Dancing With the Stars All-Stars Week 4 Recap: Jai Hot! (Slip Hop? Not)
Hooray for Bollywood! And Mambo! And a repeat of the Dancing With the Stars Season 8 finale! But boo for Hip Hop — at least one to a song called “Poison.” Talk about setup to fail. Poor Karina Smirnoff.
Season 8 finalists Shawn Johnson and Gilles Marini tied for the top of the judges’ leaderboard on the All-Stars, Week 4 Performance Show — which was devoted to strange new dance styles that brought out a lot of emotions, many of them bleeped out. Judge Len Goodman called Gilles and Peta Murgatroyd’s Bollywood routine “hotter than a curry,” and it got the first 10s of the season — including one from guest judge Paula Abdul. (Gilles’ perfect chest deserved straight 10s on its own.) Meanwhile, Shawn is proving herself this season’s William Levy — remember how last season, every couple would talk about how they had to get the crowd going like Loverboy Levy? Now every team is talking about Shawn. Lifts were allowed this week and everyone knew the Olympian would impress. Carrie Ann Inaba told Shawn and Derek Hough this is the All-Stars season and everyone is bringing their A-game, “but if I was the other contestants I’d be a little scared of you guys right now.” Cheryl Burke should also be scared of Kelly Monaco&Val Chmerkovskiy, who called her out for giving them Contemporary. But considering how much of a hit their raw, emotional, verrrrry sex routine was, maybe they should thank her instead.
As the top two, Gilles and Shawn should be their respective team captains for the Team Freestyle routines that will be coming next week. Tomorrow night on the Results Show, they’ll choose their teams. Also tomorrow night, someone will go home. For the first time since Week 1, the bottom couple is NOT Bristol Palin &Mark Ballas. It’s Kirstie Alley &Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Could that doom them? Could Apolo Anton Ohno&Karina Smirnoff be doomed because of her slip? Could Sabrina Bryan &Louis van Amstel, who were in the bottom two last week, be cut from the middle of the pack? We’ll find out tomorrow. We don’t want to, but we will!
LEADERBOARD Here’s a quick rundown of where the All-Stars stand after Week 4:
1.Kirstie Alley &Maksim Chmerkovskiy— Charleston to "Forty-Second Street" — She’s a comedian and likes that their dances are funny, but she wants to compete on the same level as the others. It sounds like she wants to be taken more seriously. But then she calls Maks handsome and goes back to joking and laughing. Why be serious when we could all use the laugh? Don’t try to be Shawn. Own your strengths. Which apparently, for Maks, include dressing as a cute nerdy cake baker. Maks isn’t shirtless like Val or Gilles, but he looks adorable in his little bow-tie and short pants. Love when he puts his face in her bosom. Last week he was the sexy rock star, this week he’s the innocent geek. But what in heaven’s name was that hilarious move in the end? Like a two-person boat push?
JUDGES: Paula Abdul is here tonight as guest judge. What is she looking for? “I’m looking for Simon and Randy!” Ha. At least she isn’t looking for Mariah and Nicki. Judging the actual dance, Len Goodman said Kirstie turns Monday into a Funday. He would’ve liked the Charleston a little cleaner here and there but for fun she’s the best. Paula said what a way to start out the night. She takes on the roles so well. “You’re just a vision — the hair, the makeup, the clothing.” Maks called out that he loved Paula. (Did he end up stalking her through the parking lot, like he said he would?) Bruno Tonioli said Kirstie was a mad woman and he loved her for it. She ended the dance like Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure! Carrie Ann Inaba said she played to her strengths and entertained — and she looked gorgeous.
SCORES: 7.5 (Carrie), 7.5 (Len), 7.5 (Paula), Bruno (7.5) = 30 out of 40.
2.Bristol Palin &Mark Ballas — Rock & Rollto "At The Hop"— They also seem concerned about doing cartwheels, because of Shawn. They moved past their fight. Then Mark threatened to dress up as a bunny? “I just don’t want to be dancing with a rabbit,” Bristol said. Good call. It didn’t help them as gorillas last time. She’s having trouble picking up steps, so she doesn’t want gimmicks. They decide to keep it simple. Nice Chuck Taylors! This ‘50s thing is very Mark and Bristol has an old-fashioned vibe about her, so maybe this is good for them. There are a lot of kicks like a Jive and lots of footwork and moving around. It definitely takes high energy and she smiles through the routine, although she’ll never be a match for Mark’s amazing faces.
JUDGES: Paula said she saw improvement and it looked like Bristol was starting to have fun. Paula appreciated what Mark was trying to do as choreographer. Mark was trying to help Bristol push boundaries. Bruno said Bristol finally got pumping out there. (Oh, Bruno.) She was hitting all her steps. She was focused and pumping it. Carrie Ann called Bristol over to slap her 10. She told Bristol she’s really coming to life out there. She’s coming out of her shell. She lost a little steam in the end, but what an improvement. Len said the only real failure is the failure to try. She came out and gave it her all. It had speed and energy, although it was a little safe. But he called it her best dance so far.
SCORES: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 out of 40. That’s higher than Kirstie’s score. Are the judges just going to copy each other all night? These are their first 8s of the competition. Will it make a difference, that they aren’t at the bottom? Will that not save them? So hard to even guess with these two.
3.Sabrina Bryan &Louis van Amstel — Discoto "You Should Be Dancing" by the Bee Gees — Sabs and Louis are the only couple to have been in the bottom two before, so hopefully they can survive tomorrow night. They want to bring the disco nightclub to the dance floor. Something edgy like Studio 54. Her wig is Scary Spice intense. Love her blue feathered jacket. She’s Big Bird and the Cookie Monster, with a little gold outfit underneath. Louis was made to disco dance. His gold shirt and tight white pants? Perfect. They get the audience in on the act too — standing and doing the moves. Not the smoothest end, but tons of fun!
JUDGES: Bruno called Sabrina the disco diva. As performances go, this was probably her most vibrant and alive. But for the first time ever, she lost timing twice. Sabrina was surprised. So were some other judges. Bruno lives in Bruno Land. Carrie Ann said maybe Bruno was off-beat, not Sabrina. Last week Carrie Ann said they have to be more than the judges expect to win. This week they went for it but she did have one dismount where they hit the floor. Len had a moment! Len was transported back to 1978. He thought it was fabulous. Paula covered her ears when Carrie Ann and Bruno were yelling. Paula thought the homage to the 70s was spot on. Louis choreographed to Sabrina’s strengths. There were a couple of missteps, but it was great.
SCORES: 9, 9, 8.5, 9 = 35.5 out of 40. Go Paula for being the one “tough” judge. How did that happen?
4. Emmitt Smith &Cheryl Burke— Bolero to "Better in Time"by Leona Lewis — This is the “Cuban dance of love.” Cheryl has seen Boleros but this isn’t one of the dances she’s been trained in. She has limited knowledge about it, so she brought in a whole team of dancers to help. It may be too many cooks with the broth. Emmitt compared himself to a Ford F-150, he’s not elegant or stylish. Hey, he won his season with this exact partner so it’s not like he’s an underdog! The smoke machine is back. They have this long rope sash thing they use to twist Cheryl and do a lift. Cheryl described the Bolero as a cross between a Rumba and a Waltz and it definitely has a Rumba vibe. Their moves are great, but it’s hard to know what emotion they’re aiming for. There’s no real romantic chemistry or anything.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann fanned herself. She said there’s nothing better than a big, burly man getting all dramatic. She thought it was beautiful. He articulated his lines. Len said the Bolero is slow and any mistakes are magnified. He was worried about them, but saw lovely fluidity with little raunchy touches. The lifts were clean. Paula babbles something to Bruno. She told Emmitt it was exquisite and sexual. “You are a sexy beast.” They captivated with less is more. Bruno said the mood was steamier than August in Louisiana. The desire was tangible. (Really? They saw desire?) Bruno stood up and pumped to illustrate how a big man shows off big lines. Or something.
SCORES: 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36 out of 40. Love this couple, but this seems too high.
5. Gilles Marini& Peta Murgatroyd— Bollywood to "Jai Ho" by A.R. Rahman— Daaaaaammmnnn, Gilles. The sexy, shirtless Aladdin look works for you, man. They visited Miami while working on a dance they know nothing about. Peta brought in an expert. Gilles wants to make a comeback and hopefully get a 10. They seem to struggle in rehearsals. Gilles said 48 hours before showtime they had no idea what they were doing. Peta seemed to be emotional. But the result was certainly impressive. It started with lots of synchronicity and included a lot of lifts. They really have the most amazing bodies in the world.
JUDGES: Len said he knows nothing about Bollywood but he knows what it likes and he liked this. “It was hotter than a curry!” He likes that Gilles gives total commitment, no matter what’s thrown at them. Paula seemed to channel Bruno, standing up and saying it was as smoldering and spicy as … something. Bruno stood up and posed with her. It's like they were competing in their own Biggest Ham contest. Bruno said, “A Bollywood superstar is born!” It was exotic and witty and stylistically perfect. Carrie Ann said, “That was beyond belief. Aladdin has nothing on you.” She was impressed how they got their lines correct and brought the characters to life.
SCORES: 10, 9.5, 10, 10, 10 = 39.5 out of 40! Wow! Highest score so far. First 10s. Sometimes all you have to do is mention in your video package that you want a 10 and a 10 appears.
6. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — Jitterbugto "This Cat's On A Hot Tin Roof" — Melissa also talks about Shawn. She’s scared of being compared to Shawn, because she too is doing lifts and tricks. Everyone is approaching this the wrong way. They have a cute 1950s soda pop set-up. Tony is the cutest diner employee! Their energy is great. hey really do include a ton of lifts, really complicated ones too.
JUDGES: Paula said they fit together like a hand and glove. They look like brother and sister and look like they’ve been dancing together forever. Their footwork was impeccable. They had one little not-so-great moment, but she loved the routine. Bruno said Melissa was fearless and fierce. Some of the lifts were so ambitious and she pulled them off. She didn’t miss a beat on her footwork just on a lift dismount. Carrie Ann said Tony’s choreography is exceptional this season. But Melissa did have some problems in the lifts. Tony said it was him. They went for difficulty. Len said he’d rather they failed going for it than played it safe. Len said Melissa is a class dancer. Everything she does is clean. This was a glitterbug Jitterbug. She made Little Lenny very happy. Aww!
SCORES: 9, 9, 9.5, 9.5 = 37 out of 40.
7. Shawn Johnson &Derek Hough — Mamboto "Para Los Rumberos" by Santana — The judges adored their routine last week, even though they docked it points for rule-breaking. Shawn and Derek visited the Fab Five U.S. gymnasts and they illustrated their sexy moves. Is McKayla Maroney ready to join DWTS next season? Hmm... They do more gymnastics training. Shawn and Derek don’t think they’ve peaked. This is just the beginning. Derek starts the routine at the drums, then jumps off the stage. She does a flip onto his shoulder and off. They have very fast, sharp footwork. He also did another big jump move. She definitely seems more confident working it this season than she did back on Season 8. Halfway through the routine she does an upside down pose and holds it. Very nice.
JUDGES: Bruno said it was mesmerizing sexy out of this world. Bruno said “I’m telling you, this show, you think you’ve seen it all and it keeps getting better.” Carrie Ann said this is the All-Stars season and everyone is bringing their A-game, “but if I was the other contestants I’d be a little scared of you guys right now.” It’s not just about the tricks, it’s about the way they finish every line. Len said it’s good news from Goodman. “I liked it. I really liked it.” To get that speed and all that athletic movement and still keep rhythm and timing, that is brilliant. Paula rubbed Bruno and said that’s how she feels. Shawn has turned into this sexy young lady. She was elegant and shining. Paula said it’s her favorite dance. She loved Derek’s choreography — and his drum playing!
SCORES: 10, 9.5, 10, 10 = 39.5 out of 40. Tied with Gilles and Peta.
8. Apolo Anton Ohno&Karina Smirnoff— Hip Hopto “Poison” by Bell Biv DeVoe — Apolo thought Melissa and Tony knew Hip Hop was Karina’s least favorite when they gave it to her. But what about Apolo — his Freestyle was Hip Hop and it was one of the best routines ever. He said this is different because it’s a whole routine focused on 90s hip hop. So they brought in some help. Love their gold track suits. Karina slipped up a bit and seemed to lose her place in the routine. Maybe the routine was literally “Poison” for her. Apolo seemed much more comfortable. She was so upset afterward. Poor Karina. She cried and hanged her head at judging. She slipped and fell, she said, and the whole thing went... Apolo also took his mic pack off to the music.
JUDGES: Carrie Ann asked if Karina was OK. She didn’t get hurt, she just slipped. She felt like she messed up the whole routine. Carrie Ann said the beauty about tonight is everyone is outside their comfort zone. The judges know that and applaud them all. She loved Apolo’s modern edge. The middle threw them both off. Len stood up and gave some attempt at hip hop symbols. Len said he wasn’t even looking at Karina. Apolo came out and gave everything. Paula said professionally you are always hardest on yourself. Kudos to Apolo. This style is natural to you. (Yes!) Bruno said Apolo pulled it off beautifully and even made the Running Man look good.
SCORES: 8.5, 9, 8.5, 8.5 = 34.5 out of 40. Brooke noted the scores are for Apolo’s dancing.
9.Kelly Monaco &Valentin Chmerkovskiy — Contemporary to “Fix You” by Coldplay — These two have been so intense all night. It’s like they were getting into soap opera characters. They cursed out Cheryl for picking Contemporary for them. Why? It’s a great style. Val has two decades of ballroom experience, but he’s never done this style before. Cheryl had never done her style either. A lot of pros were in the same boat. Listen, the couples had 10 seconds to pick something last week, don’t read too much into it. Val is totally shirtless in the routine, which works for their chemistry. She’s also in lingerie with a shirt over her. Very sexy. Love this song. And they got the pimp spot of the night. This kind of intense love/hate thing is something Val has done in Results Show routines before, so it’s sort of in his zone. It is hard to judge this style, though, other than just how it makes you feel. Impressive lifts. Very moody and intense. Did they end with a kiss? Val carried her down the stairs to the judges' table.
JUDGES: Len loves contrast, and of every couple in every season Kelly is the biggest revelation to him. Paula said it was such a beautiful routine. She’s most proud of Kelly. Injuries and all, she did a beautiful job. Bruno said of all the tasks assigned tonight, this was the hardest. To nail Contemporary takes years and she did it beautifully. It was emotionally charged and deeply felt. He believed every moment. Carrie Ann had tears in her eyes. So did Kelly. Carrie Ann said Kelly laid her heart out there and her lines were gorgeous to match. It was stunning, but some of the moves were beyond her ability. Still, the dance took courage.
SCORES: 9, 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 37.5 out of 40. Kelly said this show has nothing to do with dancing. It’s a bigger, broader scheme and it’s about relationships, etc. They are so intensely in the zone tonight. Val said he doesn’t care about scores or elimination. Care! Be intense, but care!