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"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Raisman Soars to Top on Latin Night

ABC/Adam Taylor(LOS ANGELES) -- Seven couples strutted their stuff to Latin hits on Monday as part of Dancing with the Stars’ Latin dances night, which also featured live performances from Colombian-born Spanish rock musician, Juanes.

The stars first danced their individual routines with their pro partners and, in a format twist, co-host Tom Bergeron announced that the star with the highest judges’ score would be safe from elimination this week.

The remaining six couples then had to take part in a dance-off, competing against each other in either the cha cha cha, jive or rumba.  For each of those three separate contests, the judges selected a winning couple, giving that pair three bonus points.

At the end of the show, gymnast Aly Raisman was in the lead, and comedian Andy Dick was in last place.

The couple with the lowest combined tally of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes will be eliminated from the competition on Tuesday.

Country music singer Kellie Pickler won immunity, so she cannot be eliminated.

The individual routines:

Jacoby Jones: The NFL star’s salsa with partner Karina Smirnoff was the first dance of the night, and the judges had high praise. “I don’t know what’s going on. Was that an earthquake or did you just rock this place?” head judge Len Goodman said. While he said he would have preferred fewer lifts in the routine, he added, “You came out looking great. The cool dude, the hot chick. Really was first rate.” Judges Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba were in agreement. Inaba drew chuckles when she told Jones, “It’s like you could fart the salsa. I mean, it’s so in your body.”  Total score: 27 out of a possible 30 points.

Ingo Rademacher: The judges said they thought the soap opera star’s rumba with partner Kym Johnson was lacking in emotion and fluidity. “Ingo, Ingo, Ingo. They say hips don’t lie; in your case, I wish they could. In your case it was too staccato. The hip action has to be fluid,” Tonioli declared. Inaba said she believed Rademacher was thinking so hard about his technique that he failed to deliver on fluidity and sensuality, and Goodman said he thought Rademacher tried his best but couldn’t quite deliver. Total score: 22/30.

Kellie Pickler: The county singer’s samba with partner Derek Hough received a standing ovation from the ballroom audience and a near-perfect score from judges, although Carrie Ann Inaba said she didn’t believe Pickler connected emotionally with the dance. “When you dance, I see perfection in every single move you do. You are such an incredible student, every line is perfect...but I don’t feel you when you dance,” she said. Her fellow judges strongly disagreed. Goodman said he “thought it was brilliant,” and Tonioli proclaimed, “It was a perfect blend of technique and performance. Everything you would want from a samba was there.” Total score: 29/30.

Andy Dick: The Old School actor found himself the target of the judges' jibes again, when his rumba with partner Sharna Burgess failed to impress. Dick logged another shaky performance, with Bruno Tonioli saying the actor took "an unforgettable, classic dance," and made him wish he could forget it. Total score: 17/30.

Aly Raisman: The Olympic gymnast’s bubbly salsa with partner Mark Ballas won the judges over. “More of those, please,” Tonioli said, likening the performance to “an uplifting, tutti frutti, delicious cocktail of tropical flavors perfectly shaken.” Inaba was in full agreement. “I loved it,” she said, smiling as she added, “This is the Aly that I knew was always in there waiting to come out. You nailed it. You made me so happy.” Goodman also likened the routine to a mixed drink -- a tequila sunrise: “It was sharp, it was fruity, it was tasty and refreshing,” he said. Total score: 29/30.

Sean Lowe:
The reality TV star’s rumba with partner Peta Murgatroyd drew approval from Inaba and Tonioli, but Goodman wasn’t impressed. “It was like a match. Peta was hot; you were a bit wooden,” Goodman said. Inaba told Lowe that it was clear that he had listened to judges’ previous critiques and was hearing the music. “That was just wonderful,” she said. Tonioli said Lowe’s musicality was “so much better,” and told him he should be proud. Total score: 24/30.

Zendaya: The Disney star performed a dramatic paso doble with partner Val Chmerkovskiy, and while the judges said she was an outstanding dancer, they noticed small flaws. Goodman told her to lift her chin a bit, and Tonioli agreed, adding that she needed to fully extend her arms.  Total score: 27/30.

The Dance-Offs:

Since they didn’t know which dance they would be required to perform, each of the couples had to learn all three dances: cha cha cha, rumba and jive.

Even though Pickler and Raisman were tied after the individual performances, the rules stated that the dancer with the higher cumulative judges’ score of the season would win immunity.  That meant Pickler didn’t have to perform in the dance-off.

Three of the remaining couples picked their opponents, who in turn chose the style of dance.  After each pair of couples danced -– doing the same style of dance to the same music -– the judges chose the winner.

The winner of each match-up won an extra three points on top of their earlier score.

Cha-cha-cha: Dick and Raisman faced off, with Raisman earning the win. The judges’ decision was unanimous.

Jive: Jones and Zendaya battled in this round, and, in a unanimous decision, Zendaya took the win.

Rumba: In this match-up between Rademacher and Lowe, the judges chose Rademacher, although the decision was split. Tonioli chose Lowe.

Here’s a rundown of Monday’s scores:

  • Aly Raisman and Mark Ballas: 29 plus 3 Dance-Off points for a total of 32.
  • Zendaya and Val Chmerkovskiy: 27 plus 3 Dance-Off points for a total of 30.
  • Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough: 29
  • Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff: 27
  • Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson: 22 plus 3 Dance-Off points for a total of 30.
  • Sean Lowe and Peta Murgatroyd: 24
  • Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess: 17

One couple will be eliminated on Tuesday’s results show, beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.  The show will also feature a musical performance by Michael Buble.

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