Apolo Anton Ohno, Argentine Tango, AT&T Spotlight Performance, Brooke Burke, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Chelsie Hightower, Cheryl Burke, Dance Marathon, Dancing with the Stars, Dancing with the Stars All Stars, Derek Hough, DWTS, Emmitt Smith, Foxtrot, Fusion, Gilles Marini, Karina Smirnoff, Kelly Monaco, Kirstie Alley, Len Goodman, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Melissa Rycroft, Paso Doble, Peta Murgatroyd, quickstep, Recap, Rumba, Samba, Shawn Johnson, Swing Dance, Tango, Television, Tom Bergeron, Tony Dovolani, TV, Val Chmerkovskiy
Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars: 15.13 – “Week 7 Performances”
We’re back for another round of celebrities dancing with ballroom professionals. Sabrina Bryan was surprisingly eliminated last week despite getting a perfect score. It wasn’t a huge surprise. She was probably the least famous person going into this competition and when it comes down to it this is just a popularity contest. This week is labeled Fusion Week because the couples will have to combine two styles of dance into one routine. The show opened with a bang. The dancing troupe and some of the eliminated professionals (Anna Trebunskaya, Kym Johnson, Tristan MacManus & Louis van Amstel) performed a fusion of about 6 ballroom styles into one routine. It was pretty fantastic and a great way to start the show.
Also, there will be no elimination this week. Because of the presidential election coverage tomorrow, there will be no results show. Two couples will be eliminated next week.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff – “Scream” – Cha-Cha-Cha & Paso Doble
Apolo & Karina were struggling again in rehearsal. Apolo felt a little bit lost with the choreography this week and he was unsure about his performance. The routine itself was pretty interesting. Some parts were a little choppy and forced, especially in the opening Cha-Cha-Cha part. But the end with the Paso Doble moves was actually strong. I actually hate the theme this week because I think we were robbed of a perfect Paso Doble routine from them. I would’ve rather just seen that than what we actually got. The judges and the crowd in the studio loved it though.
Carrie Ann: 9
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke – “Fine By Me” – Rumba & Samba
Emmitt was also shown struggling during the rehearsal footage. He took a break from dancing to spend some time with his family and celebrate one of his children’s birthdays. It was definitely there to give some sympathy votes to Emmitt, IMO. I thought this was a solid routine though. Emmitt always really surprises me every week. He shouldn’t be such an effective dancer, but he absolutely is and he commits to the style every time. He’s such a joy to watch. He might not be the best technically but he’s very entertaining and the lack of drama in the rehearsal footage is a strong positive. The judges were positive even though Carrie Ann had some issues with his upper body.
Carrie Ann: 8.5
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy – “Sir Duke” – Quickstep & Samba
I still love that Kirstie rehearses most of the time in a room in her California mansion. There were a few narratives happening with Kirstie this week. First of all, she was really pushing the fact that she’s trying to be entertaining more than being the best technical dancer. That’s sound advice to herself I guess. Then she also went to NYC late last week to help give out supplies to people hurt by the hurricane. Maksim also went because he’s lived in NYC and he was devastated by some of the destruction. Back to the actual dancing, I loved her Quickstep. Her footwork was great and she kept up with Maksim pretty well. It kinda fell apart with the Samba though. Once again, I think this theme is awful and we were robbed of a strong Quickstep in favor of “fusing” two styles together. The judges appreciated the entertainment value but really critiqued her timing in the second half.
Carrie Ann: 8
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy – “Don’t Stop” – Foxtrot & Cha-Cha-Cha
Kelly has been at the bottom of the leaderboard for two weeks in a row, but the voting has kept them going in the competition. The show is definitely playing up a romantic angle between Kelly & Val. I’m not sure I buy it though. There was also a portion were they were butting heads but Kelly explained it was because they were both so passionate. I thought the routine was pretty strong. Definitely better than the previous couple of performances. The choreography was really well done and I thought Kelly had control of her movement. It really worked for me. The judges were impressed too and said that she had improved.
Carrie Ann: 9
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani – “Die Young” – Tango & Cha-Cha-Cha
The rehearsal footage mostly focused on Tony dealing with his family. They live on the East Coast and have been impacted by the hurricane. They are all fine but Tony is still worried about them. The routine was pretty fun. Melissa & Tony have a strong chemistry together and that really showed this week. I don’t think the choreography was as strong as it has been the previous few routines. It was still fun to watch. Also, I love the song “Die Young” but I thought the orchestra’s rendition was pretty terrible. In this case I think they should’ve just used the actual track from Kesha to save the orchestra singers from complete embarrassment.
Carrie Ann: 10
Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas – “Livin’ on a Prayer” – Tango & Paso Doble
Derek injured his neck during a rehearsal so Mark Ballas stepped in to be her partner during the rehearsal week. There was some talk about Derek possibly being well enough to dance tonight, but the doctors didn’t clear him so she will stick with Mark. It’s interesting because she was originally paired with Mark in Season 8 and won the mirrorball with him. Mark & Derek were having some choreography disagreements during the rehearsal and it led to some confusion with Shawn. That didn’t show at all during the actual performance. It was actually fascinating to see the different chemistry between Shawn & Mark compared to Shawn & Derek. It was different but still worked really well. Mark must’ve been happy to take the floor without having Bristol clinging to him. The judges loved it. Carrie Ann said “this is what I imagined fusion to be.” Definitely one of the strongest dances of the season.
Carrie Ann: 10
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd – “When I Get You Alone” – Argentine Tango & Samba
Gilles is putting a lot of pressure on himself this week. He was disappointed by the 9’s last week and he wants to get a perfect score this week. “I’m going to fight with everything I’ve got.” There’s a certain desperation about him that isn’t very appealing during the rehearsal footage. Gilles was one of my favorites at the beginning of the competition but his desperate attempt to get a perfect score and win the mirrorball has really turned me off. He just forces himself too hard to be a performer and it brings me out of the routine. He’s a great dancer but there’s something about his personality that doesn’t work for me anymore. The judges really liked it even though Carrie Ann complained about his T-Rex arms again.
Carrie Ann: 9.5
AT&T Spotlight Performance with Mark Ballas, Chelsie Hightower & guests
A break in the action so the performers can get ready for the Swing dance marathon. The segment focused on dancers that came from Utah. Chelsie Hightower, Derek Hough & Julianne Hough grew up dancing there. Louis van Amstel & Mark Ballas have also gone back and taught masterclasses there. Even though this was probably just a way to fill some time in the 2-hour broadcast, it was a great routine and very entertaining. It really reminded me of one of the group routines that you might see on SYTYCD.
Swing Dance Marathon – “Do Your Thing”
All 7 couples will perform during the marathon. One at a time, the judges will eliminate one couple until there is one left standing. The first couple eliminated gets the fewest points added to their total and the last couple standing gets a significantly higher number added to their score. Each couple is shown rehearsing and strategizing in their own way how to win this. Kelly & Val had a pretty bad accident where Kelly was slammed into the crash pad. It didn’t look pretty.
The marathon started and it had Tom Bergeron narrating the entire thing. Tom obviously felt stupid doing it but it was actually pretty funny if you didn’t take it seriously. It was a little hard to keep track of everybody. Shawn & Mark did a pretty awesome gymnastic flip. I thought they should’ve won based on that. I don’t know how Kelly made it as far as she did.
1st Eliminated: Kirstie & Alley – 4 points
2nd Eliminated: Gilles & Peta – 5 points
3rd Eliminated: Apolo & Karina – 6 points
4th Eliminated: Emmitt & Cheryl – 7 points
5th Eliminated: Shawn & Mark – 8 points
6th Eliminated: Kelly & Val – 9 points
Winners: Melissa & Tony – 10 points
It was another entertaining night of dancing. I thought the judges got the Swing dance marathon completely wrong. Gilles was eliminated too early and Shawn should’ve won the whole thing. A reminder: no results show tomorrow so no one is eliminated this week. Two couples will go home next week.
Don’t forget to vote for the presidential election tomorrow!