There's no elimination this week on “Dancing with the Stars.” The All-Stars can take a breath. Or they could if they didn’t have to do two dances.
The competition this week is split into two nights, Monday and Tuesday. They couples each have to an individual dance to a guilty pleasure song of theirs, as well as a group freestyle dance. They actually taped all dances last night, and the second half will be played back Tuesday night in a pre-recorded show.
The guilty pleasure starts off with actress Kelly Monaco and Val doing a samba to “Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd (who guest-performed on the show a few weeks back). Did a stripper choreograph Kelly’s routine this week? Looks like these two got their inspiration from the bedroom. But they don’t really look into it. Still, Kelly demonstrates some sharp footwork and good lines. Judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli nitpick some details but both like it. Carrie Ann Inaba notes Kelly seemed more uncertain than she did last week. Score: 24.5 out of 30.
Next, actor Gilles Marini and Peta do a rumba to “I Will Always Love You,” the Whitney Houston version. (Does that really qualify as a guilty pleasure? Everybody loves that song.) Gilles says their dance will be responsible for a lot of babies.
Gilles channels “The Bodyguard,” even wearing a holster. The dance has a very believably sensual start, then it becomes clear this is a dance unlike any we’ve seen on the show before. It’s the acting at the forefront, and the dance moves are so subtle, you don’t even realize they’re doing them. But they are hitting all the rumba essentials. Based on audience reaction, this number has a wow factor. The dance is slow, fast, passionate and tender, and Gilles nails every move.
Bruno says it wasn’t a dance, but masterclass theater. Carrie Ann yells, “Let the baby making begin!” before literally falling out of her chair (for a good laugh: youtube.com/watch?v=i8Pkp3OHu6w ). Gilles runs over to help her up – maybe this damsel in distress act was planned all along? It works so well, Bruno yells “Me too!” and pretends to faint on the table. Ever-dutiful Gilles runs over to plant a peck on Bruno’s cheek, too. Anyway, Carrie Ann calls it a perfect balance of romance and poetry in motion. Len calls it Oscar-worthy but says Peta lifted her leg too much. (I disagree.) They get nearly a perfect score, 29.5.
Actress Kirstie Alley and Maks do a quickstep to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson.” They do a pretty solid routine. Kirstie executes some smooth moves and is rather graceful, but the kicks look a little uneasy. The ending features some silhouette makeout between her and Maks. Sadly, Kirstie is no Anne Bancroft. The judges call it her best dance by miles. They get 25.5.
Kirstie tweeted, “THANK YOU!!!
@ MaksimC and I are truly happy!!! Thank you for your votes and your kindness...all's well that ends well...:)”
For a week about guilty pleasure songs, I was certain Chumbawumba would pop up somewhere. Fortunately, NFL retiree Emmitt Smith does not disappoint. He brought out the Barry Manilow.
Emmitt and Cheryl tackle a samba to “Copacabana.” There’s even 20-foot tall inflatable parrots on the dance floor. Emmitt simply looks happy doing this dance. He is fluid and relaxed in motion and movement. Every move seems to flow off him, it’s as if this dance just spontaneously happened with no rehearsal necessary. Bruno says Emmitt made the difficult samba look easy, turning the dance floor into the best party in the country. They get 29.
Onto the group freestyle of the night, and not without some drama. TV host Melissa Rycroft was trying to do some wacky move in rehearsal, when she managed to achieve a herniated disc. Will she perform or not? Before host Tom Bergeron can answer that question, her skimpy outfit and lack of a neck brace already do it for him. But she says she’s on tons of medication. Looks like she got injured in the wrong week – Paula Abdul was here last week. (Sorry, bad joke.)
Team “Call Me Maybe” consists of Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek, singer Sabrina Bryan and Louis, Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina, and Melissa and Tony. They’re all decked out in cheerleader and football uniforms. In rehearsal, they decide to go the technical route because they presume the other team will go the comedy route. (That, and the stars on this team are stellar athletes.)
The freestyle is corny and hokey, but full of charm. Their choreography hits all the right notes. Just like a good cheerleader routine, this number builds up the audience energy and cheers. It’s impossible not to enjoy. Sabrina and Shawn both do some wild flips. Apolo and Karina throw in a little hip hop