‘DWTS’: Threesomes Spice Up the Dance Floor

by | November 12, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Dancing With The Stars, RealityTV, Recap

'DWTS: All-Stars': Shawn, Derek and Mark (Photo: ABC)

Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” was entering the home stretch on Monday, with week 8′s plans calling for each couple to perform two full dances for the first time. There would be individual dances honoring Veteran’s Day plus a trio dance in which each pair would bring in another pro dancer for their routine. And yes, season 13 “DWTS” champ J.R. Martinez would be in the house to proudly represent the vets.

The show opened with a major technical glitch — for the first few minutes, we saw the stars from afar before producers zoomed in for a Tom Bergeron quip about a spaceship landing. Not sure what the East Coast saw! Anyway, I never saw anything on “DWTS” like that before! But power was restored and here was what transpired on week 8:

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: Viennese Waltz
The ex-gymnast told her partner she wanted to show her emotions in this dance, which is the latest Shawn trend. Derek was playing a (dead?) soldier whom Shawn picked up off the floor for their dance. And the “DWTS” golden boy sure got a big close-up! Shawn’s style here was lyrical and moving and I never took my eyes off her even though Derek looked like a movie star tonight. Judge Len Goodman said it was poignant and gentle and fabulous. Bruno Tonioli said it was heavenly perfection and according to Carrie Ann Inaba, Shawn has turned into an in-depth performer.
Score: 29.5

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff: Tango
The speed skater told Karina it was not time to play it safe anymore and they planned an amazing move for their dance. He was going to fly across the floor on a zip line. That was exactly what he did before taking Karina into an intense hold. The dance was energetic and fiery. Apolo ended it in open-mouthed triumph. Bruno said his guns were loaded for maximum fire power. Carrie Ann loved it, too, because he had both attacked and saved Karina. Len said Apolo was his hero.
Score: 29.5

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmervkovskiy: Viennese Waltz
The “Cheers” actress was putting in a whole lot of effort in rehearsal and she had a glimmer of hope she could win. Fun to hear! The waltz started with Kirstie, dressed in a green USO uniform, walking slowly onto the ballroom floor and joining Maks, who had the green pants and dog tags with a wife beater tee shirt. Kirstie did well with this slow dance that didn’t make her out of breath as usual, but it was over before I knew it, so not much time to look at the details. This dance was short (actually they all seemed short tonight, hmm). Carrie Ann thought it was one of her best dances even though there wasn’t a high degree of difficulty. Len said it WAS her best dance and Bruno said it was elegant and well done.
Score: 27

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: Viennese Waltz
Val swore at Kelly in rehearsal, and so they had to take a time out to discuss the General Hospital beauty’s frustration. But when the waltz began Kelly looked typical fluid, hitting every mark and looking like a pro. Her lines were amazing and the servicemen in the audience gave them a big hand! I thought this one was the best dance of the night so far, so it needed to get a perfect 30. Len said it was too sharp while Carrie Ann argued it was lyrical. Len took over again and said Kelly’s dance was too herky jerky, or something like that. Bruno weighed in with his usual bombast, calling Kelly the twinkly twirler. Carrie Ann said she was growing every week and her emotional commitment was beautiful. Only 28—boo.
Score: 28

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd: Quickstep
The French actor and DWTS defending champ pro were working on frame this week and he was determined to perform a perfect routine. When the dance started, I thought Gilles’ legs looked a little loose but his upper body was very straight. There was a lot going on; for me, maybe too much. I knew a quickstep was supposed to be quick, but this one all looked the same throughout. He and Peta were supposed to be military fliers. Len said it was fast, slick, efficient, and the middle of the dance was crammed with Top Gun steps. Carrie Ann said it was close to perfect but his feet had wobbled. Len described it as thunder and lightning. Gilles thanked the U.S. for its veterans backstage with Brooke Burke-Charvet.
Score: 29.5

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: Viennese Waltz
The football star was talking to old pal Darryl Johnston, who gave him a pep talk about making it to week 8. Another waltz and this one didn’t look military-themed because both were in traditional dance costumes. But the theme was love letters home. This one was so incredibly average for week 8! I expected much more from Emmitt by this point. The judges echoed my thoughts. Carrie Ann said he slipped a little bit and she wanted to see him step it up. Len said he was still smooth although he liked the fluidity. Bruno said he was smart and classic but there was a stumble. The judges were being generous tonight, as they still got a 28.
Score: 28

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: Quickstep
Melissa was coming off a couple of strong weeks, but Tony was telling her they had to be even better. Their number began with sailor Tony asleep and sailor Missy waking him up to dance to Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. How could they lose with that WWII era song? Bouncy, fast, and fun, and for the first time all night, I woke up (just like Tony in the dance). They both thought they did well because they gave each other a huge hug at the end. This was what the show was supposed to be about! Len was smiling wide and said it was light and bright and the bee’s knees. Bruno wanted to join the navy and called it as good as the MGM movie star dancers. Carrie Ann hailed their style, too. They got the best score of the night so far!
Score: 30

Shawn Johnson, Derek Hough and Mark Ballas: Samba
It was time for the first threesome dance of the night and guess who Shawn and Derek were dancing with? No surprise after Mark subbed for Derek last week. The three appeared to be in some sort of tribe in their feathered costumes and people backstage were scratching their heads about what it was supposed to be. Shawn did a cartwheel during the dance, using her gymnast style. I thought it was weird, more like an exhibition than competition dance and definitely not for everyone. Len looked disgusted and thought it was self-indulgent with very little samba content. Bruno thought it was naughty and he had jungle fever; he thought, it was a piece of art but wasn’t really a samba. On the other hand, Carrie Ann praised the risk the happy threesome took. Shawn shook the hands of all the judges and something seemed to almost happen to the top of Carrie Ann’s dress when she went in to give the judge a hug. Wardrobe malfunction averted? Len burned the trio with a 7.
Score: 26

Apolo Anton Ohno, Karina Smirnoff, and Sasha Farber: Jive
I didn’t know who Sasha was because he had never been one of the DWTS regulars. Would that hurt Apolo? This was a Grease/Greased Lightnin’ ’50 style dance with Karina in the middle of a whole lot of action involving a car, gas pumps, and tires. Maybe I was a little cranky tonight, but this one didn’t do it for me, either, and other journalists backstage agreed that the trios were not working out. Too many dancers on the dance floor. And what was up with Karina’s red unitard? I wanted Sandy, not Rizzo. Still, Bruno said they conquered the routine and called Apolo at the top of his game. Carrie Ann said there was one mishap but it was totally vibrant. Len called it tight and together.
Score: 29

Kirstie Alley, Maks Chmerkovskiy, and Tristan MacManus: Paso Doble
Maks and Tristan would be playing angels—would Kirstie be the devil? I wasn’t sure from the practice footage. Anyway, the dance proved Kirsite was an angel, too but she was the white angel to their black angels. This was dramatic with Kirstie doing individual dances with both guys as well as a trio segment. Kind of corny—maybe some props would have helped? Carrie Ann loved the theme and costumes but said it was sloppy while Len said there were no incidents but needed finesse. To Bruno, it was like watching The Valley of the Dolls. That was hilarious.
Score: 24

Kelly Monaco, Val Chmerkovskiy, and Louis Van Amstel: Jive
Kelly gave Louis a kiss to start the dance and then was passed back and forth between Louis and Val. I loved Kelly’s arm movements in the middle of the dance and she then kissed Val, as well. The part where she was fierce was great, but when she had to smile during the jive, it looked jarring! Still, that was a minor quibble. Len said it was fun, fast, and flamboyant. Bruno said she held it together beautifully. Carrie Ann said her transitions were seamless. Kelly was thrilled with the score and got some more kisses from Val backstage.
Score: 28.5

Gilles Marini, Peta Murgatroyd, and Chelsie Hightower: Salsa
Gilles opened his trio salsa by gyrating a little on his own, then went and shook the two blondes’ heads rather violently. He then was steering both of the pros at once and he worked the individual portion of the dance skillfully as well. It ended with both ladies stroking the hunk’s legs. Next to Kelly’s dance, I liked this trio dance the best. It always had Gilles in the center of the action so fans could concentrate on him. The ladies just let him strut his stuff. Bruno made some snarky joke about the French way with women but he said Gilles lost his timing. Carrie Ann agreed about that while Len thought he really exposed himself during the dance and “it was full on.” He got a 10 from Len.
Score: 29

Emmitt Smith, Cheryl Burke, and Kym Johnson: Salsa
Kym Johnson, who left too hastily this season with Joey Fatone, made a welcome return to the ballroom as part of this trio. The ladies were on platforms to start the dance before disembarking to join Emmitt in a lot of push and pull action. He shook his butt a lot and was always standing between the two women. He led Kym in a cool cartwheel over his leg. Carrie Ann said it was red hot and spicy (yawn); Len thought the choreography was clever while Bruno believed it was smooth and easy. To me, though, it was a bit forgettable. But Emmitt got a perfect 30—what did I miss?
Score: 30

Melissa Rycroft, Tony Dovolani, and Henry Byalikov: Paso Doble
Another DWTS newcomer pro was on the scene and eager to dance in the trio. Melissa yelled ha, ha, ha during the dance, which was odd, to say the least. (the first DWTS vocalization during a dance?). The moves were complicated and full of drama; who knew the usually perky star could have this kind of attitude? The best trio dance of the night and it put me in a good mood again. Len said she moved seamlessly between Tony and Henry and Melissa had impressed him the most. Bruno called her fabulous and a thing of beauty who should make the final. Carrie Ann said she owned that paso. Yay! They did get a 30 which meant two perfect scores for Miss Missy tonight! She had so much momentum going forward. Bachelor who?!
Score: 30