updated 11/22/2011 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/21/2011 AT 9:30 PM ET
He’s the Kardashian the competition is having trouble keeping up with.
Rob Kardashian saved his best moves for last on Dancing with the Stars, getting a perfect 30-point score at Monday night’s finals and emerging as the unlikely frontrunner going into an anything-goes decision show Tuesday.
With sister Kim Kardashian cheering him on in the ballroom, Rob first delivered a classy waltz for 27 points, then electrified the audience with a daring freestyle that had him lifting and twirling partner Cheryl Burke above his head.
“Brilliant!” gushed Bruno Tonioli after the freestyle dance.
“You’ve just given your all,” added Len Goodman. “Your family should be proud.”
It was not the only performance of the night to get a perfect score. J.R. Martinez shook off an injured right ankle – and a weak opening dance – to give a harrowing hip hop-inspired dance in which he tossed around his scantily clad partner Karina Smirnoff.
“I’m glad you’re safe,” said judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who like the other judges awarded the pair a 10 for the daring routine.
Goodman added, “Two things were revealed: Karina’s body and your talent.”
The dance marked a much-needed reversal of fortune for Martinez, who earlier in the night gave one of his worst performances of the competition with a 24-point cha cha.
Ricki Lake, meanwhile, dazzled with a 27-point freestyle in which she was helicoptered off the dance floor by partner Derek Hough. This followed a cha cha that also earned 27 points.
Said Tonioli: “You’ve never been hotter, you’ve never been sexier.”