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Dancing With The Stars: Marini & Rycroft Steal Show

Mar. 17 2009, Published 11:32 a.m. ET

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As the new season of Dancing With The Stars heats up, two competitors are starting to distance themselves from the pack -- the damsel in distress from The Bachelor and the hunky naked guy from Sex And The City.

First, there's Melissa Rycroft. The brunette beauty, after being publicly dumped on The Bachelor finale, has made a seamless transition to DWTS, boosted by her natural dancing talents (Rycroft is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader), elegant looks and carryover sympathy.

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Judge Len Goodman praised Rycroft her vibrancy and rhythm, saying, "I was gyrating on the sea... it was the salsa of the night."

While Rycroft's score (26) continued her white-hot momentum, she was actually upstaged by Sex's Gilles Marini, who one-upped her with a score of 27 -- all the while suffering from a separated shoulder.

The judges enjoyed the French star's quickstep interpretation of Three Doors Down hit Kryptonite, pointing out his intercontinental sex appeal, and natural take to ballroom dancing.

Other notable performances were turned in by actress Denise Richards, Olympian Shawn Johnson and hip-hop songstress Lil' Kim.

Tonight's results show will determine the first couple to be voted off the ballroom floor, but you can be sure Marini won't be saying "Au Revoir" anytime time soon.

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