Week five of Dancing with the Stars offered plenty of surprises, with Donny Osmond earning the highest score and Maks Chmerkovskiy — eliminated earlier this season — returning to the ballroom to dance with Joanna Krupa after her partner Derek Hough came down with a bad case of the (non-swine) flu.
The final 10 couples performed and it was the show’s oldest remaining competitor, 51-year-old Donny, who scored big with partner (and OK! blogger) Kym Johnson with a near-perfect 29. All the celebrities did a ‘70s group hustle number this week, which might have been a good omen for Donny, who had his first big solo hit, “Puppy Love,” in 1973!
But amazingly, it was his passionate, sexy Argentine tango that put the wholesome Osmod atop the DWTS leader board. Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli both gave him a perfect score of 10. Although judge Len Goodman awarded him a nine, he told Donny it was “truly your best dance.”
“It’s surreal,” an excited Donny told OK! after the show. “During rehearsals, it was tough. She kept cracking the whip.” And clearly, Kym’s pressure worked!
Meanwhile, supermodel Joanna and Derek — who stunned the ballroom last week when he took his shirt off for their sexy lambada — were unable to dance together Monday when he got the flu. Show watchers wondered if the shirtless scene made the young dancer ill, but Derek denied it, saying, “No. I think it was just that on Wednesday night, we had a 15-hour day. I had five rehearsals that day, starting at 8 and I didn’t get home ‘til one in the morning. It was crazy and I woke up in the morning and I was drenched [in sweat].”
“My body’s still not there,” he told OK!. “I definitely want to be back next week if she makes it to next week. We’ll be doing the waltz which I’ve been looking forward to.”
Derek admitted that watching Maks dance with Joanna was “odd and strange, uncomfortable, different, but they did a great job together.”
Joanna and Maks scored a 24 for their Argentine tango, which was marked down only because the hunky pro stumbled during the dance when she had her leg in the wrong position.
“First, to me, it felt like no pressure,” Maks told OK! about coming back to the show as a substitute dancer for Derek. “I’m saying, she’s not my partner. And then I’m like, no, no, no, it’s just as important and I want to do a great job given the circumstances.”
Maks said he and Joanna were only able to rehearse the entirely new routine for a little over a day. When asked how he felt about the bobble, Maks said he was “pissed as a motherf—–, no I’m just kidding! It’s a live show. I wanted to give her her first ten and we were a stumble away from it, I believe. But it’s in the stars she’ll get her ten with Derek.”
The newly single hunk also said he had no thoughts of raising the score by ripping his shirt off: “I’ve done seven seasons. I’ve taken shirts off enough. This was a very real Argentine tango performance.”
Joanna said, “I was so into it!” The model, who was quoted before the season as saying she was glad Maks wasn’t her partner, because he was impatient, claimed the comment was taken out of context and denied she ever felt negative towards the dance pro. She couldn’t have been happier how the substitution worked out this week: “He’s really been patient and positive. I’m very grateful.” Maks smiled, “I was glad to help!”
Aaron Carter, who was dissed by Maks earlier in the season for appearing arrogant, told OK! he was pleased with their 24 score in the Argentine tango. After a couple of bad weeks, the former teen star said, “I listened to the critiques. I want to do better. I want to try to win this. Right now, I’m not winning at all. I’m getting my butt kicked. It’s very humbling but at the same time, now I know not to put the cart before the horse.” When asked if he would take his shirt off on the show, like Derek has done, Aaron laughed that it’s possible: “we’ll see. Derek and I are very similar in body features and attributes.”
Meanwhile, the longtime leaders, singer Mya and partner Dmitry Chaplin, once again looked impressive, scoring a 27 for their Argentine tango. Bruno raved that the dance had a “great air of sophistication.” But the two were marked down slightly, because, as Carrie Ann said, Mya was lacking “an emotional connection.”
“Tonight it was success. No stumbles,” Mya told OK! backstage. “I am so happy and relieved it’s over.”
Louie Vito and partner Chelsie Hightower were improved from last week, with a score of 22 for their Argentine tango. The snowboarder was stoked, telling OK! backstage, “That was the best that I’ve done. We got some good feedback and Chelsie was happy.” More interesting, perhaps, to DWTS watchers is that Louie and Chelsie were looking extremely close during rehearsals — and after Monday night’s show, they had their arms draped around each other.
Chelsie still insists they’re just friends and is shrugging off the romance rumors. “People are already talking,” Chelsie laughed. “We get along really well and we’re keeping it professional.”
Louie added, “She took the words right out of my mouth!”
Swimmer Natalie Coughlin and partner Alec Mazo also scored a 22 on Monday night.
“I wasn’t really happy with the score but I loved that dance start to finish,” Natalie told OK! of her paso doble. “I tried to get into the character.”
If they avoid elimination, Natalie and Alec plan to watch video of their dance to assess what went wrong Monday night.
Football star Michael Irvin and pro Anna Demidova landed in last place for their paso doble, putting them in danger for tomorrow night’s elimination. But they were nonetheless happy with their score of 21 because the judges said it was their best ever.
“We enjoyed it. It was the highest score we’ve gotten,” Michael told OK! “That means we’re making improvements.”
Anna added, “We felt like we put everything in it. We’ll see what the fans thought.”
As far as the other dancers stacked up, Iron Chef star Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer got a strong 26 for their paso doble, Melissa Joan Hart earned a 23 for her Argentine tango with partner Mark Ballas, who was feeling under the weather this week, and Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel took home a 24 for their dramatic paso doble done to her father Ozzy Osbourne’s hit song, “Crazy Train.”
Tune in tomorrow, as the pros will perform a dance tribute to Michael Jackson — and one couple will get their walking papers.
By Carole Glines