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OTRC: 'Dancing With The Stars' semifinals: Dance By Dance Recap

TV personality Maria Menounos and her partner Derek Hough received 30 out of 30 points from the judges for their Jive and 29 out of 30 points for their Argentine Tango on week nine of 'Dancing With The Stars,' which aired on May 14, 2012. Her total score was 59 out of 60 points.

Is this the tightest "Dancing With The Stars" competition in the 14 seasons of the show? Head Judge Len Goodman thinks so! The most competitive semi-finals ever? So says host Tom Bergeron. With a quartet of dancers this strong, the judges are going to nit-pick the couple's routines within an inch of their lives to help decide who gets to take home that treasured Mirror Ball trophy.

The celebrities better watch their shanays, rotations, heel leads, extensions and jetes! (After watching this show I can talk the talk... just don't ask what those moves are!) Each couple performed twice, one Latin dance and one ballroom dance. Here's how the final four ranked, from highest score, to lowest.

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough - Jive 30 out of 30 / Argentine Tango 29 out of 30 / Total 59 out of 60

The perfectly matched duo danced their way to another perfect score with their first dance, the Argentine tango. Derek Hough was stressing out over choreography and this week it was her turn to talk him off the ledge. The dance was inventive and fun; head judge Len Goodman said he got totally caught up in the moment. Carrie Ann Inaba told Maria she's had the biggest transformation this season.

They took the dance floor a second time with a quirky jive. Bruno Tonioli loved the Fosse-esque footwork, and Carrie Ann said they had another stunner.

William Levy and Cheryl Burke - Tango 28 out of 30 / Samba 30 out of 30 / Total 58 out of 60

The suave actor is well aware that you can't just be a good dancer for this season's semi-finals; you've got to be great. His first dance is an intense tango that Len called terrific; Bruno praised his animal magnetism; and Carrie Ann loves the way he can combine charm and technique.

For dance number two, Cheryl Burke put together a super sexy samba. He tapped into every bit of his Latin roots for this one and shook his moneymaker for all it's worth during this routine; Bruno said he had "bum envy." Carrie Ann said he went beyond expectations, and Len said William was a lot more than a hunk with junk the trunk. Seriously. He said that.

Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd - Waltz 28 out of 30 / Samba 29 out of 30 / Total 57 out of 60

The big man does the waltz and is excited about bringing that sort of emotion to the dance floor. He and Peta have a real connection and it really shows on this dance. Carrie Ann called the routine dreamy; Bruno told Donald he was light on his feet; and Len called him a big rough tough cream puff. (Pretty sure that was a compliment).

Peta Murgatroyd had him shaking his way through a samba for his second dance. Donald was a little worried about this dance because he says men's hips just don't work this way! Len called it a little hesitant, and gave him a nine. But Carrie Ann and Bruno both gave tens, praising the risk he took and the way he gives his all.

Katherine Jenkins and Mark Ballas - Quickstep 29 out of 30 / Salsa 27 out of 30 / Total 56 out of 60

Her goal this week: to be both classy and sassy! She gets to go down the classy route for her first dance, a 20's inspired fast moving quickstep. Bruno called it picture perfect; and Carrie Ann said Kat didn't bring her "A" game; she brought her "A+" game.

The sassy part came with her second dance, the salsa. Mark Ballas used a snake charmer theme and Kat's costume showed off more skin that ever. The two shook it up like crazy, but at the end Katherine had some sort of back issue. It doesn't look good! Hope she's okay!

Tuesday night, we'll find out our three stars for the finals! Who do you think will get sent home and who will win? Vote in our poll below.

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