'Dancing' 's Mark Dacascos Dazzles With Jitterbug

Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

The night belonged to the jitterbug and the waltz at Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars.

Mark Dacascos, a strong contender who continues to wow the judges with his technique, brought the audience to its feet with his fast-paced jitterbug. “That was the energy I was looking for,” raved judge Carrie Ann Inaba. Dacascos (with pro Lacey Schwimmer) tied for the highest score of the evening with a 26.

The other couple to score a 26 was Joanna Krupa and her partner Derek Hough. They performed a waltz, which judge Bruno Tonioli called, “beautiful and weightless.” In fact, judge Len Goodman said, “It was the best waltz we’ve seen tonight.”

The competition still seems to be anyone’s game. For weeks, Donny Osmond and Mya have topped the leader board, but Monday’s performances found them holding steady in the middle–both receiving a 24 for their jitterbugs. Len Goodman was least impressed with Mya’s use of props in her performance. “You’re such a good dancer, it’s not necessary to waste 20 bars cleaning my desk,” he said to a roomful of boos.

On the other end of the scoring spectrum were Melissa Joan Hart, Michael Irvin and Kelly Osbourne, who all received 20 from the judges. But it was Louie Vito who had the night’s biggest goof, when he dropped dance partner Chelsie Hightower. “It was really great except for all the dropping,” said Carrie Ann Inaba. Despite the mishap, the pair still scored a 21 for their jitterbug.

After the nine couples twirled and glided across the dance floor, they returned to the stage for a Mambo marathon. One by one, the couples were tapped on the shoulder and removed from the stage. Michael Irvin was the first to go. By the end, it was dance-off between Krupa and Mya. The crowd roared with approval when Krupa was announced the winner.

Tune in tonight for the elimination round where two couples will be eliminated.–Elaine Aradillas

Craig Sjodin/ABC

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