She’s been injury-plagued throughout the season, but on Monday night, Maria Menounos overcame her troubles to top the leaderboard with Derek Hough on “Dancing with the Stars.”
After a week of hard training with Derek – the kind that left her in tears – Maria hit the floor with a paso doble. The sharp and slick dance impressed and, for the first time in Season 14, got judge Len Goodman to turn his No. 10 scoring paddle around.
“The queen of the damned is the queen of the night,” fellow Bruno Tonioli said, referencing the competitor’s costume for the evening, which included vampire fangs, as she took home a perfect score.
Later, after a team tango dance score of 27, the pair rocketed to the top of the leaderboard for the night.
Not far behind, though, was Season 14 frontrunner Katherine Jenkins, who churned out a moving rhumba with partner Mark Ballas, in costumes that co-host Tom Bergeron suggested were straight out of “Game of Thrones.”
Their number was close to perfect, with each judge deducting just one point each for a total of 27. Another 27 points in the team tango round landed the pair with a 57-point total and second for the night.
Like Maria, William Levy has suffered his share of injuries over the season, hurting his ankle, but he danced through the pain to a moving Viennese waltz, which took Len on a journey.
“I wasn’t exactly transported to Vienna, but it was close. I was transported to Austria,” the Brit laughed as the duo was awarded 27 points. A further 26 points in their team paso doble round gave them a total of 53 and a tie for third with Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd.
While there was a shakeup at the top of the leaderboard, it was the viewers who were left shaken up following the team rounds.
In particular, three of the men on the show – Donald, William and pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy – took off their shirts during their team paso doble, leaving Carrie Ann Inaba panting.
“That was ridiculous to watch,” she said. “I think that is gonna go down in history as the fan favorite paso doble.”
In fact, even Len was left a little wide-eyed by the number.
“The saying is, ‘Dress to impress.’ You three undressed to impress,” he laughed.
The leaderboard on Monday, April 30, was:
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough earned 30 for their paso doble and another 27 for their team tango dance for a total of 57/60
Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas were scored 27 for their rhumba and earned another 27 in the team tango dance for a total of 54/60
William Levy and Cheryl Burke earned 27 for their Viennese waltz and another 26 for their team paso doble for a total of 53/60
Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were scored 27 for their Viennese waltz and picked up another 26 points for their team paso doble for a total of 53/60
Roshon Fegan and Chelsie Hightower were awarded 25 for their Argentine tango and another 27 points for their team tango for a total of 52/60
Jaleel White and Kym Johnson earned 24 points for their Viennese waltz and another 26 points for their team tango for a total of 50/60
Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were awarded 21 for their Argentine tango and picked up 26 points for their team paso doble for a total of 47/60