The stage is set for the finale of "Dancing with the Stars" after the latest elimination gives us the final four.
CLEVELAND - The couples picked up the pace for week two of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars." Having to do either a jive or a quickstep left them little option.
The show opens with its traditional pan of the cast. If their outrageous outfits are a clue, it's bound to be an interesting show.
First up, TV host Melissa Rycroft and Tony with a jive. It's bubbly and perky - Melissa is all smiles. She may be fast but she's not as sharp as Tony. The dance has a great finish. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba says she's glad to see Melissa jive because she's great at it. The judges award the couple a 23.5 out of 30.
Next, reality star Bristol Palin and Mark with a quickstep. Before the dance, the taped segment shows what happened when Bristol took Mark to the gun range. The girl likes her assault rifles. Okay, onto the dance. Bristol looks great in Daisy Dukes – who knew? It's a pretty fun quickstep with a cowboy theme, and has a fun freestyle feel to it. Maybe too much. The judges point out that they broke hold, which is a no-no for the quickstep. Carrie Ann says Bristol has come far. Nevertheless, they get the lowest score of the night: 18.
Racecar driver Helio Castroneves and Chelsie also jive. They have lots of energy, but their synch is off here and there, and the technique is not perfect. The crowd likes it, though. Carrie Ann says Helio's body caught up the challenge. Judge Len Goodman says Helio is overenthusiastic. They get a 23.
Helio tweeted, "Thanks everyone for the support, time to rest! I liked smile with style! Hehehe."
Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina hit the floor for a quickstep. Great movement, great speed, great footwork. SHARP footwork. The frantic dance gets almost unbelievable toward the end. Apolo's in charge and he knows it. Len calls it a gold medal. Judge Bruno Tonioli says Apolo's determination, focus and hard work pay off. Carrie Ann says he's in it to win it and truly driving the dance. They get a 24.5.
Onto singer Sabrina Bryan and Louis for a quickstep. It looks good and she's smiling. For just a few beats at first, her footwork does not look that confident, but it could be the terrible camera angles. Sabrina gets better fast and they nail the ending they blew in rehearsal. Bruno says Sabrina's footwork was incredible and lines superb. Carrie Ann says Sabrina's done something she's never seen on DWTS yet (a triple kick). Len says her upper body was calm while her legs were working. They get a 26, the highest score of the night, a first for Louis.
Deep breath. Here comes actress Kirstie Alley and Maks with a... jive? Kirstie does look comfortable in her own skin (and a bobbed black wig), but she's not up to par for this dance. Neither is the lacking content. It's kinda weird, still entertaining, like a French hippie production of "Chicago." Carrie Ann says Kirstie's working it but needs to keep up with Maks. Len was watching another dance because he calls it neat and precise. Score: 21.
Kirstie thanked her fans after the show, tweeting, "you guys are making me cry!! ... you are so sweet to us!! You are the ones who keep us in the game and don't think we don't know it.. SMOOCH."
NFL retiree Emmitt Smith and Cheryl are on deck with a quickstep. It's a pretty straightforward quickstep. Emmitt makes it look good, but his technique isn't great. I'm not wowed. Len says the upper body control was missing, but it was fun. Bruno says timing slipped. Carrie Ann says Emmitt didn't up his game from last week. Ouch. Score: 22.5.
Singer Drew Lachey and Anna bring on their jive. Her outfit is outrageous. Even more outrageous: she slaps him. Let the fun begin. They crank up the passion for this jive. This dance is fueled. Fiery choreography, suggestive moves. It's vivid dances like this we remember. The judges are blushing. Carrie Ann says, "Welcome home." They get a 22.5, but I'd go higher for sheer entertainment value.
Drew tweeted, "Woooooohooooooo!!!!! That was so much fun Dancing with
@ atrebunskaya ." Fun to watch, too, Drew.
Another memorable dance: singer Joey Fatone and Kym do a quickstep. They channel Charlie Chaplin comedies and class clown Joey brings tons of charm instantly. They do a good job covering the floor and, although his posture is all over the place, he looks like he's leading. It's goofy entertaining fun. Carrie Ann says she's looking for fantastic performances like that, but it had mistakes. Len agrees,"If you can't dance, come out and entertain us." Score: 22.5.
Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek bring on a jive. They cartwheel down the stairs (her idea, surprisingly). It's a happening jive with good speed and good chemistry. But Len calls it just enough jive and wants to see more than enough. Bruno said a microscope couldn't fault their synchronicity. They get a 25.
Actress Kelly Monaco and Val are up with their quickstep. In rehearsal, he complains about her, ahem, bouncing. So, she makes him wear a bra packed with water balloons to educate him about the trials of a top heavy physique.
As for the dance, they look stellar, it's clean and flowing. Their chemistry comes through in everything they do. Bruno calls her elegant, but all the judges fine tune her technique. They get a 22. I just hope viewers keep them so I can watch more of the wacky Kelly and Val show.
Last, actor Gilles Marini and Peta handle a jive. For a man with a limiting leg injury, he attacks it amazingly. The number is very big and brash, like something out of a 1980's musical (were there musicals in the 80's?). The whole routine is energetic and athletic and just great. Carrie Ann calls his kicks the best of the night. Len thinks it's fabulous. They get a 25.5.
Gilles tweeted, "Took just for twitter 1h30 to read all your messages. I truly respect and love you all. U make this experience on
@ DancingABC magic 4 me. G."
So, we have Bristol at the bottom, but anything can happen. She does have a big voter fan base. Bristol scored low last week, but mid-scoring Drew was second in line to go, after fans sent home Pamela Anderson (which the show oddly called a fan favorite at the beginning).
We'll see who gets eliminated Tuesday night. The recap show airs at 8 p.m., followed by the elimination episode at 9. Former contestant Katherine Jenkins, Placido Domingo and Cher Lloyd are all set to perform.
More information can be found at: beta.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/index .
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