It was the night of many dancing feet as "Dancing with the Stars" turned in its 100th episode. But the celebration was mixed with sadness as it was also an elimination night, as Mario leaving was voted of amid the cheers and tears.
In a truly classy move, the 21-year-old R&B singer (the youngest celeb competitor in the history of "Dancing") gave a shout out to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling them true heroes.
Among the evening's celebratory highlights was Mario Lopez and the Broadway cast of "A Chorus Line" (in which he's currently starring) demonstrating why Michael Bennett's precisely symmetrical and perfection-demanding choreography is timeless. (And why Broadway dancing is nothing at all like ballroom.)
Earlier in the evening, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli selected the Top 10 dances from the first five seasons. Among the finalists were Emmett Smith's and Cheryl Burke's sizzling cha cha cha from Season 3, Helio Castroneves' and Julianne Hough's fiery quickstep from season 5, and Mel B's and Maksim Chmerkovskiy's incredible tango from Season 5. Voted the best dance was Mario Lopez' and Karina Smirnoff's spot-on tango from season 2.
And who was more ecstatic than Marissa Jaret Winokur, who along with Kristi, Cristian and Jason, made it to the semi-finals next week!
Nearly 30 previous performers returned for the 100th celebration, but most were just ringside scenery used for sweeping camera passes. Maybe the show should have had a brief clip of each of them on the dance floor from seasons past. Would have been a nice touch.