Dancing with the Stars Judge Picks His Favorites

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First, Shanna Moakler made her selections.

Now - heading into the third round of Dancing with the Stars this week - judge Bruno Tonioli knows one thing for sure: "This year it's so close. There isn't a clear runaway person."

Tom DeLay on DWTS

Instead, Tonioli says there are four stand-out dancers this season.

Apolo Ohno, for one, is "a natural," says the Italian dance maestro. "Apolo is a great performer. He just lights up the room."

Pro boxer Laila Ali "is just Miss Fascination" in Tonioli's eyes. "She's voluptuous and stunning. She's a real woman and it's wonderful to have someone so beautiful. She should be a role model."

Meanwhile, he says that Ian Ziering is "a great performer" and is "improving every week."

However, if it were up to pure entertainment alone, "Joey Fatone is great fun," Tonioli says.

Sorry, Heather Mills. You aren't among the favorites. As for those who are, the Dancing with the Stars judge says: "They're almost at the same level. They have to really polish their technique. There is a very little margin so every week if they get the dance wrong, they misjudge a performance, they do some mistakes, everything can change."

As for the weakest performer, Tonioli doesn't think NBA star Clyde Drexler is living up to his nickname on the dance floor after delivering a less-than-scintillating jive last week.

"We love him, [but] he wasn't the best dancer," says Tonioli. "Obviously Clyde is a great man. He has a huge fan base and people would like to see him."

But unless he somehow becomes as adorable as Sanjaya Malakar overnight, this will probably be the last week dancing for the ex-NBA great.


Dancing with the Stars Quotes

We should have started dancing with one arm waaay before.

Cristian de la Fuente [following his injury, trip to the hospital and subsequent stellar performance]

I am not the best dancer, and I have not been the best dancer from the beginning. I am happy we made it this far.

Cristian de la Fuente