It's no surprise that easy-on-the-eyes actor Gilles Marini leaves fans swooning, but it certainly came as a shock when the all-star's latest moves sent one judge crashing to the floor on "Dancing With the Stars."
During Monday night's abbreviated installment of the ballroom bash, Gilles delivered a remarkably sexy rumba alongside pro partner Peta Murgatroyd. He somehow managed to maintain the rhythm of the dance despite the lack of music in the opening half of his guilty-pleasure song pick, Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." Once the chords kicked in, it just got better.
The crowd was so impressed with the routine, they leapt to their feet mid-dance. And judge Carrie Ann Inaba couldn't exactly remain seated either.
"Let the baby making begin!" Carrie Ann exclaimed in a nod to Gilles' promise to inspire plenty of sexy-time with the performance. But no sooner had she said that than her own enthusiasm got the better of her, and she fell right out of her chair.
Gilles kept up his leading-man-worthy moves by rushing to Carrie Ann's aid, helping her up and giving her a quick kiss. But suddenly her condition seemed contagious.
"Me too! Me too!" fellow panelist Bruno Tonioli cried, as he flopped across the judges' table. Gilles rewarded him with a smooch for his theatrical efforts.
The performance -- and perhaps that post-dance triage -- earned the star 29.5 points for the night and the top spot on the leaderboard.
But Gilles wasn't the only attention-getter of the one-hour show. Former champ Emmitt Smith had the in-house audience on their feet during his "Copacabana"-themed samba too.
After weeks of lackluster dances from the retired Hall of Famer, Emmitt reminded "Dancing" fans of all those hip-shaking and shimmying moves he mastered back in season three. It was easily his strongest dance in the competition so far this season.
A recovered Carrie Ann told Emmitt he had "samba swagger," and despite a slight hitch in his timing early on in the number, she and the other judges gave him his best marks this season with a score just one point shy of perfection.
And while actress Kirstie Alley found herself a little farther down the leaderboard than the guys, the night was still a success for her. A quickstep, set to guilty pleasure "Mrs. Robinson," saw Kirstie clip across the floor with great musicality -- and maybe just a little trepidation. The routine was actually less lively than some of the crowd-pleasers she's offered up, but the judges were more interested in seeing some smooth moves from her.
She delivered, and they gave her 25.5 -- another personal high for the "All-Stars."
That left Kelly Monaco as the back-of-the-pack contender for the night with a slightly stiff samba. The 24.5-point dance marked the first time the soap star found herself pulling up the rear all season. And even though the performance wasn't up to her usual standards, it hardly seemed to rate all of the negativity it sparked from the panel.
Head judge Len Goodman criticized the dance for "too much gyrating" and leaning "too much on the raunchy side" for his tastes. Bruno suggested Kelly's bounces appeared "false." And Carrie Ann felt the actress was tense up top (but "working it" down below).
But if the judges seemed a bit tough on Kelly, they certainly were over their nitpicking ways for the last dance of the night.
The first team freestyle to be featured on the show saw Shawn Johnson, Sabrina Bryan, Apolo Anton Ohno and an injured Melissa Rycroft (and their respective pros) hit the floor for a sporty take in ballroom. The men were the jocks, the women were the cheerleaders and together they kicked, leapt and jumped their way through a high-energy -- and at times imprecise -- group effort.
The transition between couples marked the high points of the dance, but judges loved it all.
Bruno claimed it was hard to tell the pros from the stars before he and his fellow panelist handed out a score of 29.5 points.
But that's not all! Well, it was all for Monday night, but on Tuesday night, the performances continue. Rather than a results show, the ballroom will host the second part of the guilty pleasures routines and yet another team dance.
Whose guilty-pleasure performance was the best of the night? Take our poll below and then share your thoughts about the show on our Facebook page. And be sure to join us and your fellow "DWTS" fans on Monday at 8 ET to chat about the all-stars' performances!
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