Dancing With the Stars is down to a pretty fierce foursome, but someone has to go.
Once again, the remaining finalists were tasked with two dances apiece, one ballroom and one Latin, but this time the Latin number had to include a 15-second star solo.
We're happy to report that no one looked ridiculous this season. But read on to find out who's got the best shot at next week's four-dance finale.
Erin Andrews & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Viennese Waltz: Erin looked really beautiful—and flexible!—dancing the waltz, but the ESPN correspondent's movements still have a jerky quality to them if you look closely. "For me, you just made a giant step through the door [to the finals]," Len Goodman said approvingly. "Like a symphony in blue," Bruno Tonioli said, referring to her blue satiny jumpsuit. Erin admitted backstage that she was super nervous and that her legs were shaking all along. "Sorry, babe," she told her rumored more-than-friend Maks.
Score: 27 (Though Bruno initially gave "premature paddle" and accidentally held up a "10" instead of a "9.")
Paso Doble: Again, Erin seemed a bit off-kilter—and she almost brought Maks down with her this time! But for the most part, she was the picture of power (the predance interview addressed her stalker experience) and she cut quite the striking figure in the thigh-high boots and fishnets. "You are a hot chick with an attitude," growled Bruno. Carrie Ann Inaba complimented Maks on his "beautiful choreography," but the very same routine left Len confused once again. "I'm a traditionalist and this is a funky-monkey paso doble," he complained. "I don't know whether to go with the talent or the dance—" "Go with the hotness!" interrupted Bruno.
Nicole Scherzinger & Derek Hough
Argentine Tango: Well, of course this was going to be amazing. Technically exact, brimming with tricks...just a great dance. "You're like a divine enchantress, using each move to draw us deeper…into a love spell…enslaved by you, enchanted by the dance!" raved (and raved is definitely the right word) Bruno. Carrie Ann, brought to tears, called it profound. And Len deemed the routine "more delicious than my grandmother's apple pie." (Yorkshire pudding would have made for a more believable comparison, doncha think?)
Cha-Cha: Except for the Prince-meets-Showgirls solo, this cha-cha was entirely worthwhile! Sometimes it's hard to tell from this show what a cha-cha looks like because most of them occur in the first couple of weeks, but...it's sexy! "You are the sexalicious purple queen of the cha-cha-cha!" growled Bruno. "You've got to be there," Len said, referring to next week's finale.
Chad Ochocinco & Cheryl Burke
Waltz: Chad, in trouble last week, more than held his own. It helps that he and Cheryl have mad chemistry, of course, but he was about as graceful as we've ever seen him tonight. "Where did you come from, this new Chad?!" asked a dazzled Carrie Ann. "Fantastic," Len said.
Samba: Chad hasn't just improved over the course of the season—he's worlds better since last week! Aside from joy and little-boy excitement (without the jittery knees) radiating from his face, his whole body commands attention. And that was even before he took his shirt off for the solo portion. Crafty…"Your charisma lights up the room," said a pleased Carrie Ann. "I am torn between admiration and bitter envy," remarked Bruno. "I will never take my clothes off again!" But we had a feeling that a relatively disappointing score was coming when Len said, "You had the toughest of the Latin dances, and for such a tough dance, you did a great job."
Evan Lysacek & Anna Trebunskaya
Fox-Trot: The skater's lanky, graceful-yet-sorta-gawky movements are perfect for the fox-trot—like a '30s-era comic actor who isn't afraid to fall on his arse for a laugh but who breaks into song and dance for the romance sequences. Len loved seeing Evan's "happy-go-lucky, fun side," and Carrie Ann appreciated that he performed to entertain the entire time.
Paso Doble: Considering he won a gold medal with a solo performance on skates, it wasn't a stretch that Evan had the very best solo out of any of the contestants tonight. Len complimented him on a dominating performance. "Strong, yet artistic," Bruno said, capping off his comments with the observation that Evan has balls. "Yes he does!" agreed Carrie Ann.
Here's tonight's leaderboard:
Evan & Anna: 59
Nicole & Derek: 59
Erin & Maks: 56
Chad & Cheryl: 52
(Originally published May 17, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. PT)
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