Christian de la Fuente, Dancing with the Stars

ABC

Step in time with our Dancing with the Stars performance show liveblog:

It's week seven and the remaining six contestants' feet will really be put to the fire tonight as each aspiring disco-ball hoister takes on two dances for the first time. Who do you think needs to really step it up, so to speak, to avoid elimination?

First up, comeback kid Marissa Jaret Winokur takes on the tango. But she also had to learn the rumba this week, so she's hoping to avoid the rumbango...

8:05 p.m.: So far, Winokur's best to date. But that could just be because her hair is up and it's far easier to take her seriously that way. Let's see what the judges say about her dancing, though...

8:08 p.m.: Sure enough, Len agrees! Her best dahnce so far. Good enough for a 27 anyway, her highest score yet.

8:11 p.m.: Here's Cristián de la Fuente—last week at his dashing best while fox-trotting— swirling, spinning and otherwise covering a whole lot of dance-floor ground during his Viennese waltz with Cheryl Burke (who undoubtedly would like another spin in the winner's circle when all is said and done).

"Twinkling bedroom eyes...great movement...you used the floor beautifully—a pleasure to watch," Bruno raved, although Len thought it was lacking in content.

And de la Fuente, in turn, took a dip (literally), notching only a 25 (8s from Carrie Ann and Len and a 9 from Bruno, the resident sucker for romance).

8:18 p.m.: Mark Ballas is in a Navy-inspired getup for his Viennese waltz with Kristi Yamaguchi. (Beautiful and graceful as always, Kristi looks even better in long, flowing chiffon than she did in those sparkly skater minis.) Waiting for the Officer and a Gentleman comparison from Bruno...

8:20 p.m.: Ah, Kristi's turns were off, as far as Carrie Ann was concerned. And Len didn't like the exposition, which Bruno defended as "creativity," pure and not-so-simple.

"Your hot air has a lot to do with global warming," Len chided Bruno, who, somehow, missed the whole Richard Gere thing Ballas had going on. Apparently too obvious for the flying-leap metaphor master.

Either way, it doesn't seem like a 30 is in the cards for this one...

8:25 p.m.: Their lowest score ever, in fact—a 26, thanks to the 8-wielding Len.

8:27 p.m.: Let's see what sort of naughtiness Mario can inject into a fox-trot... Hmmm, quite a bit, apparently. But it's not really his fault—the left side of Karina Smirnoff's torso is obviously allergic to clothes.

8:30 p.m.: Yeah, didn't really help that Carrie Ann reminded Mario he needs to be a bit "stiffer" during the ballroom routines. (Hey, this isn't all us—host Tom Bergeron is always quick to point out even the slightest trace of a double entendre.)

Anyway, they earned a 24, lower than the 28 they took with them into the bottom two last week, a harsh reminder that this is a popularity contest.

8:36 p.m.: Here comes Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough, both sorry for their respective tearful and explosive outbursts last week in response to the judges' harsh criticism of their literally unhip rumba (and subsequently spotted scarfing Pinkberry yogurt at the Grove during what looked like a rehearsal break on Sunday). Let's see if Shannon can muster up the emotion necessary for a rip-roaring tango...

8:39 p.m.: According to Bruno, she mastered that "bitch of a dance." Her "best yet," Carrie Ann joined in. "It had aggression, passion...I thought you did a terrific job," Len added.

Well, their 27 should provoke a few less tears this week, shouldn't it?

8:42 p.m.: Yay, the swift-footed Jason Taylor, the NFL's reigning Man of the Year, is going to dance the quickstep. The double-sided tape is also out in full force tonight, with Edyta Sliwinska sharing Karina's affinity for asymmetrical coverage, even during the non-Latin numbers.

8:50 p.m.: So that's what a 6-foot, 6-inch fellow doing a handstand looks like...

"Larger than life," Carrie Ann said, taking the words right out of our keyboard. Len can once again picture Taylor making it all the way to the finals.

8:56 p.m.: A 29! Darn you, Len...

8:58 p.m.: And just when we were running out of judgment to pass, they're gonna do it all over again! Here's Winokur and Tony Dovolani, this time hoping to avoid the tangumba as they dance the rumba. (And her hair's all the way down this time, further evidence that the half-ponytail has to go.)

9:00 p.m.: Bruno would have preferred it dirtier, but where's the surprise in that? And Len would have preferred "a bit more welling." British judges have really changed the face of TV, haven't they?

Anyway, sexy and technically proficient enough for a 25, giving them a 52 for the night.

9:01 p.m.: Whoa, when you put if that way...Yamaguchi's currently in fourth place. A crack in the ice queen's facade, or a momentary blip?

9:03 p.m.: De la Fuente has hurt himself—he just pulled a muscle in his arm during his samba and had to stop mid-dance. Cutting to commercial break while they see what's up...

9:10 p.m.: They'll be judging up to the point when the injury occurred—an EMT on-site diagnosed a severe muscle strain in his forearm/elbow region that has left de la Fuente clutching an ice pack to his arm.

The judges gave him a 21, based on what they'd seen (which was obviously hampered even before he put a stop to things). "It hurts—it hurts the arm and it hurts that I couldn't do it, you know?. It's tough," the visibly shaken Chilean actor said backstage, disappointed that twice the effort only culminated in a 46.

9:12 p.m.: So far, we adore the coordinated deep teal Ballas and Yamaguchi are sporting for their cha-cha...

Len liked the middle section—he doesn't like it when one does a bit, then the other does a bit. "Choreography," Bruno calls it. "The kids are going to love it!"

"Three snaps up," raved the 10-bestowing Carrie Ann, even though Len dismissed it as "boogaloo hip-hop."

It made for a 28, with 10s from the right and left and an 8 from Mr. Cranky Pants in the middle. That's a 54, putting them back in the lead, for now.

9:17 p.m.: Mario mamboing...

9:19 p.m.: Really nice stuff, only the smallest of nitpicks from the judges..."Wild, wacky, wonderful!" Len raved. And the R&B star has himself a 27 for a grand total of 51.

9:26 p.m.: De la Fuente's off to the hospital, Bergeron says. An update will be coming...

Anyway, here goes Elizabeth and Hough with the mambo. Come on, girl, where ya been hiding those hips?

9:28 p.m.: Well, Shannon, did you ever think those killer legs would turn out to be your downfall? Carrie Ann reminded her that she needs to work extra hard to avoid looking gangly and awkward out there.

But Len liked the "bionic bum" and Bruno appreciated the tush work...Hmph, a 24, enough for a 51 on the night.

9:31 p.m.: Wrapping things up, Edyta and Taylor are going to attempt to tame each other during the paso doble...Oops, that was a lift, right? (And is it just us, or is Taylor literally too teddy-bearish to pull off the requisite fierceness?)

9:33 p.m.: Oh, apparently not. Len was frightened. (And yes, that was a lift, as pointed out by Lieutenant Lift Buster, Carrie Ann.) So they get a 26, making it a 55 overall and giving them sole possession of first place.

And there you have it. Who danced his or her way into your heart tonight and whose time has come to say cha-cha-ciao? A quick rundown: Jason, 55; Kristi, 54; Marissa, 52; Mario and Shannon, 51; Cristián, 46.

Def Leppard performs on tomorrow's elimination show.

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