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    Best and worst ‘Dancing’ outfits

    From sunshine-colored short skirts to Muppet pelts and cowboy costumes, the stars shone — and groaned — in a variety of skimpy outfits.

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    Don't mind the bathrobe

    When Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff did the rumba, it appeared that Carter was actually dressed for an evening in his armchair and slippers.

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    Hi-ho, Kermit the Frog, here

    See that bright green suit? Yes, Aaron Carter was supposed to be Kermit the Frog, with partner Karina Smirnoff as Miss Piggy. The two quickstepped to "The Muppet Show" theme. Carrie Ann Inaba awarded them one of three 9s from the judges, but even she had to ask, "What's up with the green?"

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    You wouldn't like him when he's angry

    Chuck Liddell found his wild man, which really wasn't too difficult for the Ultimate Fighting Champion, and bared his well-toned chest for the crowd.

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    Urban cowboy?

    Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya performed a country two-step, complete with Western wear, but they didn't lasso up great scores. They received a 17 for the performance.

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    Spectacular sleevage

    Chuck Liddell didn't wear these outrageous flamenco sleeves for long -- once his samba started, he tore them off. Going sleeveless didn't help his performance. Judge Bruno Tonioli called the dance "a samba from Zombietown."

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    Seeing red

    Lacey Schwimmer and Mark Dacascos shone in the paso doble, which capitalized on Dacascos' physicality.

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    Change partners

    Host Tom Bergeron joked that Lacey Schwimmer was in "a very convincing Anna Trebunskaya costume" when Schwimmer was out sick just after Halloween, and Trebunskaya filled in for a samba with Mark Dacascos. The new partner didn't help. Judge Bruno Tonioli said "It was a little like watching 'Kung Fu Panda' does the samba in 'Planet of the Apes'."

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    Muppet pelts

    Debi Mazar wore a skirt of what appeared to be Muppet pelts for her samba to "Love Is In The Air." Unfortunately, the skirt didn't help her performance, and she earned only 17 points.

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    Wild Thing?

    Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke turned out in animal-print costumes for their cha cha 'to "Wild Thing." They only earned 16 points, but judge Bruno Tonioli told the former Republican politician, "You are crazier than Sarah Palin!"

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    Stars and stripes forever

    Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke donned patriotic costumes to samba to "Why Can't We Be Friends?" Burke's dress featured the Democratic donkey symbol, while DeLay had the GOP elephant on his back.

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    The forbidden dance

    Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough did the Lambada in sexy outfits, with Hough going shirtless to boot. "I hope that the children were in bed," joked Carrie Ann Inaba, referring to the sexual nature of the dance. "I bet some of the adults are now," retorted sly host Tom Bergeron.

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    Goddess of love

    Joanna Krupa played up the sexy in her rumba to "Look of Love" with partner Derek Hough.

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    Jive talkin'

    Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas performed a lively jive in red-and-white, dice-flecked outfits. Carrie Ann Inaba told the duo, "(Last week) you were very beige, this week, you were bright red with spots."

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    Ole!

    This year, numerous dancers picked authentic-looking bullfighter costumes for their paso doble performances, and Michael Irvin was no exception.

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    Purple rain

    Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova pulled out the purple for their foxtrot. Irvin later said he picked the color because it reminded him of good times watching Barney, the purple dinosaur, with his children. It must have inspired him, he scored his highest score of the season to date with a 23.

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    Is that Minnie Mouse?

    Kelly Osbourne was decked out as either a little girl or a cartoon character for her jitterbug with partner Louis Van Amstel. Carrie Ann Inaba told the singer "you brought your sense of fun back."

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    Come to the 'Cabaret' old chum

    Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel did a "Cabaret"-style Charleston, with Osbourne dressing as Liza Minnelli and Van Amstel as Joel Grey. The outfits led to plenty of jokes over the sheer amount of makeup Van Amstel was wearing.

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    Daddy's girl

    Kelly Osbourne looked a little demonic, as befitting the Prince of Darkness' daughter, as she danced the paso doble to her dad Ozzy's famous "Crazy Train."

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    Cat scratch fever

    Lacey Schwimmer donned a cat costume when she and Mark Dacascos danced an energetic jitterbug. They earned two 9s and an 8 for the lively dance.

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    Nerd steps out

    Snowboarder Louie Vito and partner Chelsie Hightower danced an enthusiastic jitterbug, with Vito donning nerd glasses complete with tape on the bridge. However, the dance wasn't enough to keep Vito from being sent back to his boards.

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    Cleaning up

    Mya and Dmitry Chaplin did a little dusting and sweeping in character for their jitterbug, which featured Mya in a poofy red and white dress complete with red apron. Stodgy judge Len Goodman didn't like the sweeping and polishing bit, saying he "would rather have you polish up your performance."

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    Vision of elegance

    Mya and Dmitry Chaplin painted a gorgeous picture for their rumba, with the singer in a slinky blue gown and her partner all in black. "You were the embodiment of the supreme seductress," said judge Bruno Tonioli.

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    Sunshiney salsa

    Swimmer Natalie Coughlin wore the colors of sunshine and summer for her first-ever dance on the show, the salsa with partner Alec Mazo. Bruno Tonioli dubbed her "the million-dollar mermaid."

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    Now that's a train

    Natalie Coughlin started out her rumba with partner Alec Mazo in a dramatic pose. "I knew you could fly, but you've gone stratospheric!" crowed judge Bruno Tonioli.

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    Flapper days fly again

    Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson sparkled with their Charleston, in which he played a waiter serving a glass of wine to a flapper.

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    Getting into training

    Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson dressed like train engineers -- assuming female train engineers wear swirly short skirts -- for their jitterbug.

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    Sorry, my dress fell in the shredder

    Donny Osmond was all decked out in a tux, but partner Kym Johnson's gown appears to have met with a few alterations on its way to the ballroom.

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