People Staff
May 16, 2007 12:45 PM

We’re with Joey

Joey Fatone took time out of his pre-show prep to point out the front row seats he scored for a handful of pals in the ballroom. Later on, one of his friends caught his yellow jacket and immediately put it on as Joey and partner Kym Johnson – the night’s first couple to advance to the finals – performed an encore of their hoppin’ jive.

Amazing Feet of Nature

The rapid-fire precision of renowned flamenco dancer Joaquén Cortés had Cheryl Burke yelling “Bring it!” and Maksim Chmerkovskiy letting out a loud whistle from the back of the ballroom as they watched him work his gold shoes over the custom-built dance floor. “By the time [Laila and I] were learning the paso doble, I would pop in his tape and watch his moves,” Chmerkovskiy says of his idol. After Cortés finished, host Tom Bergeron walked over to Burke and said, “Okay, now I get it.”

Just Beat It

Special musical guest Enrique Iglesias performed his new single “Do You Know,” and got the judges all wound up in their seats. While Carrie Ann Inaba and Len Goodman drummed on the judges’ table, Bruno Tonioli mocked their tabletop beating by lightly hitting Len’s left arm – spawning a playful swatting match between the two. In perfect rhythm, of course.

Apolo’s in It for Free(style)

“I said from the very beginning to Julianne [Hough] I want to make the freestyle round,” says Apolo Anton Ohno. “Then she informed me you have to make the finals. And I was like, ‘Oh that’s right. That makes sense.’ So it’s awesome. I’m very happy.” As is judge Len Goodman: “Julianne is a great choreographer. She goes right for the real razzle-dazzle, wham-bam stuff,” he says. “Their freestyle is going to be unbelievable.” Ohno says they won’t disappoint (plus, the finale is on his birthday, May 22) – expect “a lot of surprises.”

Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Laila & Maksim: Bringing On Sexy!

Laila Ali handicapped the finals simply. “You got Silly Man [Joey Fatone]. You’ve got the Young-and-Cute Couple [Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough]. So we’re the Grown Sexy Couple,” Ali says with a laugh. “We’re going to bring that sex appeal because he’s hot!” Interrupts her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy: “Aw, that’s the first time you said it!” “It’s the truth! Women think he’s hot.” says Ali. “So I’m going to bring what I have” – she shakes her hips – and he’s going to bring what he’s got, and we’re just going to do it.” Now that’s rated R – for revved up!

Like Moths to a Flame …

Edyta Sliwinska was shocked to learn her season 3 partner Joey Lawrence will be returning for the second Dancing with the Stars tour, which kicks off in Austin on June 20. “It’s been a very hard experience for him with a baby and he was touring with his wife,” says Sliwinska. “He said, ‘I’m never going to do it again!’ And here we go, he’s doing the tour again.” Lawrence is not the only one who can’t let go. “John Ratzenberger was here [visiting] and it was a complete surprise to me!” she says of her season 4 partner who was booted on May 1. “Although they’re saying, ‘Oh, it’s hard and I’m tired,’ they want come back!”

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