Earning her first 10s of the season, Needham's Aly Raisman livened up Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars" with her high-energy salsa. The Olympic gold medalist worked the crowd with partner Mark Ballas during Latin Night, garnering praise from the judges.
Though Raisman rehearsed with another partner this week because Ballas suffered a back injury, the pair tied with country singer Kellie Pickler and partner Derek Hough for the highest individual score of the night.
"That was the spice of my life," judge Bruno Tonioli said about Raismanís dance. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she loved it, and as for judge Len Goodman? "Well it was like a Tequila Sunrise. It was sharp and fruity. It was tasty and refreshing," he said, noting he would have liked her to perform more recognizable salsa moves. As for Raisman, she told host Brooke Burke that she loves being on the show. "I'm having a blast," she said, before learning she received a total of 29 points out of 30. Later in the night, Raisman unanimously won the show's first-ever dance-off challenge when she performed the cha cha against comedian Andy Dick and Sharna Burgess.
Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough, who were granted immunity from Tuesday's elimination because of their status as the overall top scorers, impressed the judges with their spirited samba, but Inaba had some words of wisdom for the former "American Idol" contestant. "When you dance, I see perfection in every single dance you do," she said. But she also said that Pickler's dance was so pristine it didn't have enough emotion. Goodman said he couldn't agree. "I thought it was brilliant," he said. Meanwhile, Tonioli said it was the perfect balance between technique and performance.
Other memorable moments included "Bachelor" Sean Lowe's sexy rumba with Peta Murgatroyd, which caused Tonioli to dub it "50 shades of Sean," earning him a total of 24 points. Disney star Zendaya and partner Val Chmerkovskiy performed the paso doble. "Darling, you look like an angel. You dance like a fury," Tonioli said. "You lost it a little bit, but I'm telling you you're a terrific dancer." The teen contestant still managed to earn 27 points. Jacoby Jones and partner Karina Smirnoff also earned 27 points with their salsa. "General Hospital" star Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson earned 25 points with their rumba, while Andy Dick and partner Sharna Burgess brought a more comedic twist to their rumba, earning them 17 points.
Tuesday night's results show at 9 p.m. on ABC will profile Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dance teacher at Bostonís Arthur Murray Studios who host Tom Bergeron said is determined to make a return to the dance floor after losing her foot during the Boston Marathon bombings.
Who should go home? How is Raisman doing? Will Andy Dick remain a crowd favorite despite his technical flaws? Share your "Dancing" predictions here in the comments.
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Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
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