The cast of “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars” performed dances rarely — or never — seen on the show and which they picked for their opponents, delivering those performances to a panel of judges that included singer/choreographer Paula Abdul as guest judge.
At the end of tonight’s show, Gilles Marini and Shawn Johnson were tied for first place, each with a near-perfect score of 39.5 out of a possible maximum of 40 points. Kirstie Alley brought up the rear with 30 points.
One star will be sent home Tuesday.
Elimination is based on viewers’ votes and judges’ scores, combined. The celebrity with the lowest combined total will be voted off.
Helio Castroneves and Drew Lachey, who both won the seasons on which they appeared on “Dancing,” were sent home in a double-elimination last week.
The routines were challenging not only for the stars but for their pro partners. Many of the pros had never performed the required styles of dance before.
Kirstie Alley: The actress danced a Charleston that all four judges found pleasing. “Kirstie, you turn Monday into a fun day!” proclaimed head judge Len Goodman. Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Abul all thought the routine played to Alley’s strengths. They each awarded her 7.5 points, for a total of 30 out of 40.
Bristol Palin: The reality TV personality danced a rock ‘n’ roll routine that drew high praise from the judges, who told her that she was showing continued improvement. “You were hitting all your steps very, very fast … You didn’t lose focus. Well done!” Tonioli said. Palin has consistently had low scores but has managed to avoid being in danger of elimination. Inaba told Palin she was happy to see her come out of her shell. “You are truly blossoming,” Inaba said. Palin earned 32 points.
Sabrina Bryan: The actress/singer’s high-energy disco had Goodman waxing nostalgic about the 1970s. ”I thought it was fabulous. I was with you and I loved it. It was well-done!” he told Bryan. The other judges agreed, but pointed out slight missteps in the routine. Tonioli thought Bryan was off beat once or twice, but Inaba disagreed with him. Abdul called the performance “fantastic.” Bryan earned 35.5 points.
Emmitt Smith: The NFL legend turned in a smooth bolero that had Abdul proclaiming him “a sexy beast.” Inaba agreed. “Emmitt Smith, there is nothing better than watching a big, burly man get all dramatic and sexy…,” she said. The men on the judging panel were equally enthusiastic. “Emmitt. The mood was steamier than August in Louisiana,” Tonioli said, while Goodman praised Smith’s fluidity, lines and lifts. Smith earned 36 points.
Gilles Marini: The French actor’s take on the style he’d never danced before earned him rave reviews from the judges. “Namaste. That was beyond belief. Aladdin has nothing on you!” Inaba told Marini. Tonioli told Marini that his dance was “a Bollywood dream come to life. Your agent should send you there.” Goodman added: “I know nothing about Bollywood dance but I know what I like and I liked this.” Marini earned 39.5 points.
Melissa Rycroft: The TV personality’s ambitiously athletic jitterbug drew praise from judges, even thought Rycroft fumbled the dismount on one of the many lifts in the routine. Goodman told her he appreciated that she challenged herself. “Melissa, I’ve got to tell you, you are a class dancer,” he added, while Tonioli said Rycroft was “fearless and fierce.” They awarded her 37 points.
Shawn Johnson: The Olympic athlete’s fast, stylish mambo brought the ballroom audience and judges surging to their feet. Inaba said other competitors should be “a little afraid” of Johnson, while Tonioli called the routine smoldering and sexy, “out of this world.” Goodman pointed out that Johnson achieved the difficult feat of sustaining speed while keeping her time and the quality of the dance. Abdul said it was her favorite dance, and commended Johnson’s pro partner Derek Hough, who played the drums at the beginning of the pair’s routine. “You should be on the ballot running,” Abdul told Hough. Judges awarded Johnson 39.5 points.
Apolo Ohno: There were a couple of mishaps in Olympic speed-skater’s hip-hop routine. First, his microphone pack fell off, and shortly afterward, his pro partner, Karina Smirnoff, slipped and fell and ended the performance in tears. The stumbles didn’t appear to drastically affect the judges’ opinions of the performance, though. Tonioli told Ohno that he had the swagger and attitude for hip-hop, saying “you rocked it.” Goodman told Ohno that he was fantastic. Ohno earned 34.5 points.
Kelly Monaco: Dancing with a broken toe, the soap opera star delivered a contemporary routine that was filled with raw emotion. “It was such a beautiful routine,” Abdul said. Her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, who carried Monaco off the dance floor at the end of the routine, said he “didn’t care” about how the judges would score them, adding that he was just glad to have met Monaco. Judges gave Monaco 37.5 points.
Can’t get enough ‘Dancing With the Stars’? CLICK HERE to check out ABC’s ‘Dancing With the Stars’ radio station to get your fix.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: 39.5
Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd: 39.5
Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: 37.5
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 37
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: 36
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel: 35.5
Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff: 34.5
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: 32
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 30