ABC’s Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars celebrated Veterans Day in Week 8 with seven dances dedicated to the military, three perfect scores and one big controversy. Since there was no elimination round last week, the All-Stars carried over their scores and were given another chance at survival with a military themed dance and a trio dance.
The trio dances involved bringing another pro or Troupe member in for a threesome style dance, and in one case caused a top performing All-Star to take a nose-dive on the leaderboard.
Note: Spoilers ahead if you didn’t watch Monday’s episode.
Melissa Roycroft and partner Tony Dovolani stole the show with two perfect scores of 30. Their military style quick step was a hit with the judges, and their fierce paso doble with trio partner Henry Byalikov wowed as well. They are so high up on the leader board, no other couple is even nipping at their heels. Emmitt Smith earned a 28 for Viennesse Waltz that had some slips and lacked fluidity and ambition. His trio salsa dance with partner Cheryl Burke and Kym Johnson earned a perfect score even though he barely danced at all. His salsa consisted of some shuffling around and hip wiggling, but not much else. Yet, the judges thought it awesome. Scratching my head on that one.
Shawn Johnson was reunited with partner Derek Hough, who miraculously recovered from being benched for the remainder of the season as of last week to returning for both dances this week. Their Veterans Day Viennese Waltz was danced to “heavenly perfection” said judge Bruno Tonioli, and earned them two tens. Later, came their controversial trio dance with Mark Ballas.
While Mark and Derek prided themselves for choreographing a “tribal” themed samba, they were spanked hard by Judge Len Goodman. He panned the dance for a lack of samba content, ultimately deeming it “self-indulgent.” He capped off his tirade by telling Shawn that if she is sent home this week, she’s got “those two to blame.” The audience boo’d with outrage. Bruno agreed that it was not a samba, while Carrie Ann Inaba felt the risk was warranted at this stage of the game. When all was said and done, Len gave Shawn a 7! Nobody gets a score that low in Week 8, and thus a possible death blow dealt by Len. Shawn could have easily shared the top spot with Melissa, but now trails her by 5.5 points. See Shawn’s samba in the video above.
It’s worth noting that for Mark, criticism of this type from Len is nothing new. Mark has taken many risks before. But because Len is a ballroom traditionalist, his out of the box choreography is not always appreciated. As a result, Mark has put his celebrity partners’ scores in jeopardy on many occasions. But for Mark, there may be a greater motive. For one of his most heavily Len-criticized dances, a Harry Potter-style Viennese Waltz with Chelsea Kane on Season 12, he won an Emmy. The boy knows what he’s doing.
Kelly Monaco’s love story with partner Val Chmerkovskiy continues as they flowed romantically and effortlessly through their Viennese Waltz. Later, they performed the cutest trio dance of the night: A jive with Louis Van Amstel. The judges awarded them with a handful of 9.5’s and only one 9. Kirstie Alley’s night started out by earning her highest score of the season for her Viennese Waltz, but her trio paso that featured Tristan MacManusbombed. The gigantic angel wings they donned were fun, but overall the judges thought the dance sloppy. As we usually do, we find Kirstie at the bottom of the leaderboard.
Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff received two tens for their Mission Impossible-themed tango and a single ten for their trio jive with Sasha Farber. Gilles Marini’s quick step earned him two tens even though he was a little wobbly on his feet. His trio salsa with partner Peta Murgatroyd and Chelsie Hightower earned an inappropriate a ménage a tois comment from Bruno, but also a ten.
Week 8 Leaderboard
Melissa & Tony 99
Shawn & Derek 93.5
Kelly & Val 92.5
Emmitt & Cheryl 92.5
Gilles & Peta 92
Apolo & Karina 91.5
Kirstie & Maks Chmerkovskiy 79
Tuesday night’s Dancing with the Stars results show will feature a double elimination and performances by Kylie Minogue and Ne-Yo.
Do you agree with Len that Shawn Johnson’s tribal samba wasn’t a samba? Sound off below.
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