Daniel Durant's rumba with partner Britt Stewart brought his highest marks of the season during Monday's episode of "Dancing with the Stars" — a James Bond-themed competition that even captured a coo from co-host Tyra Banks.
"Alright, we get to see a sexy side and a smooth side of Daniel," Banks said.
In a video clip from rehearsal, Stewart told Durant that she wanted him to play mysterious — which he did during the performance with sly looks, Bond-style glances at his wrist watch, and a near nose-to-nose moment with his partner.
"I'm a method actor," he told co-host Alfonso Ribeiro while waiting for his score. "I love 007 movies. This is an opportunity. I get to act like Bond."
Cheryl Ladd, formerly of "Charlie's Angels," was eliminated this week — the second consecutive episode when she has been ranked as one of the bottom two performers.
The past two weeks have featured intense beats and Durant's fast footwork. This time the duo slowed their moves to the theme song from the Pierce Brosnan-era film "The World is Not Enough." Durant was dressed in a velvet tuxedo coat that matched his partner's dress. Three of the four judges offered the highly sought score of 8 — pushing the couple to a spot near the top of the leaderboard.
"What I loved — you took command of that dance," said judge Len Goodman. "You weren't just hanging on and hoping for the best, you were in complete control."
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba credited Durant, the Duluth actor who was in "CODA," with a performance that was sexy and brilliant with strong technique.
Durant has earned high scores from judges the first two weeks — starting with his debut, a tango to "Barbra Streisand" by Duck Sauce and including last week's hip swivels during the Elvis-themed competition.