'Dancing' : Erin and Maks Make It Work

On Monday’s Dancing with the Stars, contestants competed side by side in the trying swing dance marathon — and the couple that lasted the longest picked up 10 additional points from the judges.

But first, they had to perform the Argentine tango and the samba. And the results were surprising: Typically high scorers, Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya earned just 21 points in the first round, putting them among the lowest scoring couples of the night, along with Jake Pavelka and Cheslie Hightower and Niecy Nash and Louis Van Amstel.

The judges complained that Evan, who suffered a minor concussion during rehearsals this week, did not do a proper samba. “It was pretty to look at,” Bruno Tonioli said of his positions, “but it wasn’t actually right for this dance.”

Carrie Ann Inaba agreed: “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose,” she said. “Tonight I definitely thought you lost the battle with the samba.”

Pamela Anderson (as a brunette!) and partner Damien Whitewood came in at 22, bested by Cheryl Burke and Chad Ochocinco, who scored 24, and Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who earned 25 points.

Len Goodman was especially hard on Erin and Maks, who showed off their chemistry when she ripped his shirt off during their samba. “From week one, I’ve given you a seven every week. You’re going to get another seven tonight and I’ll tell you why,” the judge said. “Because you should be getting eights, nines and even tens … You come out and show me a proper dance. I’m fed up, Maks, with shirts coming off. She’s too good for that.”

The other judges gave them nines.

Along with perennial leaders Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, who scored 26 points with their samba, Erin and Maks were the final couple in the dance-off at the end of the show. Ultimately, Nicole and Derek lasted the longest and picked up the extra 10 points to sit at the top of the leader board with a total of 36 points. Erin and Maks earned nine extra points for a total of 34.

Tell us: Which couple was your favorite of the night? Who did the best swing? Is Len too hard on Erin and Maks? And who is going home tonight on Dancing with the Stars?Adam Larkey/ABC

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