be the ideal candidate to take on such a fleet-footed dance. And his feet were certainly flying, mainly with accuracy, but his upper body seemed a bit stiff. Not quickstep-stiff, but guy-who'd-rather-be-shimmying-stiff.
Judges said: 24. Noting that Greene usually tends to "deflate" about halfway through his dances, Bruno said that, this time, he kept going all the way through "with aplomb."
Lance Bass: We could have done without the sequins, but Lance's aw-shucks, happy-go-lucky demeanor perfectly suited this fox-trot, and we thought the couple's tradition-with-a-twist approach worked perfectly.
Judges said: 26. "You are truly a bright light," Carrie Ann said. Heck, even Len thought it was "overall, very, very good." (He only gave them an 8 but…Rome wasn't built in a day.)
Warren Sapp: The football great channeled James Bond just in time! Sapp, having slid in the rankings over the past couple weeks, tapped into his inner suavity sanctum and pulled out a plum tango.
Judges said: 28, including a 10 from Carrie Ann, their first. "Secret Agent Warren Sapp is back!" Bruno announced, agreeing with our Bond characterization. "You're in it now," Len added.
Linley: Cody's hips were a little herky-jerky, but his mambo was far more enjoyable than his super serious samba from a couple weeks ago. And although he wasn't exactly the picture of Latin soul, the 18-year-old reined in those long limbs and really gave his closing solo the ol' school try.
Judges said: 24. "A for effort and A for energy," Carrie Ann said, although ultimately it seemed as if they were giving Cody one of those "we're really proud of you" goodbye speeches. If he comes back, though, so will Julianne. She's "doing amazing," Cody said said. "She's great. She's well-rested and she's ready to come back and dance with me."
Burke: Is it still a solo when you use the judges' table as a partner? But no one seemed to mind the bewigged Brooke's opening shimmy…not least of which because the rest of her mambo was so fun to watch, as well.
Judges said: 27. "Overall, a fantastic and very ambitious mambo," Len said.
Greene: Mo went for the middle-of-the-dance solo, in his case a fit of cape-twirling amid all the stomping. Luckily, he was doing a paso doble, so it all worked.
Judges said: 24. "You were twirling that cape like a hurricane in a wind turbine!" Bruno exclaimed. "Strong, imposing, very powerful."
Bass: Lance actually danced during his samba solo; unfortunately, like the entire number, it was hampered by dreadfully slow music. The steps were fun, but…the DWTS music dampens our spirits sometimes.
Judges said: 24. Len would have preferred "a bit of samba flavor" in Lance's solo, but Bruno thought he and Lacey Schwimmer had more content than most in their routine.
Sapp: We could watch Warren's feet fly all day. We couldn't wait to see this 300-pound defensive tackle, well, tackle a jive, and he didn't disappoint. And his 15 seconds of solo were adorable.
Judges said: 26. They didn't really have anything nice to say about Sapp's footwork, but it was still good enough for two 9s and an 8. "You epitomize the saying, 'I could dance for joy,'" Len said. All complimented Kym Johnson, who showed no evidence of a shoulder injury, on choreographing to Sapp's strengths.
Brooke Burke: 55
Warren Sapp: 54
Lance Bass: 50
Maurice Greene: 48