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Last week on Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars, we said goodbye to two former champions, Drew Lachey and Helio Castroneves. This week, we saw many couples perform dance styles never before seen on the DWTS ballroom floor. The dances were selected for each couple by one of their competitors for an extra twist. Paula Abdul was charming as a guest judge, and she even shared a kiss with Bruno! Emotions were high, this season’s first “perfect 10” score was given, and one couple was eliminated from the competition.
Kirstie Alley set the tone for the evening by popping out of a giant cake for her opening number. Wearing costumes straight from the Roaring Twenties, Kirstie and Max danced an energetic Charleston that wowed the audience and pleased the judges. With Paula Abdul sitting at the judges table this week, the total possible score was 40 points. Kirstie and Max received 30 points, which landed them at the bottom of the leader board and placed them in jeopardy of elimination.
Next, we revisited the ’50s, as Bristol Palin and her partner Mark took on the Rock n’ Roll dance. Mark played the rebel role, donning a leather jacket and red jeans (I’m not sure that men actually wore red jeans in the 1950s, I would have to ask my mom, but he looked cute!). Bristol seemed almost happy as she bopped around the dance floor in her red hoop skirt, white button-down shirt, and red scarf. The couple received a total of 32 points, but they found themselves in the bottom two during the following night’s elimination episode. Would her fans come to the rescue yet again?
Sabrina Bryan and her partner Louie came down with a serious case of disco fever this week. Forgoing the obvious Saturday Night Fever reference (although they did dance to the Bee Gees), the couple instead found inspiration in Studio 54. Thankfully removing her Cookie Monsterish cover up within seconds, Sabrina revealed a glittering gold fringe dress as she shined under the lights of a disco ball. Bruno was uncharacteristically critical as he pointed out Sabrina’s loss of timing, but the couple received a total of 35.5 out of 40 points.
Bolero was the dance Emmitt Smith received, and everyone watched anxiously to find out if he could avoid being tackled by it. Emmitt and partner Cheryl appeared cool as always, with Emmitt dancing in a silky, silver button-down shirt and white pants. Their performance was smooth and elegant, and Carrie Ann declared, “There is nothing better than watching a big burly man get all dramatic and sexy.” The rest of the judges were equally infatuated, and Emmitt and Cheryl earned a total score of 36 points, the highest score of the night at that point.
Gilles Marini slipped in the standings last week, and his outlook did not seem to be improving as he was challenged to perform a Bollywood dance. Partner Peta, usually unflappable, admitted that she was scared and even broke down in tears during practice. Gilles looked fit to be an Arabian prince on the dance floor and completely conquered the Bollywood style. He wasn’t the only one out of his element; Len admitted, “I know nothing about Bollywood dancing, but I know what I like, and I liked this!” The couple received a total of 39.5 out of 40, receiving this season’s first “perfect 10” from Carrie Ann, Paula, and Bruno.
We were once again transported to the fabulous ’50s as Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony danced the Jitterbug in matching white and teal soda shop outfits. One thing is for certain: these two know how to have fun in the ballroom! Len called their performance “more of a Glitterbug than a Jitterbug” but he was very pleased with Melissa’s effort to keep up with Tony’s challenging choreography. Their efforts were rewarded with a total score of 37. A happy Tony remarked, “I’m having a phenomenal season, please keep voting!”
After last week’s aerial acrobatic performance, Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek were faced with the Mambo. During practice, Derek voiced a small concern that they had “peaked” but Shawn assured him that “it’s just the beginning.” As expected, the couple turned out another high-energy dance this week, showing off their superior athletic abilities. Len praised the couple for being able to “keep rhythm and timing.” Paula thought that Derek’s choreography was “outstanding.” Sabrina and Derek earned a total score of 39.5, including a “10” from Carrie Ann, Paula, and Bruno.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina were nervous about performing a Hip-Hop style dance this week, so they sought out the advice of a Hip Hop choreographer. It turned out that Karina’s concerns about operating outside of her comfort zone were justified, as she actually slipped and fell to the floor during the performance. The normally stoic professional dancer continually wept and apologized after the dance was over. The judges offered support and kind words, but more importantly, they offered solid scores for Apolo. The couple received a total of 34.5 points, proving that it doesn’t matter if you fall; what matters is that you get back up.
In the final performance of the night, Kelly Monaco delivered an emotional interpretation of contemporary style dancing. Nursing a broken toe, Kelly revealed during rehearsal that her partner Val is teaching her “how to trust again.” Even the judges’ eyes swelled with tears as Kelly bared her soul through her dance. The couple earned a total of 37.5 points, securing their place in next week’s competition. Personally, I feel that this dance embodied what dancing is really all about — being brave enough to expose your true self to the world, fearless in the face of criticism, and unflinchingly vulnerable to the possibility of failure.
This week’s elimination round came down to Bristol and Kirstie. The celebrity that will no longer be competing this season was announced to be…Bristol Palin. The competition is getting tougher every week as the stars push themselves to new heights, and what may have been considered a show-stopping performance in past seasons now seems to fall short of greatness. Next week, the couples will dance to each celebrity’s choice of a “guilty pleasure” song. There will be no elimination. It promises to be another week of unforgettable moments and unexpected events!