New Leader Emerges On ‘Dancing,’ Jennifer & Derek Spar During Rehearsal

‬It was TV theme song week on “Dancing with the Stars” and despite the remaining eight celebrities and their partners cutting a rug to some of America’s favorite sunny primetime tunes, the competition heated up like never before.

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough may have earned the highest score of the season last week, taking home a 29 out of 30, but on Monday, the leaderboard had a new pair on top: Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. For the first time in Season 11, Brandy and Maks, who danced a quickstep to the “Friends” theme, managed to take the lead with their charming number that had judge Bruno Tonioli tapping along so enthusiastically, he admitted to breaking his pen.

British judge Len Goodman had no such mishap, but said he loved the pair’s performance. “I’m really impressed with that,” he raved as the pair took home 27 out 30, their “DWTS” personal best. “It was, without a doubt, your best dance. Well done!”

Jennifer and Derek may not have nabbed the top spot, but they did manage a second place finish for the night – despite a tense week of rehearsals, footage of which was featured heavily on the show.

As the two prepped their foxtrot to the theme from “Married with Children,” Jennifer told Derek to “control your temper” in the rehearsal studio, something that set off the 25-year-old dancer.

“My temper? That’s not temper – trust me,” he said.

“I’m gonna take a little walk,” Jennifer, 50, replied, leaving the room for a short break, but eventually returning energized and ready to work.

Their competition dance – watched from the audience by celebrity pals Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael J. Fox and his wife, Tracy Pollan — seemed to suffer from the spat; it wasn’t as neat and tidy as their past performances and netted just 25 out of 30.

While Jennifer and Derek showed off a few cracks, athletes Rick Fox and Kurt Warner both stepped up their performances, with the former basketball star even drafting in some superstar help prior to competition.

During their practice rumba sessions, Rick took partner Cheryl Burke to a Lakers practice to meet coach Phil Jackson and superstar Kobe Bryant, who called the “Dancing” contender, “a total work-a-holic.”

“He’s like a perfectionist,” Kobe added.

On the dance floor Rick showed off that perfectionist attitude as he performed a rumba in a tight-fitting policeman’s outfit to the theme from “Hill Street Blues,” showing off slinky moves that left Carrie Ann Inaba hot under the collar.

“Officer! Officer! I’d like to report a crime,” she said panting, as the pair earned 24 out of 30. “It should be a crime that you can look that good and rumba so well.”

Kurt and his partner, Anna Trebunskaya, also took home 24 out of 30 for a quickstep to “Bewitched” that was both stylish and charming.

“I think I just saw the spirit of Gene Kelly enter the body of [Kurt Warner],” Carrie Ann raved. “You just made that look like it was nothing… and something you’ve been doing all your life!”

As for Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani, who several weeks ago were the first pair to knock Jennifer and Derek from the top spot, their dance – a rumba to “The Hills” theme — lacked a connection, according to Bruno.

“Don’t be plastic, be fantastic – because you can,” he said, as the pair took fifth with 23 points.

While it was a disappointing result for Audrina, Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas fell to the bottom of the pack with a jive to the theme from “The Monkees” that saw the teen activist lose her footwork several times.

The full dances and scores were:

Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced a quickstep to the “Friends” theme and received 27/30

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough performed a foxtrot which earned 25/30 points

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke performed a rumba to the “Hill Street Blues” theme to a score of 24/30

Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya did a quickstep to the theme from “Bewitched,” receiving a score of 24/30

Audrina Patridge and Tony Dovolani did a rumba to the theme from “The Hills” to a score of 23/30

Florence Henderson and Corky Ballas danced a tango to “The Brady Bunch” theme and were scored 21/30

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer fox trotted to the theme from “Charlie’s Angels” to a score of 20/30

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas jived to the theme from “The Monkees” to a score of 18/30

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