Actor Gilles Marini danced himself to the top spot after Monday's "Dancing with the Stars" semifinal round. He earned a perfect 60 for the night after he and partner Cheryl Burke earned 10s from all three judges for both the salsa and the waltz.
Gymnast Shawn Johnson received 56 points and "Bachelor" star Melissa Rycroft got 55. Rodeo star Ty Murray is in the bottom spot with 48 points.
The celebrities' fates now rest with viewers whose votes will be calculated with the judges' scores to determine who will be eliminated from the competition on Tuesday's show. Ty received the lowest scores during last week's competition, but fans kept him on the show and rapper Lil' Kim was sent home.
Here's a recap from Monday's show:
Never miss a local story.
Ty wanted to be a cowboy from childhood, according to his parents' video interview before his last dance on Monday night. He brought that same determination to the show and his dancing, wife Jewel said. The determination shows, but the skill is still missing, judges said. He and his partner Chelsie Hightower earned a 23 for their samba, the final dance of the evening.
"You looked like you were dancing on a tightrope and just about to fall off... A great, great, effort." Bruno Toniolo said.
"I vote you most valuable player for season eight," Carrie Ann Inaba said.
"In the ballroom dances, you're Arthur Murray, but in the Latin dances I'm afraid you're like Murray in a hurry," Len Goodman said. (Arthur Murray was a famous dance instructor whose name graces many dance schools across the country.)
Shawn and her partner Mark Ballas jumped on the judges' table at the end of their jive and awarded themselves straight 10s. The judges didn't quite agree. The couple earned nines from Carrie Ann and Bruno and an eight from Len. Their score for that dance was 26, bringing their total score for the night to 56.
After congratulating the band and singers on their great music, Len said, "I like the feeling of the dance throughout... for me, though, there was too much messing-about dancing."
"Very, very strong performance," Bruno said.
"You lost a little steam. It got a little heavier toward the end." Carrie Ann said.
After a somber introduction about Gilles' growing up in the South of France and his father's death giving him the courage to come to America, Gilles and his partner Cheryl Burke performed a perfect salsa.
"I want to see you here next week," Carrie Ann said.
"I am almost speechless. I wish I had an 11 paddle." Len said.
"Lil' Kim is alive and well and she's hiding in your pants... you deserve to be in the final," Bruno said. After learning they'd scored a perfect 60 for the night, Gilles said he wanted to come back for the finals and dance with Cheryl again. She said, "This is your best night ever."
Before Melissa Rycroft's second dance of the night, her parents appeared on screen talking about Melissa's drive and determination. These are the same parents who refused to appear on the "Bachelor" when Jason Mesnick went to Texas for a visit with Melissa's family. Melissa's score for the night was 55.
Melissa's Cha Cha with partner Tony Dovolani earned nines across the board.
"I like my Cha Cha full thrust and full on... At moments you were sensational. At times you don't sustain the energy," Bruno said.
"I'm gonna have to agree with Bruno," Carrie Ann said.
"I liked it but not as much as I was hoping to," Len said.
Melissa's quickstep scored a 28.
"Your feet are much improved. I thought the whole thing was a delight," Len said. He gave the dance a 10.
"This is the semifinals. For me it wasn't as exhilarating and crispy and zingy as it could have been." Bruno said. He gave the couple a 9.
"It doesn't give you joy to do it." Carrie Ann said. She awarded 9 points to the dance.
Gilles and Cheryl scored a perfect 30 for their waltz.
"That is how you start the race for the finals... unbelievable," Bruno said.
"That was breathtaking." Carrie Ann said.
"I'm giving you a sitting-down standing ovation." Len said.
Shawn and Mark received a perfect 30 for their Argentine Tango.
"Precision is your middle name, sister," Carrie Ann said.
"It had an intensity about it... Your best performance," Len said.
"What we've got here is Catherina Zeta Shawn. I'm telling you it was about watching the murderous tango in 'Chicago'," Bruno said.
Bruno and Len got in argument over the Viennese Waltz from Ty and his partner Chelsie Hightower. Len applauded Ty's effort and congratulated him on becoming a dancer while Bruno said the dance wasn't elegant. The judges settled down when Len told Bruno to "sit down already you're getting on my bloody nerve." After the bickering, Ty and Chelsie earned a 25 (Eights from Carrie Ann and Bruno and a nine from Len).
"No one has struggled more than you... to become a dancer... Overall, I though it was fabulous. Well done," Len said.
"Semifinal. Viennese Waltz should be smooth, effortless... it was like chasing flies," Bruno said.
"Ty what I love about you is how you get the whole room generating support for you," Carrie Ann said.
Before the performances started, the show began with footage from earlier rounds in the season and each couple talking about their breakthrough ballroom and Latin dances.
Melissa and Tony chose the foxtrot and samba as their best efforts.
Gilles and Cheryl said the foxtrot and the Argentine Tango were their top dances.
Shawn Mark named the quickstep as their breakthrough ballroom dance and the paso doble as their top Latin dance.
Ty and Chelsie chose the quickstep and Lindy Hop as their best dances.