It was a night filled with surprises, passion and pain. The six remaining celebs each had to perform two dances, once in ballroom dance and one in Latin dance. And it was the Latin dance that did in the sexy hot Cristian de la Fuente.
In the midst of what was a sizzling samba with partner Cheryl Burke, de la Fuente pulled his arm back in agony, and soldiered on to complete the dance, though the choreography was totally blown. Turns out the actor wound up going to the hospital with what was first diagnosed as a severely pulled muscle around the area of his left elbow. He was grimmacing in obvious massive pain while receiving an unfortunate 21 points for his brave dance.
The surprise of the night was NFL heartthrob Jason Taylor who sat atop the leader-board after the ballroom round with a spectacular quickstep that earned him 29 points. It was the first time this season that leader Kristi Yamaguchi was not in first place. Yamaguchi, who scored a measly (for her) 26 points for an unemotional Viennese waltz, rebounded in the Latin round with a controversial cha-cha-cha (28 points). Judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba praised Mark Ballas' hip-hop infused choreography, while judge Len Goodman scolded the pro for incorporating "all that hip-hop bugaloo" and doled out a boo-enducing 8 points to the other judges' 10s. In the Latin round, Taylor surprised everyone with a very unique take on the paso doble, choreographed to the "Monday Night Football" theme by his partner Edyta Sliwinska, the duo wore Taylor's team colors as costumes for a score of 26).
Marissa was just as bubbly and wonderful as ever, delighting the judges and the audiences with a passionate, fiery tango (and sporting a gorgeous costume at last!) earning 27 points. Her rhumba earned her a mere 25 points, though Carrie Ann said it gave her "goosebumps."
Mario could not impress the judges with his fox trot, earning only 24 points. But he, too, rebounded in the Latin round with what Len called a "wild, wacky and wonderful" mambo. Score: 27.
And then there was Shannon Elizabeth. In the ballroom phase, the actress was a crowd-pleaser earning 27 points from the judges. But in the Latin round, she looked positively exhausted and her gangly leg movement earned remarks from the judges that included: gawky and awkward. And the Shannon Elizabeth - Derek Hough drama didn't just take place no the dancefloor Monday night. Seems the duo were none too pleased with the judges' scores last week and made it very vocally clear. How unprofessional is that? And during their rehearsal week, Shannon chided her beau Derek and implied he "might go home alone" if he continued to push all her wrong buttons.
Tsk tsk tsk.
Quip of the night: Bruno Tonioli to Mario after the singer performed his sizzling mambo: "The devil was in your hips."
Quip of the night Part Deux: Len to Bruno, after the two nearly came to fisticuffs while judging Kristi's Viennese waltz: "I think your hot air has a lot to do with global warming."
Samantha Harris Stupid Moment: Speaking to Jason Taylor after his unique paso doble: "Do you think you'll be teaching your co-players to dance like that?" Uh, Sam, that would be "teammates."
Spotted ringside: Marlee Matlin, ousted last week.
Tan wars: Edyta's spray-on bronze was slightly darker than her closest competitor, Karina Smirnoff. And somebody help Samantha Harris, who sported the most uneven spray-on tan. Oops.
At the end of the night, with two dances judged, Jason held on to first place (55 points), followed by Kristi (54), Marissa (52), Mario (51), Shannon (51) and Cristian (46).
Prediction for Tuesday's elimination round: Shannon Elizabeth. She just can't match the other celebs when it comes to polish, precision and style.
Next week, "Dancing" celebrates its 100th episode.