It was classical night on “Dancing with the Stars,” but it was a modern update on a centuries-old number that brought a new pair to the top of the leaderboard.
Former Disney star Chelsea Kane and her professional partner, Mark Ballas, took inspiration from “Harry Potter” for their Viennese waltz and their modern take created a big stir at the judges’ table. At first, however, it seemed as if the pair were going to get a poor score as Len Goodman took Mark on for updating the classic number.
“This is the Viennese waltz! It’s 300 years old! It is the most traditional of all the dances,” Len stated.
“But she’s 22,” Mark protested.
“I don’t care that she’s 22,” Len shouted back as the audience booed. “Her job at 22 is to interpret a dance that is 300 years old. It’s your job to help her get through it, not to distract her by creeping all over the floor.”
Still, Len added that he liked their number, something his fellow judges agreed with.
“Technically speaking, it was the best dance of the night!” Bruno Tonioli screamed over the crowd’s reaction to Len, as the pair earned 26 out of a total 30 points.
Not far behind on the leaderboard were two male celebs — Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ralph Macchio — who both upped their game for classical week.
Ralph spent the week working on getting rid of what the judges previously called his scary hands, and amping up his ballroom chemistry with professional partner Karina Smirnoff and it paid off.
While dancing the waltz to the theme from Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Ralph and Karina beautifully recreated the story of forbidden love that ends in tragedy, as they glided across the ballroom, a performance Bruno dubbed, “achingly romantic,” “beautiful” and “heartfelt.”
“You’ve been in the wilderness for two weeks,” Len said, referring to Ralph losing his initial leaderboard top slot to others, recently.
“You’re back!” Len added, as the pair was awarded 25/30.
Ralph told show co-host Brooke Burke later, his boyishly good looks disguise his true passion for winning.
“Nice guys finish where? I’m very, very competitive. In this competition, I’m not looking forward to going home any time soon,” Ralph said.
Hines Ward and his partner Kym Johnson thrilled with their paso doble, complete with pyrotechnics as they hit each move of the Latin number, something the judges couldn’t help but rave about.
“You were in the zone, my friend. Touchdown,” Carrie Ann Inaba said.
While the judges gave them 25/30, the judging panel was actually booed by the crowd, who thought the pair deserved more.
While she didn’t end up in a top leaderboard spot, Kirstie Alley still brought the drama – in the form of her shoe, which partially came off as she waltzed with professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
“You’re the queen of the unexpected mishap,” Carrie Ann said, recalling Maks’ issue last week, a thigh cramp, which interrupted their dance. “Whose shoe comes off?… But you didn’t miss a beat… and you gotta give her credit for that”
Kirstie and Maks ended the night with 22 out of 30 points.
The rest of the scores were:
Petra Nemcova and Dmitry Chaplin tried out the paso doble, which earned them 23/30
Romeo and Chelsie Hightower danced the paso doble to a score of 23/30
Chris Jericho and Karina Smirnoff performed the paso doble and earned 23/30
Sugar Ray Leonard and Anna Trebunskaya danced the Viennese waltz and earned 21/30
Kendra Wilkinson and Louis van Amstel performed the Viennese waltz and earned 18/30