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 / Updated  / Source: msnbc.com contributor
By By Ree Hines

Back to reality: After earning her third chilly review from the judges following a not-so-romantic rumba Monday night, Kim Kardashian had to know her “Dancing” days were numbered. Bruno Tonioli called her performance “colder and more distant than Siberia,” and viewers evidently felt the same way.

Kim’s exit proved a lucky break for a couple of ballroom hopefuls. After a performance night of largely lackluster dancers, the viewers could have just as easily turned on Rocco DiSpirito or Cloris Leachman. If they don’t step up their steps next week, one of them will likely be the next to leave.

Defense goes on the offense: Warren Sapp brought his “A” game to the ballroom Monday night and made it to the top of the leaderboard. After two promising performances last week, the retired defensive end polished his moves and picked up his feet for an impressive paso doble that inspired Len Goodman to ask for an encore the next night.

Warren shared the top spot with Brooke Burke, who’s still the leading lady of the ballroom. Don’t be surprised if the two split the honor again in the weeks to come. As it stands now, only Toni Braxton offers them any stiff competition.

Weirdest song selection: Performing a passable paso is tough enough without attempting to do so to the soft sounds of a DeBeers commercial. Brooke and Derek Hough deserved extra points for a routine set to Karl Jenkins' rhythm-impaired “Palladio (1st movement),” best known as the Vivaldi-esque song that reminds us all that “a diamond is forever.”

Ridiculous rehearsal moment: It’s only week two and those filler-ific rehearsal segments are back in full force. Rather than devoting more time to their dances (and if this week proved anything, most of them need to), the stars were trotted off for some existential ballroom improvement.

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“Risotto is like the rumba of cooking,” the reality restaurateur explained. “It’s a slowly developing dish, and when it’s finished, it feels like cashmere in your mouth.”

Ah, risotto. It’s both the rumba and the sweater of fine dining.

Judicial smackdown: When head judge Len Goodman didn’t feel the love for Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer’s theme-free, modern take on the paso, he laid the blame at the new pro’s feet.

“I know your game and I know your brain,” the head judge said while pointing an angry finger at Lacey. “Chuck in a couple of twist turns and a chassé cape — keep the old boy happy — and then do a load of stuff that has no relation to the paso doble!”

Ree Hines is a frequent contributor to MSNBC.com.