Monday night on Dancing with the Stars All-Stars was quite the challenging night. Last week the couples were put to the task to assign each other certain dances. Most of the stars never performed these particular dances, but what made the night difficult was when some of the pros revealed they had no idea what a certain type of dance was. With the addition of these difficult dances, Paula Abdul joined the judges table and enjoyed herself very much. This week the scores are out 40 points given the added judge this week. A few stars kept their place at the top while some remained at the bottom. Let’s review.
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: Actor Gilles Marini had no idea what to do when he was assigned Bollywood, and it didn’t help his confidence when his partner didn’t know what to do either. Considering they couldn’t pull it together during their practice, they did an amazing job. The dance was pure Bollywood. I loved it, and I think Gilles and Peta make a good pair. She’s such a strong dancer and I think it’s amazing how Gilles continues to keep up with her week after week. Marini scored 39.5 points out of 40, earning the first 10s of the night.
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson knows how to raise the bar each week. This week she was assigned the Mambo. There’s no doubt that her gymnastic background gives her a bit of an edge, but I have to say that her footwork is impeccable. She may add a lot of tricks to the dance to make it pop but she’s a great dancer and always manages to stay in sync and keep up with the music despite all the flips. She dances to perfection week after week. But I love that when she talks about dancing, she’s not talking about the competition and who will go home, she seems to care more about entertaining the crowd and performing an extraordinary dance. I still think she and Gilles will be the top two couples. Johnson scored 39.5 points, earning the second 10s of the night.
Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: Kelly Monaco’s sexy partner wasn’t too thrilled when they were assigned Contemporary. He didn’t know what it was until he listened to this music and began pulling it together. Contemporary is more of a lyrical dance filled with emotion, and that’s exactly what Monaco brought to the dance. When Monaco was dancing all I could think to myself was how beautiful of a dancer she is. Every movement in her dance was precise yet so soft. The dance was so sensual and sad. I almost started to cry because of how beautiful this dance was. Last week she reminded us why she won season 1 of Dancing, this week she proved she could win again. Monaco scored 37.5 points, a score that isn’t high enough in my opinion.
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: I love watching Melissa Rycroft dance, and I think whoever assigned the Jitterbug to her was stupid because they were playing into her strengths. I really like the Jitterbug; it’s a dance filled with so much speed, fun, flare and cute outfits. Rycroft was all about pushing the boundaries again this week by incorporating a lot of lifts and tricks into the dance. Unfortunately, a flip was messed up, but it didn’t affect the dance at all. Her footwork and enthusiasm make her a great dancer. Rycroft scored 37 points.
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: Football star Emmitt Smith was yet another star faced with the challenge of his partner lacking education on their assigned dance. From what I saw Monday night, the Bolero is much like a Rumba, very soft and light with a hint of raw emotion. I thought Cheryl completely outshined Smith to the point where it looked like he was doing absolutely nothing. I thought her dancing was amazing, and that Smith didn’t do anything special. Smith scored 36 points.
Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel: I think the person who assigned Sabrina Bryan Disco wasn’t thinking. Bryan is such a brilliant dancer, what made them think Disco would be a challenge for her. Bryan didn’t play it safe with her Disco. There was so much of the 70s era in the dance and it was filled with a lot of fun tricks. The dance was vibrant, fabulous and just great fun. I think she deserved a whole lot more than 35.5 points.
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: Olympic skater Apolo Ohno wasn’t sure how his Hip Hop routine would turn out after Karina expressed to him she had never done Hip Hop before. You could tell in the routine that both of them weren’t very comfortable. They brought a lot of 90s hip hop to the dance but I thought it was all over the place and not structured properly. Unfortunately, Karina fell during the dance causing them to lose it a bit towards the end, but luckily the judges are judging Ohno not Karina. Ohno scored 34.5 points.
Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas: After surviving last week’s double elimination, Bristol Palin was assigned to dance Rock & Roll. Now when I heard Rock & Roll I assumed it would be exactly that, but it was a lot more upbeat and old school. I think Palin could have moved her feet more and she missed some steps here and there. She’s been doing such a great job lately and while she is definitely improving, I felt this dance was mediocre compared to her previous dances. Her routine was a bit too simple. She played it too safe because she was having trouble learning the dance. Had the dance been all-star material it would have been better. She received good scores and remarks from the judges but I don’t think it was deserved. Palin scored 32 points.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Kirstie Alley brings so much life to this show, this week she brought her rendition of the Charleston. What makes Alley a great dancer is her amazing ability to entertain. She’s all about pleasing the crowd and making people laugh, and she does that week after week. I thought Alley danced a great Charleston; she played to her strengths and got the show started in the right way. I don’t think her scores reflect just how good her dance really was. Alley scored 30 points.
With the eliminations being so random, and the dances being so good, it’s hard to predict who will be the next star to go home. It’s easy to assume it could be Alley or Palin’s time to go home given they survived the double elimination. If it’s one of those predictable nights, than I believe Bristol Palin will go home, but if it’s one of those nights where a season winner goes home I think it’ll be between Emmitt Smith and Apolo Ohno, sending Smith home. I guess we’ll see.
Tune in tonight at 8pm ET on ABC for Dancing with the Stars All-Stars.