First of all I have to say that I am absolutely loving this season's more level playing field; it's the first time in ages that we really have a horse race, and there will be changes at the top of the leaderboard that are organic and not producer or judge induced.
I couldn't understand the rationale for the dance assignments pre-show, and why they gave so many couples the rumba, but I'm sure it's because the celebs each selected their music first, and then a dance was chosen by the producers to go with it, and since most of the "stories" were sad and about loss, almost everyone chose ballads, which mostly only lend themselves to rumbas. Although it was a nice idea, and gave us more personal insight into each celeb, I don't think some of the music choices fit the dance (or any ballroom or latin dance) that well. I personally want to see a sexier rumba, and with the exception of Kendra, none of the other four songs were appropriate for that IMO.
The most enjoyable performances for me were the two highest scored ones. I agree with Len that Petra's was breathtaking, and I hope it gets the encore. I suspect that she is not long for this competition, so I'm glad she got a chance to really shine. I think Hines became the front runner last night because I think he will excel at both latin and ballroom, whereas I sense that Ralph will kill at ballroom, but will struggle with "sexy", ie cha cha and samba specifically, and possibly paso. I thought his rumba was appropriately scored, because he looked no better than Chris, and there was virtually no hip action, which that dance is all about. Compared to his 2 prior performances, it was a letdown for me. OTOH, Kirstie was a trouper and better than I expected at rumba and she looked lovely in that costume; I think she would have gotten at least all 8's and maybe a 9 if not for the fall.
I feel bad for SR, and was glad the judges were kind to him; he's an icon who is not used to losing, and this experience must be humbling for him. He also seems to be a nice guy and not at all arrogant, but he just isn't on the level of most of the others. He deserves to outlast Wendy however, and I really hope he does. I am just ready for her to go; her improvement is minimal, her dancing is a snoozefest, and even her personality is coming across as either aloof or subdued at best. Not fun.