Photo Credit: ABC
Even critical Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman deemed the April 2 episode "awesome" -- and the scores reflected the heartfelt performances of the 12 remaining contestants.
In fact, the night was so good that there was only a five-point difference between the leaderboard toppers and the five-way tie for the bottom of the ballroom, a respectable 24. And one lucky couple received the first perfect scores of the season. So who was it?
It was Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins and partner Mark Ballas who really impressed the judges on Monday night. The dancing duo scored two perfect 10s and one 9 for a season-high of 29 with their emotional tribute to Jenkins' late father. The theme of the evening was "My Most Memorable Year," and Jenkins selected the year her father died of lung cancer when she was a teen as her inspiration. With tears streaming down her face, she faced the touched judges.
"Sensational!" said a nearly speechless Bruno Tonioli, who along with the weepy Carrie Ann Inaba, bestowed 10s to the couple, with the impressed Goodman awarding a 9.
Watch Katherine and Mark's dance below:
Coming in a close second for the night was Latino heartthrob William Levy, who chose the year his family fled communist Cuba as his momentous year. The soap actor's sexy salsa with partner Cheryl Burke featured his chiseled abs through a conspicuously unbuttoned shirt.
"I hate you!" an admittedly hot and bothered Tonioli yelled. "That was amazing!" Bruno gave Levy and Burke a 10, the third perfect score of the night, with Len and Carrie Ann happy to award the dance a 9 each.
Despite his reported blow up with dance pro Kym Johnson during rehearsals, former child star Jaleel White impressed the judges with his rumba in celebration of the year his Family Matters producers allowed him to play Urkel's smooth operator alter ego, Stefan Urquelle. The pair earned a 25, just behind NFL player Donald Driver, whose 26-scoring dance with Peta Murgatroyd was in memory to the year his best friend died of cancer.
"I was truly touched," Inaba said.
Although there was a five-way tie for last place, there were no major missteps, and most of the couples snagged their highest scores of the competition.
The leaderboard after week three:
Katherine Jenkins & Mark Ballas: 29
William Levy & Cheryl Burke: 28
Maria Menounos & Derek Hough: 27
Donald Driver & Peta Murgatroyd: 26
Jaleel White & Kym Johnson: 25
Roshon Fegan & Chelsie Hightower: 25
Gavin DeGraw & Karina Smirnoff: 24
Gladys Knight & Tristan MacManus: 24
Jack Wagner & Anna Trebunskaya: 24
Melissa Gilbert & Maks Chmerkovskiy: 24
Sherri Shepherd & Val Chmerkovskiy: 24