"Dancing with the Stars": Nicole Back on Top

In this publicity image released by ABC, Nicole Scherzinger, left, and her partner Derek Hough perform on the celebrity dance competition series, "Dancing with the Stars," on Monday, April 26, 2010 in Los Angeles. AP Photo/ABC, Adam Larkey

Nicole Scherzinger secured a place for herself in next week's semi-finals after earning her first perfect score on Monday night's episode of "Dancing with the Stars."

The Pussycat Dolls singer wowed the judges and received a standing ovation from the audience after dancing to a 1950's inspired paso doble. Judge Bruno Tonioli said her performance was full of color, and it left judge Carrie Anne Inaba at a loss for words.

"There was nothing I could see to criticize," said judge Len Goodman

The two-hour dance special saw the remaining five celebrities and their professional partners dance two separate routines; a traditional ballroom dance and a Latin dance infused with the characteristics of a specific era.

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Chad Ochocino and his partner Cheryl Burke first danced to a tango that came across as choppy and disconnected. Goodman said it needed more refinement and Inaba agreed with him, but saw the potential.

Later, the two stepped up their game a bit and entertained the crowd with their 1960's inspired jive. They received a higher score, giving them a total of 45 points.

Comedian Niecy Nash once again fell to the bottom and earned a cumulative score of 43 points. Overall, the judges weren't too thrilled with her Viennese waltz and 1990's inspired paso doble. Both of her performances lacked precision and failed to show any technique or grace. Tonioli said Nash's flailing arms during her Waltz made it look "like she was being chased by a swarm of wasps."

ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and Olympic figure skater Evan Lysacek both earned a cumulative score of 53 points from the judges. Andrews danced a solid Argentine tango and a 1980's inspired rumba. The judges all said she had performed well.

"I think you should be in the final," said Tonioli.

Lysacek's first dance was a waltz. It was technically sound. Later, he danced a futuristic cha-cha that won a standing ovation from the crowd and high praise from Tonioli.

"It couldn't be any more futuristic. It was very inventing, very creative," he said.

The judge's scores are only half the tale. Tomorrow night, the Gypsy Kings will perform and we'll find out who the viewers want off and who they want to go through to next week's semi-finals.

  • Joyce Lee

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