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KARINA SMIRNOFF, RALPH MACCHIO
ABC
Ralph Macchio delivered a salsa with some extra shake on Monday. But the sexy dance was enhanced with padding on his rear end.
By
TODAY contributor
updated 5/16/2011 11:42:57 PM ET 2011-05-17T03:42:57
Recap

The first perfect 30s of the season hit the ballroom Monday night in time for the “Dancing With the Stars” semifinals, but the flawless (or flawless-ish) routines hardly compared to the other action on the dance floor.

Then again, the first big scene-stealer of the night didn’t even happen on the stage.

Rehearsal footage revealed just what tricky moves left pro hoofer Kym Johnson on a stretcher late last week. Determined to give partner Hines Ward every advantage in the semifinals, Johnson choreographed some creative and downright hazardous lifts for their Argentine tango. One such lift went awry when Ward’s full weight came down on Johnson’s neck.

Yikes!

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Good thing for Johnson, the fall looked far worse than it was. By show time, she was able to break out several safer lifts alongside Ward, who for his part excelled at every aspect of the tango. The routine proved to be their best dance in the competition. It left Ward in tears and earned the couple the first 30 of the season (but not for long).

Oh, and during a congratulatory hug, it also led to a quick nip-slip for the pro who’d already had one heck of a week.

(Props to host Tom Bergeron. He maintained his best-live-host-in-the-biz status by somehow graciously body blocking the camera, informing Johnson of the wardrobe malfunction and making it seem like nothing had happened at all.)

Ward and Johnson later followed up the perfect score, if not their perfect moves, with a not-so-hip-shaking salsa.

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The next spectacle of the evening came courtesy of Ralph Macchio. After performing a flat Argentine tango and earning so-so scores — i.e. two 8s and a 9 — early in the show, the ’80s star returned to show off his assets in the salsa. Too bad they weren’t his own.

Yes, Macchio wore a prosthetic rear enhancer, aka Butt Booster, to turn his shapeless backside into a salsa-ready rump. At least that was the idea. What it actually did, as Bruno Tonioli pointed out, was make it look as though the former “Karate Kid” was wearing “extra large diapers.”

Of course, that wasn’t the only fashion faux pas on the dance floor. Moving next to the modified Macchio was pro partner Karina Smirnoff, decked out in an open front, somewhat shaggy, leopard-print catsuit complete with a belly chain and red sparkling bra. No really.

Watch injured 'Dancing' pro make her return

Tonioli had something to say about Smirnoff too, but the folks in charge of the bleep button made sure no one outside of the studio audience heard it. Let’s just say it started with “You were too rough with your …” and it ended with the incredulous judge arguing, “What? A pussy cat?! What is she?”

If looks could kill, Smirnoff would have made sure that was the last “pussy cat” comment Tonioli ever made.

Costumes aside, somehow the judges managed to score the dance despite the distractions and gave it a generous 23 out of 30.

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Chelsea Kane earned her share of attention for the night, and she somehow did it just by dancing. First the Disney Channel star wowed the judges with a less-than-wow Argentine tango with partner Mark Ballas, worth 28 points. Then she topped that with a truly stunning rumba that might have actually merited the perfect score it scraped up.

As for Kirstie Alley, other than a few obligatory late-season rehearsal fights with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, she also let her footwork do the talking. Both Alley’s Viennese waltz and paso doble had the panel raving. But raving or not, Len Goodman and the gang never raised anything higher than a 9 paddle for the actress.

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After each couple put on their primary performances, they came back for more with a winner-take-all cha-cha-cha challenge. Not surprisingly, the real battle came down to the night’s — heck, the whole competition’s — front-runners: Ward and Kane. Both presented top cha-chas, but Kane clearly earned her win and the 15 extra points that came with it.

On Tuesday night, one of the four remaining ballroom contenders will walk away before making it to the finals. If dance alone determines the ouster, Macchio’s time is running out. But if it comes down to a battle of the biggest fan bases, it’s still anyone’s game.

Ree Hines is cha-cha-ed out. This season alone there have been eight individual cha-chas, two team routines and six quickies. Follow @ReeHines on Twitter and tell her what you want to see more or less of in the ballroom.

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Photos: Season 16

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  1. Call the fashion police!

    "Dancing With the Stars" is known for its lively judges, sexy dancers, and of course, its sometimes questionable costumes. Check out some of our favorite odd outfits from the season, and why they may have been better off left in the dressing rooms. -- Anna Chan

    On March 25, Wynonna Judd and pro partner Tony Dovolani donned cop costumes for a sad quickstep that was slower than molasses. Oddly enough, judge Bruno Tonioli "loved the bonkers cop idea." We're not so sure "Fashion Police" boss Joan Rivers would agree. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Throw them a life saver!

    "Bachelor" Sean Lowe and pro Peta Murgatroyd offered up a sloppy jive that left the judges wanting on March 25. But their matchy-matchy yellow outfits only sank them further. Granted, Peta can pull off pretty much any atrocity, but Sean? What's up with those lemon yellow pajama bottoms? Don't lifeguards wear swim trunks? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Stayin' alive

    Head judge Len Goodman got into the theme on April 1 when "DWTS" went back to the prom. Ruffled shirts were never hot, so why not make them hot pink? (Hey, we all know the costume department doesn't always choose the best colors.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Pretty in pink

    Oh, the hair! The one glove! The pink bows on her dress! Co-host Brooke Burke has looked nothing but stunning all season (a surprise, as her wardrobe in the past has been rather questionable). Yet during prom week, she let go of the glam. We'll forgive her this one and only fashion faux pas of the season. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Going to the Y

    While the rest of the "DWTS" cast went to the prom on April 1, Peta and Sean somehow missed the memo and went to the YMCA instead as the Village People. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Prom? So what?

    Every prom has them: the anti-prom kids who are too cool for school. For the "DWTS" bash, that was Wynonna and Tony, who got all rockered out. Normally, we wouldn't take issue with this, but Tony! The mullet! Really?!?!? It's almost as bad as Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Mick Jagger wig from last season! (Nice boots, though.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. She's golden

    As gorgeous as Peta is, even she couldn't quite pull off those questionable gold bell bottoms and giant hair when she and Sean danced a highly praised quickstep on April 15. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Let's boogie!

    On April 22, Team Samba (or as Andy Dick preferred to call it, Team Pickler Dick) took the the ballroom bash with a '70s-themed dance complete with the decade's questionable fashions. Among the low lights? The guys' creepy mustaches. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Not so easy on the eyes

    On Latin Night April 29, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and pro partner Mark Ballas took on a salsa that had the judges raving. What the panel didn't rave about were the seasick green/blue getups both wore. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A little young?

    On May 6, Aly and pro partner Mark were joined by Henry Byalikov for a trio jive full of shimmies and shakes for the 18-year-old gymnast -- and also a saucy red garter. Not that we're prudes, but did we mention yet that Aly's only 18? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. LOUIE ANDERSON, KATHERINE WEBB, WYNONNA JUDD, TONY DOVOLANI
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    Slideshow (13) Worst season 12 'Dancing' costumes - Season 11
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