Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba is guaranteed to dock a point if a contestant's feet so much as leave the floor when they're not supposed to, but she's also the judge most likely to reward creativity and any dance that evokes a visceral response, even if it’s a little unorthodox. For example, she gave Shawn Johnson, Derek Hough and Mark Ballas a 10 for their DWTS All-Stars Week 8 Trio Samba, despite both Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli agreeing that it lacked a lot of traditional Samba content.

In her Ladies' Home Journal blog, Carrie Ann explained why she supported the dance.

“This season is really about pushing boundaries and taking risks. And when you take creative risks, you can fail or you can blow us all away," she wrote. "Len, Bruno and I can agree to disagree. We can get so heated in the moment and by commercial break, we are all laughing and hugging again."

Carrie Ann wrote that when she looks at a performance, she asks if it's effective, causes a reaction in the audience, and draws people in. She also looks at technique, posture, frame, musicality, and angles. But, as she notes, "technique and steps alone are not going to get you to the finals this season."

What will? "This year it’s all about finding new ways to excite and thrill us while still showing good technique... Dancing With The Stars is not a standard ballroom competition. It’s a hybrid dance competition and a television show designed for entertainment."

They aren't trying to make true ballroom dancers. When a couple can please all three judges with their disparate backgrounds and tastes, that's when they strike gold. A lot of fans sided with Carrie Ann on this one — or at least Bruno, who did dock the dance a point for not being much of a Samba, awarding it a 9.

What’s more important to you, being moved/entertained by a dance, or a celeb learning how to be true to the dance style and illustrating great technique?

Catch a new episode of Dancing With the Stars Season 15: All-Stars on Tuesday, November 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

Source: Ladies' Home Journal

Gina Carbone is a contributing writer at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @ginacarbone.

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