Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Foxtrot) - It's been a long time coming, but Ian Ziering is finally coming out of his shell. It's a little late in the competition to be getting to that, but better late than never. The new relaxed attitude was evident right from the beginning. They lacked some of the wow factor we have seen with other couples, but it was a very nice performance. Len thought Ian took a bit of a dip, calling the dance a bit skippy. Bruno agreed with him. He compared Ian to a "jumpy goat." Carrie Ann praised him for his exuberance and charm. Score: 22 (8, 7, 7).
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Waltz) - The waltz lacked the show stopper 'razzle dazzle' that has become Joey's trademark in the competition, but it was a beautiful dance, performed well. And Princess Kym Johnson was stunning. Bruno thought it looked like a rehearsal and wanted more razzle-dazzle. Carrie Ann agreed, saying it was solid technically but lacked Joey's personality. Len thought it was elegant and beautiful. Score: 26 (9, 9, 8) Not bad.
Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff (Foxtrot) - The performance started out looking more like the foxwalk, but Billy did manage a nice set of steps in the middle. We think the fact that Karina Smirnoff has toned down some of the more vulgar aspects of the character was a nice plus, as well. Carrie Ann praised Billy's improvement. Len said it had the most content of any dance Billy Ray has done, but the steps were all wrong. Bruno thought it was the deliciously awful foxtrot on the temple of doom. That's the typical crazy Bruno talk we've become accustomed to, but then he went on to say it was crap. Yikes. Score: 18 (7, 6, 5). That's a reasonable score, and it was followed up by Billy Ray making a point that he didn't appreciate Bruno's rudeness. More on that later.
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Waltz) - Laila's dad was in attendance this week and she dedicated her waltz to him. It was another beautiful performance. The waltz lends itself so well to graceful and elegant dancing. Her blowing the kiss to her father was very touching. The only thing we could take away from it was the finish. They just kind of stopped and walked away instead of dancing to a finish. Len called it elegant and classy, but criticized Laila's posture. Bruno thought it was excellent. Carrie Ann praised the emotion that Laila brought to the dance, calling it profound. Score: 27 (9, 9, 9).
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Tango) - This was a very slick tango, with a lot of credit going to Julianne for the choreography. It had the basic elements of the tango, but with a fresh look that we haven't seen this season. The one problem with it was the music. Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" for the tango? Seriously? There was some fantastic dancing here, but that song couldn't have been more distracting if they had tried. Bruno called it electric, dynamic, and contemporary. He also praised Julianne's choreography. Carrie Ann said everything was perfect. Len thought it lacked passion and drama, saying it was a cacophony of noise, to which Bruno said he was losing his marbles. Score: 28(10, 8, 10)
Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke (Rumba) - Some of the free spirit Ian disappeared with this performance. There were moments where the uber-focused Ian had returned. Possibly more time was spent practicing the other dance, so he wasn't as comfortable coming into this one. Not that it was bad by any stretch. They had some great moments, but those moments were broken up by Ian thinking his way from move to move. Carrie Ann didn't think Ian's passion was authentic. Len liked Ian's poses, but didn't think he was natural. Bruno said it was a great improvement. Score: 25 (8,8,9)
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson (Mambo) - The razzle dazzle was back with this performance, and it worked to full effect. Their synchronization is very impressive. They had very intricate work with their arms as well. That was a fantastic performance. We're happy for Kym that she got Joey for a partner this season. She had a tough go of it last season with Jerry, so it's nice to see her get an opportunity to shine. Len liked the underarm turns and the fact that they broke it on the second beat. Bruno thought they pimped the mambo. Carrie Ann appreciates that Joey has stepped it up and is working hard. Score: 29 (10, 9, 10).
Billy Ray Cyrus and Karina Smirnoff (Mambo) - They were unfortunate to be following Joey and Kym while doing the same dance. It really exaggerated just how far apart these two are when it comes to dancing. For the first half of the dance Billy Ray Cyrus had something going on. He was actually doing the dance. It all kind of fell apart in the middle when he knelt on the floor and just watched Karina dance. Bruno called Billy Ray a wild beast that can't be tamed. Carrie Ann offered the backhanded compliment that Billy Ray makes people think they can do this as well. Len thought it was entertaining, but not nearly as good as the first performance. Before the scores could be revealed, Billy nearly gave Samantha a heart attack as he tried to wrestle away the microphone to speak his peace about Bruno's rudeness. He might have gone too far with it, but he has a point. Bruno was in the wrong. Score: 20 (6, 7, 7)
Laila Ali and Maksim Chmerkovskiy (Jive) - They took a little long to get into their dance, but once they did it was really good. The moves they did in sequence were really together and they had a cute finish. With the scores so close for the top four couples, it is going to come down to a fan vote. It will be interesting to see if Laila has been able to win over enough of the fans. As far as the dancing is concerned, she has certainly done enough to put herself in the running. Carrie Ann called it clever and spunky. Len praised Laila, but didn't like the opening. Bruno agreed with Len. Score: 26 (9, 8, 9)
Apolo Anton Ohno and Julianne Hough (Paso Doble) - The dance of the night. Julianne made a small bobble on her big slide in their opening sequence, but other than that this was a perfect performance. It was theatrical, well choreographed, danced wonderfully, and had the fire and passion required for the paso. At this point I'm ready to give Julianne the MVP (Most Valuable Professional). I think she is getting more out of her partner than anyone else. Len thought it had everything he wanted to see. Bruno said that was a champion looking at the finish line. Carrie Ann had chills. Score 30 (10, 10. 10) A perfect score to cap off a great night.