It was go time Monday for Dancing With the Stars' final four, made up of the swift-footed celebrities graceful—and popular—enough to make it into the semifinals.
So did the lovable Warren Sapp, risk-taker Lance Bass, youngster Cody Linley and front-runner Brooke Burke deliver the goods on a night that in the past has offered up a fair share of perfect 30s?
Find out who brought it—and who brought nothing but nerves—after the jump.
Brooke Burke: The intensity level of the zoot-suited Derek Hough was so freakin' high, he kind of blew his partner out of the water—accidentally, we presume. That, plus all of Brooke's mistakes and the fact that she seemed out of sync and moving a tad slower than her partner throughout, made for a shockingly lackluster opener.
Judges Said: 21, her lowest score ever. "Just when you want to come out and dance a fantastic performance in the semifinals, you come out and dance that—and it was a disaster," Len Goodman lamented. "The technique went down the toilet," added Bruno Tonioli, while Carrie Ann Inaba found it "a bit disrespectful that the pair opted to do a blatant lift. "I couldn't find my way," Brooke admitted backstage.
Cody Linley: Finally given a chance to match his superserious face to the dance—and once again working with Julianne Hough—the Hannah Montana star stomped his way through the paso doble and proved exactly this: The semifinalists are nervous tonight! His form was off, and so was the timing—and those stiff (and questionably cut) military-inspired costumes served only to distract from any semblance of graceful movement.
Judges Said: 22. "I'm afraid you're going to get your marching orders," Len predicted.
Warren Sapp: Our streak of feeling as if we could watch the cuddly football star do anything came to a screeching halt tonight with a too-slow-for-school mambo that lacked smoothness, difficult elements and—worst of all—fun.
Judges Said: 24. The best so far, but all comers have been severely lacking in semifinal quality tonight. "You have such a supersized sense of fun, you get away with murder," Bruno said, while Carrie Ann suggested that Warren up his game "just a hair."
Lance Bass: At last, life on the dance floor! Lance's mambo, while we still feel he could have pulled off more challenging choreography, at least was technically sound. But we were just so grateful to see a dance with a little panache.
Judges Said: 28, including Lance's first 10 of the competition, courtesy of Carrie Ann. "In this competition, it's not where you start, it's where you finish," Len said, "and that's the best dance so far." Not the hugest of compliments, considering, but true enough.
Burke: Brooke could certainly have gone without the overruffled-pants-and-crop-top combo. But is that what was distracting us from her salsa, or were we just still feeling uneasy after her round-one debacle? The full-on body slam on that final spin didn't help, either. (And, while we're not complaining, what's with all the forbidden lifts?)
Judges Said: 28, including a coveted 10 from grumpmaster Len. "Brooke is back!" Bruno exclaimed. Well, what do we know?
Linley: Cody lost his timing here and there, but his salsa was worlds better than his barely passable paso doble.
Judges Said: 24. "You really danced this one like a cheeky devil," Bruno said, while Carrie Ann, the harbinger of doom, thought his musicality wasn't good enough to make the finals.
Sapp: OK, Warren's back in our good graces. It was a little slow for a jitterbug, but the familiar bounce was back and, as the judges have said in the past, his performance was tons of fun.
Judges Said: 25. "I loved it," said Carrie Ann, but she was the only one to go as high as a 9.
Bass: With his grandpa looking on, Lance overcame an early wardrobe malfunction and pulled off an impressive one-shoed jitterbug. He's no Joey Fatone, but he's the front-runner now, as far as we're concerned.
Judges Said: 29. "Shoes off or shoes on, that was brilliant," Bruno raved.
Lance Bass: 57
Brooke Burke: 49
Warren Sapp: 49
Cody Linley: 46
In addition to the oh-so-important elimination, Tuesday's show will feature performances by Dancing's own Julianne Hough, John Legend, Aretha Franklin and Leona Lewis and last season's champ, Kristi Yamaguchi, drops by.
Gee, with all that entertainment, who's left to get for the finale?
Oh, right...Miley Cyrus. Indeed, the teen queen will be on hand to perform her single "Fly on the Wall" on the Nov. 25 extravaganza.