Apolo Anton Ohno, Big & Rich, Brooke Burke, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Cheryl Burke, Country Music, Cowboy Troy, Dancing with the Stars, Dancing with the Stars All Stars, Derek Hough, DWTS, Emmitt Smith, Foxtrot, Freestyle, Gilles Marini, Group Dance, Karina Smirnoff, Kelly Monaco, Kirstie Alley, Len Goodman, Little Big Town, Louis van Amstel, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Melissa Rycroft, Peta Murgatroyd, Rumba, Sabrina Bryan, Shawn Johnson, Tango, Tom Bergeron, Tony Dovolani, Val Chmerkovskiy, Viennese Waltz
Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars: 15.11 – “Week 6 Performances”
First up: Sorry I didn’t post a lot this week. Most of the shows that I usually recap were off last week, and I didn’t really have time to do any ranked lists. I actually had some fun at a Halloween party! But we’re back this week with DWTS. Someone will actually get eliminated this week. And the show is celebrating Country Music. It just so happens that ABC is airing the Country Music Association Awards on Thursday. What a coincidence! (Actually its network synergy). The show opened with Little Big Town performing their hit “Pontoon” (which is actually an entertaining song) while some of the professional troupe danced. The stars will be dancing their routines to country songs. Their routines will also have to include a solo from the celebrity. Let’s see how they did.
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd – “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” – Cha-Cha-Cha
Gilles & Peta are a little nervous this week. Gilles was born in France and Peta was born in New Zealand, they don’t have a whole lot of connection to country music. Gilles was also busy working on the ABC Family show Switched at Birth, so he had less rehearsal time (more promotion for a show with an ABC connection!). This routine was a little strange. The song they were given was very female-centric, “The best thing about being a woman…”, for a man to be the center of that song. Gilles is always committed but the song kind of took away from the performance. The solo was a little awkward. Gilles seemed a little less confident in that bit. The judges were mostly positive though.
Carrie Ann: 9
Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel – “Wanted” – Rumba
Sabrina & Louis were on the top of the leaderboard last week and they want to do well again this week. In the rehearsal footage, Sabrina & Louis talked about Sabrina’s previous relationship with a drug-addicted boyfriend. The song reminded her of that relationship and she wants to use her personal experience to add to her performance. I thought this was a really solid routine and performance from the dancers. I think sometimes it’s manipulative to really delve into a personal story for use on shows like these, but that didn’t really play into the storyline for me. It was just well danced and the connection between Sabrina & Louis really showed. Once again, the solo portion was a little weird, but Sabrina really committed to it and seemed more confident than Gilles did. The judges were very positive. Carrie Ann had to give Sabrina a hug afterwards. The first perfect score of the season!
Carrie Ann: 10
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy – “Good Girl” – Tango
Kelly & Val were the lowest scoring couple last week, so they want to make up for it and step up their performance level. They want higher scores. Also, Kelly said she was in “uncharted territory” because her original season was so short that she’s starting to feel the pressure of all the work now. I thought it was a pretty good performance. For the third performance in a row, the solo at the start was really awkward. Especially with Kelly, who has a confidence problem every week, it definitely showed in those opening seconds. The rest of the routine was good. It was a little too fast in some places and the footwork/lines really suffered. The judges were positive though and said it was a good “comeback”. They’re definitely pushing that narrative for them this week.
Carrie Ann: 9
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – “Why You Wanna” – Viennese Waltz
Melissa is still recovering from her neck injury last week. She was cleared by the doctors but it still going to be experiencing some stiffness and soreness over the next few weeks. Tony wants to take it easy on her but Melissa knows that they will have to push harder to go further in the competition. Melissa said that Tony hasn’t got a 10 for a performance since their season and she wants to do it for him again. I thought this was a really strong routine. Tony’s choreography was really powerful and matched the music well. This was Melissa’s best performance of the season so far. She’s not the best actor by a long shot, but she really committed herself this week and it made for a better performance. The judges were positive. There was a bit of a disagreement because Carrie Ann said that Melissa was looking down too much or something. I don’t know. I feel Carrie Ann is really manipulated by the producers to cause controversy and get people talking about something. Plus I don’t think they wanted to hand out too many perfect scores tonight.
Carrie Ann: 9.5
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough – “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” – Cha-Cha-Cha
This week’s narrative for Shawn: she hurt her knee (the one that kept her out of the Olympics this year) during the group rehearsal with Sabrina this week. It’s really hurt her rehearsals with Derek. They are struggling this week and Derek is going to have cut some things out of the choreography to make it work for Shawn. The routine this week was a little cheesy, although how couldn’t it with that stupid song. The solo was a little stiff and didn’t really stand out at all. Overall, it was just a boring routine that didn’t excite me very much. Shawn has turned into my favorite performer this season and I was very disappointed by this routine overall. I think she’ll be safe for another week, but she won’t be making it to the finals if she stays on this trajectory. I don’t agree with the judges’ scores for them. Their comments didn’t really match their scoring.
Carrie Ann: 9.5
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – “Home” – Rumba
Kirstie has a lot going on this week. She got her highest score last week and she wants to continue to do well. But she’s also running a company (what?) and doing an interview with Barbara Walters promoting a new book. She was also struggling with Maksim in rehearsals. “I’m 60 year-old!” Which by the way, she looks fantastic for her age. Despite all of the craziness and drama they were showing in the pre-recorded package, this was a really beautiful performance and my favorite one of the night. Kristie is a great actress and she really loses herself in the style of the dance. She’s technically not the best, but her acting skills really give her a leg up on everyone else. Her solo was also the strongest out of any of them. Kirstie knows she’s a bad ass bitch and she doesn’t need a man to prop her up. The choreography was really beautiful. Kirstie & Maksim work really well together. They have great chemistry and this dance was an example of that. The judges were positive. Len had a few critiques, but I think he was just being picky so he had something to say. She should’ve gotten at least one 10.
Carrie Ann: 9.5
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff – “Skin” – Viennese Waltz
Apolo & Karina had an off-night last week. Carrie Ann mentioned their being something off with their chemistry. Apolo revealed that he and Karina had a big fight before the show last week and it affected their performance. They’re going to work on that this week with their routine. The song they’re using is Rascal Flatts’ “Skin” and it’s about a woman dealing with cancer. So they are going to use that to manipulate the emotions of the audience which lead to more votes. First of all: the song was really terrible. I just found the whole thing really tasteless. Apolo danced it well. But it felt like just another piece of the narrative to back him do better in the competition. I really didn’t like it at all. The judges really loved it though and I suspect much of the voting audience did too. I think he’s safe for another week. The second perfect score of the night. What a surprise.
Carrie Ann: 10
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – “Islands in the Stream” – Foxtrot
Not a whole lot of drama in Emmitt’s rehearsal footage and that’s a welcome sign after all of the manufactured stuff we were presented so far in this episode. Emmitt was a little bit sore and he was nervous about the solo portion, but he was pleasant for the rest of it. Their routine was fun this week. Cheryl always has playful choreography and it really worked with the song choice. Emmitt’s solo part was also great to watch. He ended it by giving a rose to his wife sitting on the side of the dance floor. It was a nice moment and a good way to end that number. The judges were mostly positive but pointed out a few flaws. The routine wasn’t technically perfect, but I’m just glad we weren’t treated to some poorly edited piece creating conflict where there isn’t any to be had.
Carrie Ann: 8.5
Top 8 Group Dance – “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” & “I Play Chicken with the Train” – Freestyle
All of the couples will be dancing freestyle routines side-by-side. The judges will be evaluating their favorite couple and two extra points will be added to that couples’ overall score. This week they will be combining their score with last week’s score. The rehearsal footage was funny. Once again, it’s nice to see all of them acting goofy and aloof instead of fighting and arguing. One of the rehearsals was when Shawn injured her knee. The opening will be all the same choreography and then they will break off into their usual couples.
The opening had all of the ladies on the stairs and it was painfully obvious that Kirstie was the odd person out. She was so out of sync with everyone else. I feel a little bad but it should be noted that she is significantly older than the 7 other ladies and they fact that she could keep up with them as much as she did should be applauded. Then the men had a portion before they joined together as a group and did some more syncopated moves. Then the song switched to Cowboy Troy & Big & Rich’s “I Play Chicken with the Train” and they did their individual couple breakdowns. That portion went by very fast and it was hard to really determine who did well and who didn’t. My favorites that I could see were: Gilles & Peta and Kelly & Val. They really had some cool moves and had fun with it.
The Judges Choice: Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
They apparently had the most fun with it. It seems to me that they wanted to give the points where it didn’t matter the most. I like Kirstie so I don’t really have a problem with it. I’d like to see her stick around for another week.
That’s it for tonight’s show. I predict that Kelly Monaco will be sent packing tomorrow. Her scores were middle of the road and she didn’t have a big enough “drama” to make her memorable to the audience. I think she’s done for after tomorrow night. If not here, then I can see Melissa & Emmitt also being in danger.
I’ll be back on Wednesday for The X Factor‘s first live show. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out because I have no idea how that is going to play out. Should make for an interesting recap to say the least.