There were waltzes, foxtrots and paso dobles but one couple’s contemporary earned a high score for the season.
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Olympian Alexandra Raisman and her partner Mark Ballas earned 27 points for their contemporary routine that had the judges gushing.
“You’re going for gold! I love the balance of the spectacular and the details,” Bruno Tonioli said of her performance to David Guetta’s “Titanium.”
“I’m very proud of you,” Carrie Ann Inaba said. “I was mesmerized by you. It was the beauty of the perfect movement and the perfect emotional connection. It was profound.”
Andy Dick also made a big impression with a Viennese waltz to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which he dedicated to someone special: “My daughter Meg is the apple of my eye,” he said, adding that 2013 is the best year of his life thanks to his sobriety. “She’s like a mini version of me. … It will be the most important dance I’ll do.”
Carrie Ann was left sobbing. “It was like you made a beautiful poem just using three letters,” she said. “You’re movement vocabulary is small but what you said with those few movements was so beautiful.
Added Len Goodman: “You came onto this show a man, whatever happens you’ll go out of it a hero. Well done.” They earned 21 out of 30 points.
This season’s early frontrunners, Kellie Pickler and Zendaya, both had a good night and both scored 26 points.
Sean Lowe and partner Peta Murgatroyd performed a Viennese waltz, which ended with The Bachelor star kissing his winner fiancée Catherine Giudici. “That was so sweet,” Bruno said. “You played it very well. At times, you have wonderful fluidity but … you have to sustain it.” They scored 20 points.
D.L. Hughley, who has heard some harsh words from the judges, redeemed himself, scoring 21 points for a foxtrot to the Etta James classic, “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” “I admire your spirit, the fact that you go out and give it your all,” Len said. “This had far more content, it was far better.”
“Hallelujah!” Carrie shouted. “That’s the real breakthrough.”
Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson earned 23 points for their Viennese waltz; Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff were just ahead with 24 points for a foxtrot that had Carrie Ann saying, “I think you have a real shot at winning this.” And Victor Ortiz and Lindsay Arnold’s boxing-themed paso doble earned just 18 points but Len told the world champion fighter, “I admire your spirit, your determination.”
The last performer of the night was Lisa Vanderpump, whose fainting spell during rehearsals made headlines. Although she was ill and was asked by her doctor to sit out rehearsals she made the late decision to perform an 18-point cha cha with partner Gleb Savchenko.
“You’ve given it your best shot,” Len said. “There were a few mistakes … For what you’ve been though I think you did a very good job.”