Real Men Wear Tights: During the first half of Monday’s show, Mark Ballas promised there would be a big surprise in the group mambo number. Who knew that meant the men … Chuck Wicks, Tony Dovolani and Ballas — would tear away their black suits to reveal white tights underneath? “My poor wife and children. I hope to God they never refer to this video ever in their life!” Dovolani joked. “This is not one of our proudest moments. We thought we had to do something funny. This was a spoof off of Saturday Night Live Justin Timberlake.” The brainchild behind the on-air strip down gag was Ballas. “It’s about a TV show and entertaining the audience and owning it,” he explained. “We did a traditional mambo for the first three minutes and the last 10-15 seconds were a lot of fun.” Even though judge Carrie Ann Inaba called the stunt “distracting,” the fans responded nicely to it with a rousing standing ovation. “It’s all about the fans,” Chuck Wicks said jokingly, confessing that the outfits made him “feel weird. I still have the leotard on. I can feel it on my body, and it just feels weird.” Disabled List: The rib injury that bothered Melissa Rycroft during last week’s Argentine tango intensified during rehearsals the past several days. Despite trying to plow ahead, her partner Tony Dovolani tells PEOPLE because she was in discomfort and had difficulty breathing, she had to miss Monday night’s show. “All week long we were treating the injury, but it was affecting her breathing so she couldn’t dance tonight,” a dejected Dovolani said minutes after the show. Rycroft sought medical attention and is expected to return to Tuesday’s results show. But because she wasn’t able to dance, the judges had to score her based on a rehearsal she and Dovolani had earlier in the day. “On a performance show we would dance that ten times better than that,” Dovolani said. “We didn’t go full tilt and you know, I felt bad for the judges tonight because they had to base their comments on that, and we weren’t really even performing. It’s unfortunate.” Upon hearing that they received their lowest score of the season (21 out of 30), Rycroft “texted me five times,” Dovolani said. “She feels like she let me down. She did not at all. Health always comes first.”
It’s a Love Match: Before she and partner Derek Hough slayed the paso doble, Lil’ Kim expressed her love to Monday night’s audience. Acknowledging the crowd’s support when she took the stage, Lil’ Kim blew kisses to the right, left and center sections of the ballroom. A few minutes later, after hearing the judges’ praise, Kim expressed equal gratitude by planting a peck on each of their cheeks. So what was behind all of the unabashed affection? “If it wasn’t for the fans and the judges rooting for me and wanting me to make it and be on top, where would I be? I have to show them some love back because they show me so much love,” said Kim, whose mother, Ruby, and brother, Chris, were visiting from New York. Did having family in the audience make her nervous? “Yes, it does! And I get nervous even when they’re not here,” Kim said, giggling. “I’m glad they were here for a great show.” Ruby was glad, too. “I am so proud of her,” Mom gushed.
Taking One for the Team: This week Ty Murray upped his game more than ever before, getting a spray tan and going sleeveless for his salsa with partner Chelsie Hightower. He then went shirtless alongside Gilles Marini, albeit briefly, for the group tango. To the audience’s surprise … – and delight … – Murray’s physique proved he has every right to, ahem, bare arms. “Ty has been riding bulls his whole life,” Murray’s wife, singer Jewel, told PEOPLE. “He has had this amazing body his whole life. When we met 10 years ago I was like, Oh my gosh! He has muscles on muscles. I can’t even tell you just how fiercely ripped that man is. It’s been my dirty little secret and now America is getting to know it.” Murray, for his part, said he did it all “to be a team player.” Well, the tan-and-shirtless cowboy combo helped Team Tango score a 28 out of 30 and the win, but “seeing Ty with his shirt off was priceless,” said a giggling Cheryl Burke. –Monica Rizzo