Yee-hah. Put on your boots because “Dancing with the Stars” kicked off Country Week with the All-Stars.
Or, as host Tom Bergeron puts it, “Y’all-Stars.” Oh, this is going to be painful.
The couples must perform two dances: an individual dance and then a group freestyle. Also, last week’s scores get lumped onto this week’s, because there was no elimination last week. So let’s strap on the chaps and button the flannel for the fun.
First up, actor Gilles Marini does a cha cha with… Marlene Dietrich? No, wait – it’s Peta, and neither of their outfits resemble anything remotely “country.” For once, Gilles dressed more skimpily than Peta, but order is soon restored when she takes a layer off. Their timing and synch are good. All the stars have a solo in this week’s routine and his is nothing too challenging, but he look like he’s on a nightclub floor in his mind.
Judge Len Goodman says Gilles gave it a hundred percent. Judge Bruno Tonioli says Gilles is really a performer, but both of them critiqued his footwork. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba calls it a creative cha cha, but warns Gilles to avoid “T-Rex hands.” Score: 27.5 out of 30. Combined with last week (since there was no elimination), their overall score is 84 out of 90.
Gilles tweeted, “Please vote like never before! We need it BIG time. I wanna show you the Paso an Argentine Tango again and only U have that hat power. Love.”
Singer Sabrina Bryan and Louis do a rumba. In their pre-recorded segment, they climb up on the roof for a chat. What is with these weird, staged locations for these things? In their routine, Sabrina opens with a very expressive and refined solo. This dance is probably harder than it looks, but she makes it look very fluid. Bruno calls the dance intricate, but says Sabrina made it look easily done. Carrie Ann says Sabrina was dancing from the heart. They get a perfect score: 30. Overall: 88.5.
Louis tweeted, “Words cannot describe how thankful I am 4 all ur comments n how proud I am of
@ SabrinaBryan Tonights Rumba was so special in so many ways!”
Actress Kelly Monaco and Val channel “Gone With the Wind” for their tango. She starts with a strong solo, and their moves are sharp. The whole routine is very grand, full of broad gestures, and ends with a big smooch. Carrie Ann calls it a nice comeback. They get 27, 78.5 overall.
TV host Melissa Rycroft and Tony tackle a Viennese waltz. She looks gorgeous and opens with an equally beautiful solo. This dance does a good job of making her be the focus and Tony the background. Afterwards, Len simply claps and applauds them for great technique. Bruno says her solo was exquisite. Carrie Ann feels Melissa is still holding back, but the boys disagree. Score 29.5, 86.5 overall.
Melissa tweeted, “Thanks for all the great support tonight!! But let's not forget what is truly important now...the friends and families on the East Coast.”
Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek cha cha to “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy.” It begins with Derek, perilously driving a tractor into the audience. Then, he jumps over Shawn, flips her around in the air. Her solo is like a workout video. Cha cha? More like freestyle. This routine is sharp and infectious fun. They have assured movement all around the floor. Bruno likes the fusion of country and cha cha, and Carrie Ann agrees, but feels the solo was stiff. Len thinks they used too many gimmicks. Score: 28, 84.5 overall.
Actress Kirstie Alley and Maks do a rumba. Right away, their performance looks very believable. The judges seem to call every one of Kirstie’s dances her “best dance,” but this is definitely a better one. She looks natural and at ease in the dance. Her solo is not demanding, but still fits the song. Carrie Ann calls her the queen of sexy. Len felt she did well with a difficult dance. Score: 27.5, 80 overall.
Kirstie tweeted, “thank you for all your votes...you are good for the soul.. I'm right there with u in your own struggles.. U R much stronger than U know...XX.”
Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina perform a Viennese waltz. Once again, their pre-recorded segment had more weird, staged shots – happy hour, anyone? The dance has a beautiful start, and the whole thing is elegant and moving. It’s smartly choreographed, hitting all the right notes, and he hits all the moves right, too. Karina shows a lot of emotion, and Apolo matches it. Len says they were two people in perfect harmony with each other and the music. Bruno calls Apolo a leading man. Carrie Ann calls this his breakthrough dance. Perfect 30, 86.5 overall.
Their dance was inspired by fighting cancer, and Apolo tweeted, “Thank u all 4 the incredible comments.This dance wasn't 4 us-but 4 all of those who've been affected by cancer. we r stronger cuz of u!
# DWTS .”
NFL retiree Emmitt Smith and Cheryl tackle a foxtrot. He looks incredibly light on his feet. In fact, this routine has lots of parts, and he seems to nail each one. It’s not the usual boisterous Emmitt, but it’s enjoyable. Whoops – I spoke