On a night of strong performances, one duo stood above the rest on Dancing with the Stars Monday, receiving the best scores the judges could hand out and a standing ovation in the ballroom.
But as stellar as they were, other competitors were not far behind after the evening”s first of two rounds – except for one pair who was good, but maybe not good enough. Read on to find out who”s impressing and who”s at risk.
Ten hut! Iraq war vet J.R. Martinez and pro partner Karina Smirnoff waltzed to the top, getting the season”s first perfect score of 30 – 10 points from each of the three judges.
“It was like a musical Valentine card,” gushed Bruno Tonioli. “You dance with your heart on your sleeve. It was divine.”
The accolades came in the first round in which dancers performed rehearsed routines; the second round called for “instant dances” for which the competitors got only 20 minutes to prepare.
Right behind Martinez in Round One were Ricki Lake and Derek Hough, who scored 28 points with their waltz that Carrie Ann Inaba called “exquisite.”
Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke got 27 points for their quickstep that started out badly but picked up. They were tied with Hope Solo and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who also did a quickstep that Tonioli found “light, breezy.”
But Nancy Grace”s tango with Tristan McManus got encouraging comments from the judges – “You are the friskiest girl I”ve ever met,” said Inaba – but a score of only 24, putting them at risk of elimination on Tuesday.