People Staff
May 06, 2008 12:00 AM

“We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before”–Cristian de la Fuente joked, and he and pro partner Cheryl Burke laughed all the way to the top of the leader board last night with a fiesty tango (28/30) and a masterful mambo (29/30). Falling to the bottom after last week’s injury, the pair came back one-armed and dangerous–now it’s anyone’s mirror-ball trophy as we head into the semifinal round next week.

A recap of the night…

Cristian & Cheryl: 57/60 for their tango and mambo. Like Cristian said, “No pain, no mirror-ball trophy.” He worked the crowd and the judges. Bruno called him the “man with the golden arm,” who had “more energy than a volcano in the Andes.” •Kristi & Mark: 55/60 for their quickstep and samba. After a six-week reign at the top of the leader board, Kristi was toppled by Jason Taylor last week and had to settle for second place again this week. While Hot Mamaguchi shook her tail-feather in her saucy samba–doing a dizzying eight spins!–the judges weren’t impressed. Mario & Karina: 53/60 for their Viennese waltz and jive. Mario finally got some high marks for his waltz, even getting this, er, compliment from Len: “Normally your ballroom dancing reminds me a bit of Britney Spears getting out of a car–not very elegant, sometimes you see things you’d rather not BUT tonight I thought that was the most elegant I’ve seen you dance.” His spirited jive, however, gave Len the “squinchy face.” •Marissa & Tony: 50/60 for their foxtrot and mambo. Uh oh, is the Marissa wave about to crash? The Broadway star’s foxtrot was deemed “bold, brassy, but not quite appropriate” by Bruno, while Carrie Ann didn’t think she quite pulled off those difficult mambo spins. •Jason & Edyta: 52/60 for their tango and samba. Despite Jason’s protests that he doesn’t need a faux glow to shine, a ballroom dancer was born after he stepped out of that spray-tanning booth. He and partner Edyta got a near-perfect score with a 29 out of 30 for their passionate tango. But the NFL star took a big hit with his samba. Not even that crazy headstand lift couldn’t convince the judges to give the pair more than 23 out of 30.

So tell us: Do you think the judges were too harsh with Mario and Kristi? Did Cristian & Cheryl perform the best dances of the night? Who do you think will go home tonight?

MICHAEL DESMOND/ABC

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