Kristi Yamaguchi resumed her lead on “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday night, netting a near perfect score for her rumba with partner Mark Ballas.
The two took the floor midway through the competition, and Kristi debuted a new, sexier ballroom image, allowing Mark to rip out her hair band and let her raven locks flow as they moved their bodies in time with the music.
“Wooo Kristi,” impressed judge Carrie Ann Inaba said. “You really did take a risk this week”
And Carrie Ann wasn’t the only judge thrilled by the performance.
“You cast off the shackles of inhibition like Mark cast off that ribbon from your hair,” judge Len Goodman commented as the duo picked up a stunning 29 out of 30. “I’m gonna give you three words: fab-u-lous!”
Not far behind was Miami Dolphin Jason Taylor and his professional partner Edyta Sliwinska who rumba’d to a 27 out of 30.
“You really had the look of a love god during that rumba,” judge Bruno Tonioli said. “How can you be so light and so big at the same time? It’s incredible.”
Singing star Mario and Karina Smirnoff also managed to net a 27 out of 30 for their sexy samba.
“This dance suited you,” Goodman said. “It has a freedom about it…work on your footwork a little bit more, but I’ve gotta tell you, best dance [of yours] so far.”
And it was good news too for Broadway babe Marissa Jaret Winokur who samba’d to the fourth highest score of the night – a 24 out of 30.
“You were working it girl,” Carrie Ann enthused. “You were bouncing. That was your best routine by far.”
Before they hit the dance floor, the “DWTS” hosts revealed that Derek Hough had visited the hospital earlier in the day, suffering from food poisoning and whether it was his illness or just bad luck, his samba moves with celebrity partner Shannon Elizabeth didn’t sway the panel.
“You’re such a good looking girl, you have to come out here and shake those maracas,” Bruno said to Shannon. “You messed up the turns quite a few times in the dance.”
Other scores for the evening:
Priscilla Presley & Louis Van Amstel (rumba): 21/30
Cristian de la Fuente & Cheryl Burke (rumba): 23/30
Marlee Matlin & Fabian Sanchez (samba): 23/30