"Bachelor" contestant Melissa Rycroft returned to the "Dancing with the Stars" dance floor Monday after an injury left her sidelined last week. She and the other celebrities had to perform two dances including one 15-second solo. Each was required to do one ballroom dance and one Latin dance in the two-hour show.
Melissa showed no signs of pain earning a total score of 57 thanks to her perfect 30-point samba which ended the show. What made the bachelorette able to dance her way to the top spot despite the hairline fracture of her ribs?
"We knew how to practice this week. We knew it was a pain-management issue and we had the mentality that if I couldn't do it during practice then we weren't even going to put it in the dance." Melissa said.
Rodeo star Ty Murray faces possible elimination during Tuesday's show after earning the lowest score of the night with 46 points.
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Gymnast Shawn Johnson and actor Gilles Marini were tied with 56 points and rapper Lil Kim had 52 points.
Here's a recap of Monday's show:
The show started with Shawn and her professional dance partner Mark Ballas dancing the quickstep. Judges gave Shawn 27 points (a nine from each judge).
"We really saw your personality," Len Goodman said. However, because Shawn and Mark broke the hold several times during the dance, the couple faced a point reduction. "You must stick to those rules," Len added.
"You danced like Sporty Spice," Bruno Toniolo said.
"I think this week was your best dance ever," Carrie Ann Inaba said before she remarked that breaking the hold would cost Shawn one point from each judge.
No rules were broken in Shawn's paso doble which received 29 points. Carrie Ann and Bruno gave her 10s and Len awarded the dance a nine.
"Fantastic, powerful, great job," Carrie Ann said.
"It had great footwork. For me it wasn't over-exciting," Len said.
"You showed us tonight that you have the killer instinct," Bruno said.
Rodeo star Ty Murray and his partner Chelsie Hightower did a tango worth 25 points. (A nine from Len and eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno).
"You won't let anyone down with your strength and determination," Bruno said.
"You have come so far... (but) it was still a little stiff," Carrie Anne said.
You captured the flavor and the essence of the dance... you came out here and you produced your best dance," Len Goodman said. He was pleased with the "story" of the dance which cast Ty as a cowboy and Chelsie as a lady of night.
Ty's second dance was a rumba in which he used his 15-second solo to walk-dance to wife Jewel sitting in the front row. He did a sexy little hip shake in front of her before pulling her on stage for a kiss. The dance scored 21 points, sevens from each judge, but Ty and Chelsie were pleased that their score was higher than 19, their goal.
"The score wasn't great, but I'm hoping that solo pays dividends later," Ty said. Jewel was then showen on screen fanning herself.
"I thought it had charm. I thought it was very sweet at the end going up to Jewel... but that first dance you were a peacock, now you're a feather duster," Len said.
"You can't confuse likability with ability," Bruno said. He referred to Ty as one of the most likable contestants the show has ever had.
"It was a very creative way to escape the solo," Carrie Ann said.
Rapper Lil' Kim and Derek Hough danced the waltz for 25 points (eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a nine from Len).
"You had a lot of missteps." Carrie Ann said.
"I was so shocked at the quality of that dance." Len said.
"You tried to be a lady, but you're more comfortable being a tramp," Bruno said to a gasping audience. "I meant it in a nice way," he insisted.
For her second dance, a salsa, Lil' Kim earned 27 points (nines from each judge).
"You spin my head right round baby... You are in your element," Bruno sang.
"Not in the history of this show have I seen a booty shake like that." Carrie Ann said before calling the solo a little "flailing."
"You and salsa go together like spotted dick and custard. It's absolutely delicious," Len said. (Spotted dick is an English dessert with dried fruit such as currants.)
Gilles Marini and his partner Cheryl Burke earned 29 points for their foxtrot. (10s from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a nine from Len.)
"You can't help but enjoy watching that performance, but on the foxtrot you have to straighten your legs on occasion," Len said.
"As a performance this was absolutely in a class of its own," Bruno said. "You reached to every person in this audience."
"Len, I think you're crazy. I think performances like that are taking you right into the semi-finals." Carrie Ann said.
Gilles' second dance was a rumba. He earned 27 points (nines from everyone).
"You don't have to try that hard, Gilles. I felt it was over the top," Carrie Ann said of the moon-walk like solo.
"I don't know how it looked at home in high definition, but it certainly looked fantastic here in the studio... I didn't like that silly walking bit," Len said.
"It ended up like ravaged by the savage," Bruno said.
Melissa Rycroft and her partner Mark Ballas danced the Viennese Waltz for 27 points (a nine from each judge).
"You really used your arms like an angel," Bruno said.
"You have natural grace, it's wonderful," Carrie Ann said.
"Romance. Musicality. Great extension of the arms and legs. I'm still not a big fan of your feet," Len said.
Melissa's samba earned the only perfect 30 of the night.
"Tonight is all about who deserves to get into next week's semi-final... and you 100 percent should be here next week," Len said.
"Your samba has got everything anybody can possibly want," Bruno said.
"I feel that I have to point out the flaws so you can work on them... it's the flaws that are going set everybody apart next week. I say take the week off. Flawless," Carrie Ann said.