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Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars: 15.07 – “Week 4 Performances”

The celebrities are back for another week of competition. This week’s challenge? The contestants will be performing unusual styles of dance, some never seen on the DWTS ballroom floor before. Each couples styles were picked by one of the other competitors. How did they fare? Also, Paula Abdul was on hand to guest judge. The producers probably thought they could use a ratings boost (which they do, the ratings have been dropping).

Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – “Forty-Second Street” – Charleston
-Kirstie’s dance style was chosen by Sabrina Bryan. Nothing of note happened in the rehearsal footage. I just found it fantastic that they do all of their rehearsing in an empty room in Kirstie’s mansion. It’s kind of random but I think it’s great that she’s able to do that. The dance itself was fun, per the course from Kirstie. They went for entertainment over technique. There were some stagnant moments, but Kirstie had some funny bits throughout the dance. The judges pretty much confirmed this. Paula added that this was the best Kirstie has ever looked.
Carrie Ann: 7.5
Len: 7.5
Paula: 7.5
Bruno: 7.5
Total: 30

Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas – “At the Hop” – Rock & Roll
-Why is she still here? Why? Why? Their style was technically picked by Gilles Marini, but they were the last couple and their choice was defaulted to them. Bristol was a pain in the ass during rehearsal. She made Mark dumb down the routine and it showed. Mark danced his ass off and made up for Bristol’s lack of enthusiasm and technique. It was awkward times a thousand. The judges went easy on her. Carrie Ann gave her a double high-five and talked to her like she was an eight year-old girl (that’s probably the age of her maturity). The judges were way too generous with their scores, especially compared to Kirstie Alley. Maybe the judges want to make it middle of the road so she’ll finally get eliminated.
Carrie Ann: 8
Len: 8
Paula: 8
Bruno: 8
Total: 32

Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel – “You Should Be Dancing” – Disco
-Sabrina’s style was picked by Kirstie Alley. Nothing interesting happened in rehearsal. First of all, Sabrina’s outfit at the beginning was horrendous. Look at the picture. Her hair looked terrible and she was wearing this blue fur coat that looked like it was made from an old Cookie Monster puppet. The dance itself was fun. Sabrina always brings a lot of energy and personality to the dance. I’m just not a huge fan of her style. She tries a little too hard and it seems a little insincere in some moments. The judges all enjoyed it. Bruno claimed that Sabrina went off time for a few beats, but the rest of the judges disagreed with that.
Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Paula: 8.5
Bruno: 9
Total: 35.5

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – “Better in Time” – Bolero
-Their dance this week was picked by Kelly Monaco. Cheryl was very nervous about the style. She has no training in this type of Latin dance. During rehearsal she brought in 4 professionals that specialize in this style. The dance itself was pretty solid. I just don’t think this type will play well to the audience. The pacing is very slow and the movements seemed too easy, but that’s because Emmitt & Cheryl made it seem that way. The lighting and costumes were gorgeous. The judges loved it. Carrie Ann fought back tears. Also, Paula became more annoyed with Bruno.
Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Paula: 9
Bruno: 9
Total: 36

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd – “Jai Ho” – Bollywood
-Gilles’s dance was picked by Bristol Palin. Peta was very nervous to choreograph this style. She brought in a Bollywood expert and it still didn’t help. Gilles was upset that Peta didn’t have a solid routine by Saturday night. Whatever their issues were, they were worked out by the time they performed. I thought the routine itself was a little weird and they really didn’t keep up the quick pace that was required (look at a Bollywood routine from SYTYCD to see how it should be done). But the audience gave it the loudest applause of the nigh and the judges fawned over them. Len said that it was hotter than curry.
Carrie Ann: 10
Len: 9.5
Paula: 10
Bruno: 10
Total: 39.5

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – “This Cat’s on a Hot Tin Roof” – Jitterbug
-Melissa’s dance was chosen by Apolo Anton Ohno. In the rehearsal footage, Melissa was worried about the number of tricks and spins that Tony wanted to add to the routine. She didn’t want to be compared with Shawn’s routine last week.  The routine was fast and fun. I felt Melissa was a little disconnected in her performance this week. Usually she doesn’t hae trouble connecting to the audience, but maybe the amount of tricks kept her a little off focus. There was a few little slip-ups, but Tony admitted that it was his fault. The judges were very positive but they weren’t as vocal in their praise as they were with some other contestants. She could fall between the cracks.
Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9
Paula: 9.5
Bruno: 9.5
Total: 37

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough – “Para Los Rumberos” – Mambo
-Their style was chosen by Helio Castroneves (apparently during the results show before they were eliminated). In the rehearsal footage, Shawn & Derek went to Des Moines to see the Fab 5 Gymnasts before their Kellogg’s tour at some big arena. There were some fun interactions. And you can bet that the producers that accompanied them tried to get one of those girls to commit to the spring season. Shawn & Derek had a lot to live up to with last week’s amazing performance. I have to admit, I’ve watched that performance numerous times in the past week. And they absolutely did. Derek always does stellar choreography and knows how to stage a performance. They were both perfect throughout the entire thing. Not one misstep from either of them. And that pose towards the end of the dance (look at the picture) was ridiculous. The judges loved it. Paula even said that Derek should be “put on the ballot”. I’m assuming she meant that she would vote for him for president.
Carrie Ann: 10
Len: 9.5
Paula: 10
Bruno: 10
Total: 39.5

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff – “Poison” – Hip-Hop
-Apolo’s style was chosen by Melissa Rycroft. Karina was pissed. She even said “fuck!” after the choice was made. Karina was having a lot of difficulty choreographing a routine and she was frustrated throughout all of the rehearsal footage. She also cussed an awful lot. The censors had their work cut out for them this week. She brought in Tony Michaels to help with the Hip-Hop steps. The routine went off all right. There was some weird moments and some awkward choreography. Apolo’s outfit kinda fell apart and his mic pack fell. But he ripped it off and kept going. At the end of the routine, Karina was just crying on the steps. She was upset that she slipped in the middle and threw off the routine. I think her big display of emotion will actually help their routine out. It made them more sympathetic and more memorable to the voters. They should be fine. A big tip to Apolo next week: cut it out with the spray tan. He looked way too orange.
Carrie Ann: 8.5
Len: 9
Paula: 8.5
Bruno: 8.5
Total: 34.5

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy – “Fix You” – Contemporary
-Kelly’s style was decided by Emmitt Smith. This is the first time Contemporary has been done on the show and Val wasn’t happy. Val said that Cheryl (Emmitt’s partner) knew that Val wasn’t very experienced in this style and that’s why she made Emmitt chose it for them. They did fine with the routine though. I’m so used to experienced dancers during Contemporary on SYTYCD that it seemed a little juvenile to me. But those dancers have years of training and Kelly had to learn this routine in 5 days. She did fantastic when you take that into account. There was a moment in the middle when they weren’t in-sync. Carrie Ann pointed that out but she defended Kelly by saying that it takes years to be able to get that kind of synchronicity in a Contemporary style. The judges were all positive. Len told her that she was the biggest revelation of the season.
Carrie Ann: 9
Len: 9.5
Paula: 9.5
Bruno: 9.5
Total: 37.5

OVERALL:
I thought it was another entertaining week. Paula was actually very competent. She was better in this one episode that she was the entire season on The X Factor last year. Why don’t they just make her a permanent 4th judge? She was entertaining enough and I trust her experience as a choreographer much more than her stint as a pop singer. ABC should do the right thing. As for the elimination predictions, I hope hope hope hope hope that Bristol Palin goes home. But I don’t think it’ll happen. It’s between Kirstie, Sabrina & Melissa. I could see any of those three going home. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Sabrina goes this week. Also, I think Emmitt will be the bottom two or one the last ones called safe. However they do it. He won’t go home but it’ll make it seem like he’s in danger.

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