D-i-s-r-e-s-p-e-c-t: Brooke Burke was brazenly scolded by Carrie Ann Inaba for violating the ballroom’s “no lifts” rule during her jive routine, telling Burke that the maneuver was “disrespectful.” Judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli backed up Inaba, calling Burke’s performance “a disaster” and “a mess.” Visibly shaken (though slightly bolstered by the crowd’s boos), Burke took the news and the scores … her lowest ever … in stride and rebounded with a saucy salsa in the second half of the show. Afterward, she told PEOPLE she was upset she had let so many down. “Rightfully so, the first dance was a disaster and it was all my fault,” Burke said. “The lift that she was talking about that she called disrespectful was unintentional. I didn’t mean for my feet to come off the floor. We have a lot of respect for the rules the judges have at the ballroom and we did not mean for that to happen at all.” R-e-s-p-e-c-t: Very little air conditioning flowed into the ballroom during a pre-taped segment with Aretha Franklin, which will air on Tuesday’s results show. (The Queen of Soul prefers balmy temps to keep her vocal chords warm and loose.) Franklin regaled the ballroom with “Chain of Fools” and her timeless woman anthem “Respect,” which reunited season six champs Mark Ballas and Kristi Yamaguchi on the ballroom floor for a cha-cha-esque routine for the first time since last May. Yamaguchi tells PEOPLE she’s secretly hoping Brooke Burke can hang on for next week’s finale. “We were talking a little bit when we were in the hair trailer,” Yamaguchi says. “I complimented her on how she’s handling everything and juggling four kids with this schedule. It’s tough and she’s really been great at managing and pacing herself through this.”
His Left Foot: Lance Bass was completely ship-shape with his and partner Lacey Schwimmer’s nautical-inspired jitterbug. Dedicated to his 82-year-old grandfather, Jim Bass, who sat proudly in the front row at the ballroom. “This is the first time he’s been to L.A. since shipping off to World War II,” Bass told PEOPLE after the show. As if the pressure of having his grandfather and father at the show wasn’t enough, Bass lost a sneaker within seconds of beginning the fast-paced routine. “With the adrenaline of a live show, you just kick a lot harder and it just flew right off,” Bass said, shrugging his shoulders. “What are you going to do?” No shoe? No problem. “I just fast forwarded in my head ‘what steps do I have to do that require me to land on my left foot?’ And I thought ‘there’s nothing that’s going to hurt me’ so I thought fine, I can do it.” He did it scoring big from the judges and got homemade chocolate chip cookies from Schwimmer’s mom, Laurie, to boot. Schwimmer toted a big plastic container full of the yummy treats, happily sharing with her fellow DWTS cast members (Warren Sapp was a happy camper), crew and even members of the press.
Misjudging Cody: Despite getting lambasted by the judges for his and partner Julianne Hough’s paso doble and salsa (and getting the night’s lowest score), Cody Linley says the evening was a triumph. “I was feeling the audience support, honestly. I felt really confident and awesome about our dances. We went out there and we rocked it,” Linley said. “I wasn’t feeling the judges and they weren’t feeling me. All I can say is I really want to dance one more time with Julianne and if can vote, they should do it.” Linley, who turns 19 on Thursday, says the best birthday celebration would be to get to advance to the finals. “I’m ready to rock the finals. I can celebrate my birthday after I win that trophy. If I can get the support from those fans to dance one more week, I won’t let them down.”
Trash Talking: If there’s one thing Warren Sapp knows how to do, it’s get pumped up for the big moments. With his mother and kids Warren and Mercedes in the audience, Sapp turned on the charm and pulled out all the stops for his mambo and jitterbug routines, even shedding his top coat to reveal a red sequined vest and a pair of muscular arms. His scores earned him a tie for second place with Brooke Burke after the semifinal round. But that’s not deterring Sapp from focusing on next week’s finale. “I got my eye on the championship,” he said confidently. “Lance came to rock the floor tonight. He tore it up. I hope he peaked! I got one more week to get to the top of that leader board.” –Monica Rizzo
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