Kristi Yamaguchi was the first contender on “Dancing With the Stars” to nab a perfect score this season, when she and partner Mark Ballas earned 30 points from the judges on Monday night.
The ballroom partners took on an extremely energetic jive, which resulted in a standing ovation from the entire studio audience, as well as judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
“Hell yeah! That’s what I’m talking about,” Carrie Ann exclaimed as the couple finished. “I think that was my favorite dance performed [of any] season so far.”
And Carrie Ann wasn’t the only judge floored by their performance.
“It was like a buffet — a tasty morsel there, a delicious move over there. Some clever choreography, yum, yum,” Len Goodman said. “It was a smorgasbord of dance. I loved it.”
While Kristi reigned over the leader board once again, R&B star Mario, who has expressed his desire to catch up to the skating champ, turned out a stellar rumba with his partner, Karina Smirnoff.
“I thought it was fabulous,” judge Bruno Tonioli said.
“That was better than good sex,” Carrie Ann said of the dance, which Mario dedicated to his younger brother. “That was just ridiculously good.”
Though the judges raved, Mario and Karina missed points because of a lift, earning them a score of 28 out of 30.
It was bad news though for Jason Taylor, who all season long has been neck and neck with Kristi. Jason and his partner, Edyta Sliwinska, netted just 24 for their cha cha.
“Jason, you always have this kind of heroic and statuesque presence, and tonight what was good, we saw you a little exposed,” Bruno said. “The bad thing is you did mess up the timing a little bit and it wasn’t as good as it could be.”
Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough also managed a 24 for their rumba, but it was the scene they created on a Malibu beach last Thursday that they really had to tackle during an interview with host Samantha Harris backstage.
The show filmed the couple on the beach for a clip package shown this week. After the “Dancing” cameras left the shoot, the two exchanged a kiss, which the paparazzi snapped.
When asked if they were involved in a “showmance” by Samantha, Shannon said it was all about the dance.
“We’re working on our dances and learning,” she said.
“And we’re serious about the routine,” Derek added. “We want to get the character of the dance.”
Other scores for the night:
Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez (mambo): 21/30
Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke (foxtrot): 27/30
Marissa Jaret Winokur & Tony Dovolani (Viennese waltz): 26/30