Even though the fate of each dancing duo is up to America at this point in the competition, the judges are still giving their input week after week. So it's expected that now would be the time where the grumbling starts to get louder from those pairs getting less-than-desired scores.
In fact, Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff are wondering if Len Goodman has any other number paddles besides eights. Plus we've got a perfectly sweet exchange between Kirstie Alley and her partne, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, that just might make you vote extra hard for them…
Even though Ralph and Karina finally got their 10 tonight, it doesn't mean they weren't feeling the sting from Len's score of eight. "Does he have any other numbers?" Karina jokingly asks us. "I'll have to check his pads," Ralph adds with a laugh.
But don't worry, they are definitely grateful for their spot at the top. "It feels awesome. We work hard every week. I loved the dance, loved the music, loved everything," he says happily.
When we asked Kirstie about her emotional meltdown this week, she gave us an inside look at Maks' tough love technique. "He's really forceful," she says. "It's well-intentioned, but he doesn't know his own force. And usually, I can totally handle it. Sometimes…I'm a chick, what can I say? It takes a lot of force to knock me off my game. He has it."
Maks didn't exactly enjoy being called forceful by his partner, even though Kirstie insisted she didn't mean that he was a bad person. After some back and forth about their feelings toward each other, it finally led to this conversation:
Maks: Do I love you?
Kristie: I think you do.
Maks: Do you love me?
Kristie: Yes, I do.
Maks: Ask me if I love you.
Kristie: Do you love me?
Maks: I love you, too.
Kind of sweet, right?
Later, Chelsea Kane filled us in on how uncomfortable it was to have Mark Ballas' mom watching them rehearse. "It's such a weird dynamic having a mom in a room who's telling you to grind on her son harder," she says. "That's something that you spend your whole life trying not to do, so it's a confusing dynamic."
As for their scores, Mark was "hoping for higher," but he was even less impressed with the addition of the fourth judge, Latin dance champion Donnie Burns. "It was all right," he tells us with a shrug. "I don't know if it's necessary. I think we have our three judges, and we've had it now for 12 seasons and…it's fine."
Finally, before Romeo asked America for votes or broke down his scores for the night, he gave a shout-out to the U.S. troops. "With the news we had yesterday, I'm happy to be an American," he says. "I think those troops deserve a round of applause. I'm really grateful. It's because of them I'm able to live a regular life and go out and do the things I love."
Who do you think is getting the boot tomorrow?
(Originally published May 2, 2011, at 9:29 p.m. PT)