On the heels of Sabrina Bryan’s shocker elimination last Tuesday on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” many looked forward to the breather of no elimination this week. With the election looming, would our All-Stars act motivated or lackluster? At any rate, they would have to multitask on Monday with their fusion dances combining two different styles in one.
The troupe opened the show with a fusion dance of their own, illustrating different styles of dance.
Hilariously, during the parade of stars, Shawn Johnson walked down the stairs accompanied by both her partner, Derek Hough, and his substitute for the week, Mark Ballas. You’ll recall that Derek had to take a week off because of a neck injury so his pal (and former Bristol Palin partner) Mark was coming back to the ballroom. The other new segments this week would be funny faux political ads featuring the celebrity dancers and promos for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff: Cha Cha/Paso Doble:
Apolo told Karina it was time for them to move to the front of the pack. He was calling the dance Pa-Cho in rehearsal and the speed skater seemed frustrated as he wasn’t fully absorbing the fusion theme. But when they started the performance, Apolo looked totally confident as he steered Karina through some sexy cha cha moves. He stripped his shirt off for the first time this season and the dance became very aggressive with Apolo looking like the athlete he is. It was all attack! Both seemed happy with the dance when they were done. The verdict? Len Goodman said there was nothing safe about their fusion dance. “Oh-yes,” he said to Oh-no. Bruno Tonioli said he should be in Twilight, in a reference to his great body. Carrie Ann Inaba pointed out he’d never taken off his shirt ever on the show. What did she think about the dance itself? “It started off strong and ended stronger,” Carrie Ann concluded. Host Tom Bergeron announced that next week, TWO celebrities would be eliminated.
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Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: Rumba/Samba
Cheryl was grumpy about their foxtrot getting poor reviews last week. In rehearsal, the football great found it difficult switching from one style to the next and having to count out the different beats. Producers showed Emmitt at home with his wife and three kids, which revealed to fans the human side of the season 3 champ. Dressed all in pink for his performance, Emmitt seemed at ease in this dance, much more so than last week. He made it look easy with all his turns. According to Bruno, it was a smooth and balanced blend. Carrie Ann applauded the way he went back and forth between the rumba and samba but she didn’t like his upper body. Len said HE couldn’t have done as well in that dance. But did he deserve a higher score than Apolo, who seemed to have a higher degree of difficultly?
Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Quickstep/Samba
Kirstie told Maks that the best dancer rarely wins the show so she still seemed to think she had a shot at that mirror ball. The former Cheers star plunged into helping Hurricane Sandy victims this week by getting together packages for the East Coast; Maks, who has lived in New York for much of his life, joined his partner in the effort. They started their dance with Maks sitting on a throne and Kirsite as the chambermaid who joins Maksin the dance. Kirstie seemed a little uncertain and lost in the moves, like she was watching her feet or counting too much? They ended the dance with Kirstie sitting in Maks’ lap, back on his throne. Carrie Ann said Kirstie got completely lost in the samba part of the dance; Len thought it was a nice mix but there were one or two “incidents”; Bruno said whatever she did was entertaining. He called her Cinderella—was that who she was supposed to be? KIrstie said the score was generous and proclaimed she loved “incidents” as Maks shook his head with bemusement.
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Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: Cha Cha/Foxtrot
The two had the lowest cumulative scores last week but still made it through and they were all smiles. Val told Kelly he’d like to keep the connection with her once the show was over. “What Val and I have is unexplainable, but it just works,” Kelly said. They keep hinting at a romance but I still hear she has a boyfriend. Anyway, their dance started with a Singing in the Rain homage with an umbrella and fake rain. Val removed one of Kelly’s skirts to display a shorter one and she stripped off his shirt during the dance. Kelly did her trademark splits and they ended on a bench with Val popping open a box with a ring inside and asking her to marry him (in the DANCE, people!). It couldn’t have been more cute and light. Len said they captured both dances very well but there was a small incident in the foxtrot part of the dance. Bruno thought it was both sophisticated and cheeky. Carrie Ann said she recovered well from her little mistake: “overall, really beautiful.” Val told Brooke Burke-Charvet backstage that everyone could expect “children” from them soon! If it’s a showmance, it’s a great one!
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovloani: Cha Cha/Tango
Last week, this couple was pelted with 10s for their sweet country week dance and they vowed to keep their success going on week 7. Melissa got overwhelmed during practice and took a break while Tony talked to his wife back East, checking up on the Hurricane situation. Then on to their dance in which the two looked tough this week in black outfits and Melissa’s body rocked with a sparkly belt around her waist. Then, her costume disappeared in the whoosing lights and she wound up finishing the dance in a silver fringed number. What was with all the stripping tonight? It was becoming distracting. But I couldn’t argue with the dance–the former Bachelor star twirled like a professional. She had totally pulled off all the fast moves and if there were any mistakes, I certainly couldn’t see them. The judges confirmed this: Bruno said she was on fire; Carrie Ann declared Melissa a star; and Len thought it was beautiful all the way through. They received the highest score of the night so far. An emotional Tony urged everyone to donate to hurricane relief.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough and Mark Ballas: Tango/Paso Doble
In rehearsal, Derek was sitting down and watching as Mark trained his partner Shawn this week. Mark said he hoped Derek would be well enough to dance with Shawn on Monday night. But would it be too many cooks spoiling the broth in practice? Both were throwing out ideas and poor Shawn was mightily confused. Doctors decided Derek couldn’t dance on Monday, so it was Mark and Shawn hitting the floor together. The Season 8 winning couple looked fierce and Shawn revealed some cleavage, looking more and more like a woman this season. This one was typically athletic for the former gymnast; I have nothing to criticize—she was flawless! Mark flipped her around his leg at the end in dramatic fashion and then both hugged Derek in the audience. Carrie Ann said that was a fusion, so seamless. Len said “I’m voting for you” and Bruno called Shawn the queen of the night. Indeed! She got a perfect score. Derek vowed to dance next week.
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Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd: Argentine Tango/ Samba
The actor predicted this routine would be his most difficult yet, having to marry tango and samba. But I was sure this couple would master it. This week, Gilles shot a Muscle and Body magazine cover with a mixed martial arts pal, giving the ladies another look at his fabulous abs. He started the dance by conducting an orchestra in the classical song from Saturday Night Fever and then going into a disco-inspired tango and samba hybrid with Peta. His tie flew off and suddenly Gilles was shirtless, too. Ah, this was definitely a stripping theme tonight. I expected Gilles to be better in this dance. It was good but not his best as he looked stiff. Somehow, his white pants seemed to accentuate that. Still, Len said had a different opinion, saying it was fantastic. Bruno described it as sultry and intense. Carrie Ann first said wow, then criticized his arm action as the audience booed. Gilles can do no wrong with the crowd and still looked like the front runner.
Swing Dance Marathon: These marathons were always so much fun and the All-Stars one had to be super fast. During rehearsal, Kelly fell hard on her face while practicing a trick, but she turned out to be fine. So, all of the couples filed onto the floor and started their individual swing numbers. I thought Kelly and Val looked the best. Kirstie and Maks were sent off the floor first, with only four points. Next, Gilles and Peta were counted out with only five points. Shocker there. Apolo and Karina left next with only six points. The remaining four couples could then use as much of the floor as they wanted. Emmitt and Cheryl left with seven points. Then Shawn and Mark were counted out with eight points. Kelly and Melissa were the final two. Kelly and Val left with nine points and Melissa and Tony won the marathon with ten points and were treated to red, white, and blue balloons falling to the floor around their feet.
It was all fun but next week, look out for the double elimination!
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