Following an exhilarating kiss between contestants Marko Germar and Melanie Moore, the judges panel turned in to a kissing booth with Nigel Lythgoe kissing Mary Murphy, then guest judges Kristin Chenoweth and Lil’ C locking lips. Even Lythgoe and Lil’ C smooched before it was all over. (Watch a clip below.)
“We started the fire and it just spread,” Moore told reporters after her performance.
But the kisses weren’t just on-camera.
“It went on backstage as well – in the holding room,” contestant Ricky Jaime confessed. “We were inspired by the judges.”
Meanwhile, Moore and Germar’s romantic moment was not as organic. “Marko’s a really aggressive dancer,” Moore explained. “So the first time we did [the kiss] he slid toward me and grabbed my neck and I was like, ‘I cant! I cant!’ ”
Eventually the kiss-crazy judges settled down enough to call their “little M&Ms” a “power couple.”
“I feel so grateful,” Moore said. “We’ve gotten great choreography each week. We’ve been so lucky.”
The panel threw around the phrase “power couple” once again after Ricky and his partner Ryan Ramirez – who were saved by the judges last week – took the stage as two lovers breaking ties.
“It made me so happy because Ricky and I have been working so hard,” Ramirez said after the judge’s comments. “Coming back this week we just wanted to get good critiques.”
The only couple to receive negative feedback Wednesday was Ashley Rich and Christopher Koehl, whose Sonya Tayeh jazz routine was criticized by Lythgoe because “there wasn’t enough character or heart and soul in this piece. I didn’t connect with the music.”
“It’s a little frustrating when they critique the dance and the music,” Koehl told reporters. “I want America to realize that dance-wise [we] did what we were supposed to do. We can’t change the choreographer’s decisions. That’s their artistic choice.”
But did America take that in to consideration? Thursday (7 p.m. EST) three couples will be on the chopping block based on America’s votes and the judges will have to send two more dancers home.
“You never know, when it comes to eliminations because sometimes America will like things and the judges don’t,” Miranda Maleski said after Wednesday’s show. “I don’t know how America is going to choose.”