LOS ANGELES – It may always take two to tango, but it apparently only takes one arm to tango and mambo.
Cristian de la Fuente and his partner were the top-scoring couple after Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars" performance round, despite an injury to the Chilean television actor's left arm.
De la Fuente dropped partner Cheryl Burke last week when he ruptured a tendon in his biceps, but his doctor cleared him to continue in the ABC-TV dancing competition. Burke choreographed their dances so that de la Fuente mostly used his good arm — including the lifts, which were allowed this round.
The couple pulled it off, using energy and precision (and a glittery support sleeve for de la Fuente during the mambo) to overcome the injury. De la Fuente was clearly favoring his injured arm, which he used only when absolutely necessary and hung limp at other times.
They scored a 28 for the tango, and a near-perfect 29 for the mambo, to lead all contestants in judges' scores at the end of the night. Audience votes in conjunction with the judges' scores were to determine who stays and who goes in Tuesday night's elimination round.
De la Fuente has said he will need surgery to repair the injury, but that he planned to delay the operation so he could continue dancing.