I don’t know about you, but I really enjoyed this two-performance show format! Two nights of Dancing With the Stars guilty pleasures? I’ll take it!
Monday night’s show ended with Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd at the top of the leaderboard with 29.5 points and Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy at the back of the pack with 24.5. Team “Call Me Maybe” was set up for success last night, having earned 29.5 points for their cheerleader-themed freestyle group dance. For more details, check out our DWTS recap of Monday night’s performance.
Now for how team “Call Me Maybe” did on their individual dances and how team “Gangnam Style” stacked up.
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani started the night off on a shaky foot. After last week’s missed lift, recent injury, and their season-eight elimination before guilty pleasure week, Rycroft was nervous about this routine and it showed on the dance floor. The former Bachelorette seemed a bit tentative and her extensions weren’t quite as elongated as usual. All three judges agreed that her top line could be tighter but gave her a pass due to a pinched nerve.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
This Titanic-inspired rumba (did anyone else think Derek Hough’s likeness to Leonardo DiCaprio was uncanny?) gave us an interesting look into what it’s like to be an Olympian as gymnast Shawn Johnson explained that her, “entire career has been to not show emotions,” which she was nervous about doing here. It must have worked because judge Carrie Ann Inaba was basically in tears saying, “I feel like a proud momma right now. You have grown so much…That lift was fantastic, but I have to send you to your room. That was a lift.” The audience booed but eased up on Inabab when judge Len Goodman said, “It was like Great Expectations and I got Bleak House,” adding that the dance lacked hip action. Still, Goodman gave the performance an eight while Inaba only docked them the single point for the lift, and Bruno Tonioli gave them a perfect 10.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
Although they replayed pro Karina Smirnoff’s tears after her hip-hop mistake last week, last night she put her game face on, saying, “I have a feeling this is our comeback week. It has to be,” and added the ever-difficult samba roll to this week’s routine. Apolo Anton Ohno looked great with all sorts of hip action, but Inaba was concerned about the pair. “Something is not quite right. You haven’t had your breakthrough dance,” she said, and went on to say that the pair needed to work on their team dynamic. Goodman thought there was a little too much thrusting but that ther performance was overall terrific.
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel took the judges' critiques from weeks past to heart, taking Bryan out of her “fast and furious” comfort zone and into a soft and vulnerable princess scenario. Bryan committed with a sweet serene look on her face, which Goodman loved: “It was such a charming number and Cinderella—you are going to the ball!” Despite giving a perfect 10, Inaba criticized a bit, saying, “I know you were going for vulnerability, and you didn’t quite get to vulnerable, but I think it was elegance personified and you didn’t need vulnerability.” Maybe two performance shows in one week is too much—that was a recycled quote! Anyone remember which former dancer Inaba called “elegance personified?”
Team “Gangnam Style,” led by Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd, closed the show with a whirlwind of a dance. Kirstie Alley went as far as to say, “It’s so wild we’re all going to end in an institution,” while partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy said, “That is so stupid” about their group choreography.
And I’m inclined to agree. This dance was light on actual dance content and it all seemed a bit rushed. Inaba said, “You guys are a hot mess. That was so much fun! Sometimes hot mess is excusable and turns into crazy fun insanity.” I got the feeling the judges weren’t impressed either but had fun and didn’t want to knock anyone out of contention over a group dance, giving “Gangnam Style” a 27.
At the end of the night, Bryan and Van Amstel topped the leaderboard with 58.5 points while Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy brought up the rear with 51.5 points. It will be interesting to see how this impacts voting, if at all, since this is a non-elimination week.
How did you like the two-show format and what did you think of that high-energy “Gangnam Style” freestyle?
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