Actor Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke revealed to "Extra" during rehearsal that they planned on toning down the flash and doing something traditional -- and it paid off!
The "Sex and the City" star and his quick-footed partner snagged two perfect scores of 30 for an elegant waltz and a very sexy, butt-shaking salsa in last night's semifinals. Carrie Ann Inaba told the couple that their waltz was "sweet, subtle perfection," while judge Len Goodman exclaimed that their salsa left him "almost speechless," adding, "I wish I had an 11 paddle."
Shawn Johnson nabbed the second place spot, with 56 points, earning a perfect 30 for a snappy tango with partner Mark Ballas. Goodman praised the tiny gymnast for her maturity on the floor -- and said her tango was her best dance yet.
Melissa Rycroft, who fractured a rib two weeks ago, was right behind Shawn with a total score of 55. The former NFL cheerleader performed a quickstep and chacha with Tony Dovolani. Judge Bruno said that their quickstep "wasn't as exhilarating and crispy and zingy as it could have been."
Rodeo rider Ty Murray escaped elimination last week, and brought up the rear with 48 points this week for his samba and Viennese waltz with partner Chelsie Hightower. Murray has improved tremendously throughout the competition, and was praised by the judging panel for his dedication. "No one has struggled more than you and no one, definitely, has tried more than you throughout this series to become a dancer," Len said. Carrie chimed in, saying Ty was "the most valuable player of season eight."
Which dancer will be asked to exit stage right? Find out tonight when "Dancing with the Stars" airs on ABC.