‘DWTS: All-Stars’ Competitiveness Brings Out Daring Stunts

'DWTS: All-Stars' Gilles Marini 'Flies' into the Ballroom! (Photo: ABC)

Monday night’s “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” theme of recreating iconic performances from past seasons resulted in Season 15’s best routines yet. Although Monday was dominated by the rehearsal drama surrounding Bristol Palin and partner Mark Ballas, “DWTS” fans also witnessed some new iconic moments in the ballroom — as Emmitt Smith pulled off a running slide between Cheryl Burke’s legs, Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough leaped off the stairs and into the orchestra pit, Apolo Anton Ohno took Karina Smirnoff off a pedestal, Maksim Chmerkovskiy worked a rock-star makeover for Kirstie Alley, and Gilles Marini flew through the air to a waiting Peta Murgatroyd.

Slideshow: “DWTS: All-Stars” Wildest Shots

Here was what the stars and pros had to say about the magical moments of Week 3:

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: “It happened so fast,” the football great told xfinityTV about his jaw-dropping ballroom slide between Cheryl’s legs to dramatically end their Mexican-themed Paso doble. “It didn’t feel as hard as I thought it was going to feel. I knew I was going to be able to make it because I made it in dress rehearsal and in Dallas in practice. It was just a matter of pulling it off.” Cheryl said, “I think it’s the first time we’ve ever seen a move like that. I didn’t feel anything. It was like air. I just felt my skirt go woo!” But fans might be interested in knowing that another of the couple’s planned gimmicks, having a donkey onstage with them, didn’t pan out. As the animal, named Jo Jo, approached the ballroom floor, Cheryl said “he got freaked out” and couldn’t complete his DWTS duties. “We weren’t going to do anything with the donkey. He was just part of our scene,” she explained.

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Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: The ex-gymnast and her pro pulled off the trick of the night, falling from the “DWTS” staircases into the orchestra pit area(where we assume producers provided some padding!). Derek recalled to reporters backstage that he had told Shawn, “We’re really going to go out there and give the audience a show. This was a special dance for me.” Shawn, who is used to high-flying ways, said, “It was fun. It was the highlight of the season so far for me.” In addition to the bravura show-stopping ending, Shawn was excited by her opening trampoline move: “The flip at the beginning I was seriously so excited for!”

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Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff: “You saw how much energy there was,” the Olympic speed skater told xfinityTV about his crowd-pleasing foxtrot with Karina, in which she played a statue he pulled down off a pedestal. The dance pro said, “We wanted to do something sexy and show a different side of Apolo, which I think we totally did! ” Apolo said Karina told him she wanted to do the foxtrot over again “because she loved it so much.” According to the skater, “every week gets better and better. Our best is still yet to come.”

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Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: The former “Cheers” actress forced “DWTS’s” resident bad boy to wear a tight outfit, shaggy wig, and heavy makeup to play a rock star for their “Moves Like Jagger” cha cha. After the dance on Monday, Maks joked to xfinitytv that he wasn’t even looking at his phone, fearing messages from people “because it’s going to be like, ‘WHAT were you thinking? What’s wrong with you?!’ “ He said his eye makeup even hurt: “It’s sadistic!” But Kirstie was sure fans loved the bizarre look. Maks sighed of his hair, which rendered the famous pro almost unrecognizable, “she likes it and whatever makes her happy.”

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Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd: The French actor opened his tango with partner Peta Murgatroyd by flying down on trick wires from the “DWTS” ceiling! “It was amazing to fly,” Gilles told reporters afterward. “And everybody should have this experience once in a lifetime. It was really awesome. I felt like Peter Pan but without the green tights.” The former “Brothers and Sisters” star said he wasn’t scared, because he’s already had 17 surgeries in his lifetime. “If I fall on the hardwood floor, I probably break my back, six months later I dance again,” the determined competitor declared.

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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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