Host Tom Bergeron put it best when he said, “With the effort to impress comes a lot more stress.” The fourth week of Dancing With the Stars brought forth the debut of unfamiliar dances the All-Stars inflicted on each other. Guest judge Paula Abdul knows a lot about judging, a lot about working on reality competition shows and a lot of namedropping Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson. “They won’t be coming, love,” Bruno Tonioli told her.
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Song: “Forty-Second Street”
“At first, I was like, ‘Oh Lord! Another fast dance!” Kirstie bellowed. The couple was selected to dance the Charleston this week and after a go at the cartwheel trick Maks has up his sleeve, Kirstie needs a hug. Wouldn’t the world be a more wonderful place if Maks were always on hand for a hug? Kirstie pops out of a cake to Maks the Baker’s surprise. We watch as she shoves her partner’s face into her chest and then the two intertwine and finish the dance off with some kind of worm-like dance on the floor.
The judges… they didn’t hate it! Len Goodman said, “You turn Monday into a Funday.” He would have liked it a little cleaner here and there, but, “I’m happy that you’re happy,” he says. Paula thought it was a great way to start out this whole night while Bruno shouted, “Oh my god, you’re a mad women and I love it!” Carrie Ann Inaba thought Kirstie’s dancing was fabulous, but again the steps could have been tighter between the two.
Score: 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5 = 30 out of 40
Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas
Song: “At The Hop”
Mark really wanted to be a rabbit this week and after putting last week’s argument behind them, Bristol played along… until it just wasn’t funny anymore. “The last time we danced in animal costumes didn’t go over well,” she reminds him. It was interesting to see Bristol worry over Shawn’s gymnastic theatrics and at other times she’s more concerned about her inability to pick up the Rock n’ Roll steps. When he talks about “dummying” down the routine, viewers at home had to be a little worried.
The dance moves are one’s we’ve all done before while watching Grease one time or another. It’s a safe routine, but the judges find Bristol’s performance to be quite the improvement. Paula lets her know how proud she is and Bruno compliments her on her fast footwork. “You were hitting all the steps… you didn’t lose focus!” Carrie Ann gave the All-Star two high fives and revealed how impressed she was. Len said, “The only real failure is the failure to try,” and while it was a little safe on occasion, it was for him her best All-Star dance.
Score: 8, 8, 8, 8 = 32 out of 40
Sabrina Bryan & Louis van Amstel
Song: “You Should Be Dancing” by the Bee Gees
Sabrina is not ready to go home! Louis reminds her that Kirstie and Bristol have fan bases calling in the votes to save them. Ouch? Either way, the two decide to bring in a staging consultation for the Disco number. Inspired by Studio 54, the couple set the stage for quite the show. Their rehearsal is brilliant. It was epic! But will their final performance be?
In a giant fluffy coat and giant fluffy wig, Sabrina and partner, Louis, take over the dance floor. The audience get up on their feet, clapping along to the routine. The Cheetah Girl did a backflip into a split! Before Louis can almost drop Sabrina again, the judges deliver their critiques. “Oh, Sabrina, the disco diva!” Bruno shouts. “I have to say as performances go, this was probably the most vibrant and alive.” He mentions that she lost her timing twice, but Carrie Ann has no idea what he’s talking about. Len has a moment, brought back to 1978. Paula loved the feathers, the hair, the glitter, the sequins, and the polyester! There were a couple of missteps, she points out, but overall…
Score: 9, 9, 8.5, 9 = 35.5 out of 30
Emmit Smith & Cheryl Burke
Song: “Better in Time” by Leona Lewis
Having been selected to perform the Cuban dance of love, Emmitt was probably a little more than disheartened to hear that Cheryl is not trained in this dance. With a limited knowledge of the Bolero routine, the dance pro decides to bring in some help. Emmitt’s challenge this week is to dance as smooth as a Cadillac when he’s built like a Ford F150. His daughter stops by to remind him, “Dad, when you perform, you need to smile!”
Carrie Ann fans herself off before proclaiming, “Emmitt Smith, there is nothing better than watching a big, burly man get all dramatic!” Len confessed that he was concerned for the couple, but “to be honest, it had a lovely fluidity of movement and the lifts were clean.” Paula thought it was exquisite, sensual and told Emmitt he was “a sexy beast.” Bruno felt that the desire was tangible. “The mood was steamier than August in Louisiana!”
Score: 9, 9, 9, 9 = 36 out of 40
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd
Song: “Jai Ho” by A. R. Rahman
Not knowing anything about the dance routines seems to be trend this week. Peta has two Bollywood experts stop by thinking the added help would be great, but the dance proves a bigger challenge than expected. The two still have a long way to go by the time the final performance rolls around. “It’s just not coming together,” Peta laments. “We have no idea what we’re doing!”
Well, they should abandon all hope more often! Gilles gave into the music and just had fun with it. Len said, “Gilles, I know nothing about Bollywood dancing, but I know what I like and I like this.” Paula put forth her best Bruno impersonation with Bruno, of course, coaching her on. He thought a Bollywood superstar had been born. “Your agent should send you there,” he advised. Carrie Ann claimed, “Aladdin has nothing on you!”
Score: 10, 9.5, 10, 10 = 39.5 out of 40
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani
Song: “This Cat’s On A Hot Tin Roof”
“Let me start by saying, I’m sorry for this week already” is not something you want to hear from your dance pro partner. Melissa was thrown into the air, fell from the air and took quite the beating while learning the Jitterbug. Obviously, the athleticism of the routine had her scared of being compared to a certain gymnast… “Take that, Shawn,” she shouted after completing a trick.
Dressed for the 1950s, the couple twirled and tumbled until one little hiccup took everyone’s eye off the prize. Paula thought Melissa and Tony fit together like a glove and that their footwork was impeccable. “Melissa, what a swinger,” Bruno flirted. He thought some of the flips were ambitious, but it was near perfection. Carrie Ann complimented Tony on his exceptional choreography this season and Melissa on her ability to make the difficult routine look effortless. However, she also warned them to balance the flips and the tricks out with more manageable moves. Len argued that he’d rather see Melissa fail going for it. “There was one little faux pas, but you made Little Lenny really happy,” he said.
Score: 9, 9, 9.5, 9.5 = 37 out of 40
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough
Song: “Para Los Rumberos” by Santana
During their trip to Des Moines, Derek gets to meet the Fab Five U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team. “Some might say that we’ve peaked, but…” Derek points out, but Shawn finishes his sentence with, “It’s just the beginning.” He opens their Mambo number with a little drum practice and it’s amazing. After last week’s performance how many viewers at home thought they could do it again?
Their footwork is fast and clean and at one point we’re all a little confused – who is the dance pro and who is the all star? They receive a standing ovation from the audience and three out of four judges. Come on, Len! Bruno thought it was mesmerizing and sexy and that Shawn is out of this world. Carrie Ann said, “ I know this is the All-Star season and everybody is bringing their A-game, but if I was the other contestants I’d be a little scared of you guys right now.” Good news from Goodman – he liked it! He really liked it. Paula kept touching Bruno during her critique, but thought it was down and dirty with the hips.
Score: 10, 9.5, 10, 10 = 39.5 out of 40
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff
Song: “Poison” by Bell Bib DeVoe
Hip Hop is definitely the last genre Karina wanted. In fact, she’s another dance pro this week that has no experience with dance they’ve been given. “I’ll take Disco over this s*** any day!” she said. Karina can choreograph anything on the planet… except Hip Hop. Anybody else starting to feel really bad for Apolo?
The 90s-inspired routine is full of gaffes and before the judges can start their critique, Karina has her hands up to her face, wiping away tears of frustration. She’s really upset… She slipped. She fell. She wasn’t much of a dance pro on the dance floor. “I feel like I messed up the whole routine,” Karina cries, but as Carrie Ann reminds her, the beauty about tonight is that everyone is out of his or her comfort zone. Len told Karina he wasn’t even looking at her, but Apolo came out and he was fantastic. Paula told him, “This style is natural…you’ve got the swagger!” Bruno loved the performance and couldn’t believe that Apolo could make even the Running Man look good.
Score: 8.5, 9, 8.5, 8.5 = 34.5 out of 40
Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
Song: “Fix You” by Coldplay
This week is definitely a challenge to the All-Stars as Val reveals he’s never done Contemporary before. He listened to the music to get inspired, but he’s also kind of upset that Cheryl, knowing his inexperience with the genre, picked it for him and Kelly. This dance requires a lot of emotion and as Kelly reveals, “I’ve got a lot of walls and Val is slowly knowing them down.” Seriously, can you feel the love tonight? He’s teaching her how to trust again. “You’ll get your passion” she tells him during rehearsals and he jokes, “If I don’t get it, I’m just going to take it!”
At the end of their hot-and-heavy love/hate routine, it’s not clear… but do they kiss? DO THEY KISS? The camera angle leaves the answer ambiguous, but Val carries his broken-toed partner down the stairs to the judges. Len said that of every couple in this season, they are the biggest revelation to him. Paula thought it was such a beautiful routine, injuries and all. Bruno believed their routine to be the hardest. “To nail this Contemporary routine…you did it beautifully.” It was emotionally charged, deeply felt and he loved every moment of it. Carrie Ann thought Kelly really laid her heart out there. Some of the moves were beyond the All-Star’s ability, but she thought the celeb was truly in touch with her raw emotion.
Score: 9, 9.5, 9.5, 9.5 = 37.5 out of 40
At the end of the fourth week, Gilles and Shawn are tied for the top spot while Kirstie finds herself at the bottom once again. Next week, it’s Team Freestyle time! During the Results show, the All-Stars will choose their teams and, of course, some one will go home.