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It was another two dance night with the competitors just a week away from the semi-finals. The ballroom looked great, but the Latin had nearly everyone a little bit off. This week is also the first time in any season that the competitors have been allowed to do lifts before the freestyle.

Here’s the rundown of tonight’s dances. The couples are in the order of their initial performance:

  • Kristi & Mark: (Ballroom: Quickstep) It was sharp with a good lift and it had a fun feel to it overall. (Latin: Samba) The spin into a drop was great, but the rest of the dance looked just a bit out of sync for them (Carrie Anne noticed it too, so I was glad it wasn’t something I made up.
  • Mario & Karina: (Ballroom: Viennese Waltz) It was like there were two dances here, the one before the lift and the one after the lift. The seconds that came after the lift I loved; before that I was bored. (Latin: Jive) I liked the energy here. The lift was awkward though and cost Mario from sticking the final pose. Granted he looked comfortable with it… but I felt the judges over scored him here.
  • Marissa & Tony:(Ballroom: Foxtrot) She looked gorgeous and her silver/gray dress. I thought she looked like she danced right out of a movie musical, just check out that picture at the top of the post! Unfortunately, the judges were not as swept away as I was. (Latin: Mambo) I liked the routine a lot, although I did not like the music selection at all. I thought she did a solid job though and was under scored.
  • Jason & Edyta: (Ballroom: Tango) Impressive! It was strong and bold and he was in command. The lift was also fantastic. I agreed with Carrie Anne’s “interestingly great” review. (Latin: Samba). The samba did no favors to the leaders tonight. Jason was better than Kristi, but it was still not quite right and often came across as more of a Rumba (I agreed with the Bruno’s take on that).
  • Cristian & Cheryl: (Ballroom: Tango) Very well done. The one-arm lift came off great and looked as natural as anything. He had good choreography, but he seemed in an odd character during the dance. That Carrie Anne gave him a 10, the same score as Jason, seemed out of place. It just wasn’t that good. (Latin: Mambo) Sizzling! Cheryl did good by him again with amazing choreography and another one-arm lift that looked as effortless and common as anything else. He got his highest scores ever and ended up at the top of the leader board… deservedly so!

Best dances: For Ballroom it goes to Jason for the Tango. In Latin it’s Cristian. For the bottom two… another tough call. I’m going with Marissa and Mario. Going home: I fear for Melissa since she’s bottom of the leader board, but she’s been saved before and I saw want her in the semis next week. I’m going to go with (and cross my fingers) for it to be Mario that everyone has grown tired of.

Results Show Update: YAY MARISSA! Safe! It was so awesome that she was announced as safe in the first round of elimination. I clapped. I did get it right that Mario was the one to go. Not sure if I nailed the bottom two though because they were cautious to say with Jason and Mario standing together at the end that they were not necessarily the bottom two.

It was a great celebration for the 100 episodes tonight. The top 10 dances show at 8 was great, except the stuck in Kelly Monoco’s dance that was scored a 10 and shouldn’t have been. The rest of the dances were good choices. The actual results show was jammed packed. It was awesome to see Mario Lopez and the cast of A Chorus Line do two of the show’s iconic numbers. The Rascal Flats performances with Apollo & Julianne and Mel & Maks were both wonderful (although I wondered if Mel & Maks missed a cue somewhere because they didn’t dance in the first chorus which is the usual pattern).