Craig Sjodin/ABC
September 26, 2011 10:20 PM

Last week, her dancing was lost in translation.

Earning only 15 points, George Clooney‘s ex, Elisabetta Canalis, had a lot to prove Monday night on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Luckily, she rose to the challenge with a quickstep that delighted the three judges.

“The gears were grinding, the engine was hot [and] the pistols were pumping,” Bruno Tonioli said after the Italian TV personality’s routine.

Though Len Goodman admitted her dance was “not great,” he – and all the judges – acknowledged there was some real improvement this week. In total, Canalis and her partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy received 21 points on Monday’s show – one of the night’s highest scores.

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Also improving: Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke, who scored 21 points as well – an increase over last week’s score of 16.

“It’s official: Rob Kardashian is a better dancer than Kim Kardashian,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said, as the crowd laughed. “No offense to Kim, [but] you have the dancing gene, honey.”

Also scoring a 21: Chynna Phillips, while Kristin Cavallari and partner Mark Ballas tallied 22 points (compared to last week’s 19).

Other highlights from Monday’s show:

Ricki Lake and Derek Hough earned the evening’s highest score – 23 points – for their jive, which Inaba said was the finest of the night. Len, meanwhile, told them: “There were a couple of steps that disturbed me a bit, but I liked it … It was an improvement from last week.”

Chaz Bono‘s knee problems didn’t deter him from tackling his quickstep. The dance received loud cheers from the audience, though with 17 points from the judges – the same score he received last week – it was the night’s lowest score.

Nancy Grace, who faced elimination last week, rebounded with 21 points on Monday during her quickstep, while last week’s top scorer J.R. Martinez and partner Karina Smirnoff were granted 22 points once again for their “charismatic, athletic” jive.

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