Melissa Rycroft Storms Into The Lead On ‘Dancing’

Melissa Rycroft may have missed “Dancing With the Stars” last week due to injury, but she was back with a vengeance on Monday night.

The former “Bachelor” star and her professional partner, Tony Dovolani, topped the leaderboard at the end of competition on Monday after two dances. The couple’s first dance back was the graceful Viennese waltz and it had Bruno Tonioli mesmerized.

“Beautiful, romantic, very ballet-ic, but in the Viennese waltz, you can get away with it,” Bruno said, referencing Melissa’s ballet training.

The two took home 27 for that dance and a perfect score for their final number, a hot samba, which had Len Goodman fired up.

“Tonight is all about who deserves to get into next week’s final,” he said. “You 100 percent should be here next week.”

But while it was good news for Melissa, Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower suffered a setback, scoring just 21 points in their second dance of the evening.

Their first ballroom number – the Argentine Tango, was called “aggressive” by Bruno and netted them 25, but its follow up, a rumba, offered hints the two may not make it back for next week’s semi-final round.

“I wish I could score you on how much you’ve improved, because I would give you a ten easily,” Carrie Ann Inaba sighed. “It was still a little wooden.”

As for the other couples, they all did consistently well. Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas scored a 27 for their quickstep and a 29 for their paso doble. Lil Kim and Derek Hough netted 25 for their waltz and 27 for their salsa. Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke picked up 29 for their foxtrot and 27 for their final number of the evening, a rumba.

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