Dancing with the Stars Watch: Threesomes and Technical Difficulties

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Adam Taylor/ABC

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff on 'Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars," Nov. 12, 2012.

It’s Military Week on Dancing with the Stars, which means that we have to keep the fist shaking at the Presidential election to a minimum. As you may have noticed, the re-election of our Commander-in-Chief preempted last week’s results show—meaning that instead of having six contestants competing tonight, we still have seven performances to sit through. Wait, scratch that, there are 14 dances tonight! Not only do the stars have solo routines, but they also have to perform a “trio” dance, where each couple is joined by a third in the most platonic way possible, this being ABC after all.

Here’s how the pitter patter of little feet played out:

Most Zen Moment: As the show opened the audience sat and stared at an empty ballroom. Then…nothing happened. Then nothing happened some more. Then the producer cut to commercial. It was all a good reminder that according to Buddhist philosophy, as long as we continue to desire we will always be suffering. Which I think means stop desiring more Dancing with the Stars and we can all stop suffering. (After the commercial, Tom Bergeron explained that the nothingness was the result of a technical difficulty and not a study in nothingness.)

Most Distracting Song Choice: To honor the veterans in their lives and in the ballroom, Shawn and Derek opted to dance their Viennese waltz to Sarah MclLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel,” which, as we all know, is used by the ASPCA in their commercials to accentuate the sad life of the animals they are trying to save, because it is the world’s saddest song. Good choice, guys! Bruno Tonioli dubbed it “heavenly perfection,” and the soldiers in the front row looked very impressed with Shawn’s arabesque. They earned a 29.5, with Len “Half Point” Goodman holding out on the perfect score.

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Most Incongruous Costume Choices: For Apolo Anton Ohno’s dance to “I Need  Hero,” Karina Smirnoff dressed up like 1920s chinoiserie while Apolo was dressed like a villain in a lesser Die Hard film. The judges loved the dance, calling it a “full on attack,” which the servicemen and women know is a good thing. Apolo and Karina got a 29.5 as well.

Best Conspiracy Theory Fodder: To celebrate military week, Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy opted to bedazzle some military uniforms with gold sequins and dance a Viennese waltz to “Hallelujah,” because according to Kirstie, “Hallelujah for the military.” The song choice naturally led Len to yell, “Hallelujah!” The judges then awarded Maks and Kirstie a 27, their best score yet, which should give the scoring conspiracy theorists some new fodder.

Babe, Stop: In the behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage, we see Val Chmerkovskiy call General Hospital star Kelly Monaco “babe” approximately 24 times. “Like this, babe.” “Again, babe.” “Babe, stop.” Can we start a Kickstarter to buy Val a thesaurus? (Fun fact: if you Google “babe, stop” you get this .gif.)

Best Len-ism of the Night: While assessing Kelly’s dance skills, Carrie Ann disagreed with Len’s evaluation. Len’s response to Carrie? “I have my standards, she has none.” That’s how a ZING is done, kids.

Everybody Have Fun Tonight: After their performance was met with mixed results, Kelly fake smiled at Brooke Burke-Charvet that this was a dance competition and she was here to have fun. As if! I think we can all agree that Kelly hasn’t had fun since that time she saw Melissa Rycroft drop herself on her head.

Best Reason to Give Kenny Loggins Royalty Money: Since it’s Military Week, we couldn’t expect to escape without at least one song from the Top Gun soundtrack. So Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd chose to set their quick step to “Highway to the Danger Zone” and dance in matching flight suits, because obviously someone had to. The troops undoubtedly appreciate the effort on their behalf. Len declared it, “Not cupcakes and ice cream, but thunder and lightning,” which he meant as high praise, but, Len, thunder and lightning is clearly worse than cupcakes and ice cream.

Biggest Vote Suck-Up: Gilles and Peta “got a 10 from Len” to make for a solid score of 29.5, but Gilles can’t leave without personally thanking each and every single veteran for liberating his homeland from the Nazis.

Highest Compliment: After getting some words of encouragement from a man named “Moose,” Emmitt Smith, NFL hero and Dallas Cowboy living legend, cut a rug to a Viennese waltz with partner Cheryl Burke. The result caused Len to announce, “This man puts the ‘oo’ in smooth,” but Len probably says that to the Frappucino guy at Starbucks, too. They earned a 28 and encouragement to try harder.

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Best Career Move: Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani make the most of Military Week to show off their synchronized moves while kicking their heels up to a quick step set to “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B” in sparkly Navy uniforms. Bruno shouted, “I WANT TO JOIN THE NAVY!” and Carrie Ann announces that she wants to salute them. If Melissa is looking for a day job, maybe she should look into a career in military recruitment. She scored a perfect 30.

Biggest Buzzkill: I know we’re not allowed to tease Brooke Burke-Charvet anymore, but when Melissa and Tony float to the top of Brooke’s aerie and she pops their happy balloon with a question like, “No one is safe, how nervous are you in the face of a double elimination?” you kind of want to tease her. Luckily their frowns turned upside down when they scored a perfect 30.

Jungle Fever: Derek Hough and Shawn Johnson are joined in their samba by Mark Ballas. The trio delivers a dance filled with a lot of hip thrusting and undoubtedly culturally insensitive tattoos and costumes. Len deemed it very self indulgent with had very little samba content, while Carrie Ann loved it. While Carrie Ann and Len quibbled with each other, Derek and Mark squatted and thrusted in front of them in appreciation. When future anthropologists study this show, this moment will really confuse them. Carrie Ann gave them a 10, Bruno a 9 and Len a 7, which was loudly booed by the audience.

Best Bergeron-ism: Host Tom Bergeron pointed out, “Len, you just got booed by a room full of people trained in combat.”

Seems Reasonable: If you had told Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno that a few short years after dominating the short track he would be dancing in a “trio” with Karina Smirnoff and Sasha Farber to the song “Greased Lightning,” he probably would have realized it was as likely a path as any for an amateur speed skater.

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Biggest Need For a Makeup Break: Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Dancing with the Stars is a live show. Then you are reminded of the hazards of live television when Karina Smirnoff smiles broadly at the judges’ review of her routine…and she has bright red lipstick coating her teeth. Gah, call the Avon Lady! The score of 29 might stop the inevitable tears after she sees the footage.

Best Way to Grow Ratings?: If there was ever a contestant to point out that what DWTS calls “trios” the rest of us call a “ménage à trois,” it would be Kirstie Alley. So when she suggests that she and Maks and guest Tristan MacManus forget the dancing and just get down, it’s what we were all thinking. Strangely Maks and Tristan just want to practice their paso doble.

Best Attitude: After earning decent scores for their dance, Kirstie cracks up laughing at the thought that her team was so good that they were going to get the first ten-and-a-half ever.

Most Backhanded Compliment: Kelly Monaco invited Louis Van Amstel to dance the jive with her and Val because according to Kelly, “I thought you were the best dancer! I just always wanted to dance with you.” Um, Val is standing right there, Kelly. They scored a 28.5 while Val cried quietly to himself. Ladies, Val needs a cuddle!

Biggest Fantasy Killer: Gilles and Peta invited Chelsey to dance with them in their salsa sandwich, which leads me to believe I’m not alone in eating when hungover. The fast-paced dance featured the two women fighting over Gilles, however it’s clear that vote-grubbing Gilles is desperate to score big, not with the ladies, but with the voters. He does, too, with a 29.5.

Watch Your Back, Soldier: Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke were joined on the dance floor by Kym Johnson to deliver a sizzling salsa (which, rumor has it, is available on the menu of your finer Taco Bells). The fast-paced and fun number earned the dancers a perfect 30, which inspired a man in uniform in the audience to firmly shake the hand of Emmitt’s wife. Emmitt can’t complain, though, because it’s Military Week!

Double Trouble: Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani added Henry Byalikov to their paso. Melissa was required to dominate the two men, and the result was enough to make Bachelor Jason regret his decision. They earned a perfect score. Again. If the voters can remember that Melissa exists, she should sail through tomorrow’s results show.

The Scores So Far: Combining the scores from tonight and last week, Melissa and Tony are in the lead, with Kirstie and Maks bringing up the rear.

Best Reason to Come Back Tomorrow: Double Elimination!

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8 comments
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debv
debv

I hated Melissa's last dance, in particular, and thought her "yelling" was ridiculous. Sad to see Gille go.

Dunnpark
Dunnpark

What a snarky article obviously not written by a fan of the show.

fgreco
fgreco

For the writer of this article, I would like to say she has no Idea about the song "In the Arms of an Angel" it was originally written about Drug addicts and the Angel was actually the drug itself in which the addict kept turning in to the arms of; so it was originally about Humans and not dogs.

I resent the incenuation that it has to do with animals, and to suggest using it in a contextual nature with humans is somehow degrading is totally ludicrus, and to say the least ignorant. My son passed away at the young age of 25 and this song was played at his memorial service as to say my son was "Now in the arms of an Angel" so to suggest what you did in your article shows why you will never win a pulitzer much less any award, if at all. Learn to do research first before putting your intelligence in writing for all to see!

debv
debv

@fgreco the writer did not at any point say that the song was "written about animals"...only that it is used by the ASPCA-which is absolutely true. and it's simply foolish to try and deny that the first image that comes to mind whenever most people hear the son is a sad eyed dog. The song IS synonymous with abused animals today, whether it was ever intended to be or not. Regardless, it wasn't a personal affront, it was simply true that among the masses, the song immediately brings to mind the image of a neglected animal. I too, have lost a child, and I am sorry for your loss.

EnairaFontaine
EnairaFontaine

I absolutely loved Melissa Rycroft’s performance this week. Shawn Johnson also did a fantastic job and I think that Derek being back is a good thing. I was thinking for a minute that he might not be back this season because of his crazy back injuries. You just never know with DWTS and this is why I’ve got my Hopper from DISH recording the show each week. It’s got four times more space to record than other DVRs which means that I don’t have to rush to watch everything I’ve recorded. I loved her quickstep also and her sailor outfit was so cute! It definitely fit the dance and the song very well. She showed energy and know-how which made it all look effortless. It was easy to tell that she was having fun. My DISH co-worker really liked Gilles and Peta’s routine but I can’t help myself in thinking that Gilles is overrated. The judges love him so much that even when he does a mediocre dance they score him high. Am I the only one that noticed this?

debv
debv

@EnairaFontaine Isn't there some rule about hawking a product under the guise of a viewer comment?

vrcplou
vrcplou

The "All Star" season of DWTS is starting to feel as long as the election cycle.  And yet, I keep watching.  Why? WHY?

Warid
Warid

A writer Dedicated a book to the people of NEW YORK City & Mayor of the city Bloomberg .