DWTS Recap: Melissa Rycroft Is on Top of Her Game

Due to a little something called the presidential election, there was no Dancing With the Stars elimination show last week, which means tonight is a double elimination: The fusion dance and swing-dance marathon scores from the previous week will be combined with last night's scores for each team’s military week tribute to the Veterans and trio dance in which an eliminated pro or troupe member joined the team to enhance the stars' talents. Viewers' votes from both weeks will also be tallied to determine who goes and who stays tonight.

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
Dance: Viennese waltz
Score: 29.5
Judge Len Goodman would have liked a little more hold in this dance, docking the duo half a point, but it was their trio dance where the traditional judge down-scored the competitive pair.

Trio dance: Samba
New partner: Mark Ballas
Score: 26
This mix of tribal moves and traditional samba were mesmerizing! I couldn’t take my eyes of them, but Goodman criticized, "The two of you have gotten very self-indulgent. There was very little samba content.” Bruno Tonioli agreed but still gave them a nine, saying, “Creatively it was outstanding, but even I have to admit it wasn’t really a samba.” Only Carrie Ann Inaba fully appreciated the nontraditional performance: “Sometimes you have to take a risk, but what they did of samba was executed with perfection.”
Total score: 93.5

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
Dance: Tango
Score: 29.5
Apolo Anton Ohno is frustrated with his nines and was gunning for a perfect score, which he almost got. After his bold entrance on a zipline (the first ever on DWTS), the Olympian admitted, “I’m not good with heights, but that was fun.” Host Brooke Burke-Charvet responded with her funniest line of the season: “That’s why you suggested the zipline?” Touché, Burke-Charvet, touché.

Trio dance: Jive
New partner: Sasha Farber
Score: 29
The only pair to bring in a pro who is the same sex as the celeb, Ohno stepped up to the plate. As Tonioli pointed out, “You took a huge risk…because the whole way through you were mirroring a pro...You did a fantastic job tonight; you really were at the top of the game.”
Total score: 91.5

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dance: Viennese waltz
Score: 27
The judges seemed to go easy on their critiques, looking for nice things to comment on such as the musical interpretation as opposed to actual dance content. Inaba, however, said, “I would like to see a little more difficulty in the next one,” to which Kirstie Alley replied, “No, Carrie Anne!”

Trio dance: Paso doble
New partner: Tristan MacManus
Score: 24
In a repeat of round one, the judges struggled for nice things to say. “First of all, thank for choosing your choice in men. I love the theme. I love the costumes. I love the presentation. It was a little sloppy,” Inaba said, and Goodman pointed out that there were no “incidents” or finesse.
Total score: 79

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dance:
Viennese waltz
Score: 28
It seems that Kelly Monaco has lost her confidence. She really showed her nerves in rehearsal and a bit on the dance floor. Inaba interrupted Goodman’s criticisms to say that she found the performance “beautiful,” but Goodman responded, “I have my standards and she has none!”

Trio dance: Jive
New partner: Louis van Amstel
Score: 28.5
Just another cute performance where petite Monaco did well but looked a little bit timid.
Total score:92.5

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Dance: Quickstep
Score: 29.5
I couldn’t agree more with Inaba who said, “Aaah, it was so close. It was almost top gun!” The quickstep, performed to "Danger Zone," was great, with high energy and good control, but as Inaba pointed out, there were a “few wobbles on the feet.”

Trio dance: Salsa
New partner: Chelsie Hightower
Score: 29
Wow hair! Wow hips! This dance was sassy, sexy, and well executed. Gilles Marini proved he can handle two women with ease!
Total score: 92

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Dance: Viennese waltz
Score: 28
Like Alley, Inaba wanted more out of Emmitt Smith: “It was very smooth and effective, and you slipped up a little there.” Judges Goodman and Tonioli echoed the same sentiment but still gave high marks for the classic Viennese waltz.

Trio dance: Salsa
New partner: Kym Johnson
Score: 30
Another great hip-shaking salsa, Smith’s rendition paled in comparison to Marini’s, but the judges loved it doling out another perfect score.
Total score: 92.5

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Dance: Quickstep
Score: 30
Melissa Rycroft was worried about falling from the top, but it wasn’t necessary, as she earned her first perfect score of the season. Goodman said it all: “It was a quickstep. That’s what we got; it was quick. We had a lot of steps.” Oh wait, that doesn’t tell us anything at all! And neither did the other judges’ comments: “Oh Melissa, won’t you join the navy?” from Tonioli and “I salute you guys, you are on a roll,” from Inaba.

Trio dance: Paso doble
New partner: Henry Byalikov
Score: 30
The former Bachelorette had to step out of her comfort zone for her role as a dominatrix, and boy did she ever. Tonioli said, “Some of the rond de jambe into drops passing from boy to boy were just a thing of beauty,” and I couldn’t agree more. Rycroft owned it!
Total score: 99

Not surprisingly, Alley finds herself at the back of the pack with 79 points while Rycroft leads with 99. But don’t count Alley out yet; her fans have proven to be a strong force.

Who do you think will be going home in this double elimination? My picks would be Alley and Smith, but I wonder if Monaco may be in jeopardy and fear Ohno may be as well. Tune in tonight to find out!

DWTS Recap: Melissa Rycroft Is on Top of Her Game-2As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.

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