DWTS 15 Week 8: Who will survive?

It’s already week eight on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” and the competition is hot. Clearly the weakest couple is Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy who, after four scores–two of which were earned Monday night, are at the bottom of the leader board with only 79 out of a possible 100 points. Compare that to Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani who had two perfect scores this week and won the swing marathon last week for a total of 99 points.

  1. Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 39 + 60 = 99/100
  2. Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 38 + 55.5 = 93.5/100
  3. Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 36 + 56.5 = 92.5/100
  4. Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 34.5 + 58.0 = 92.5/100
  5. Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 33.5 + 58.5 = 92.0/100
  6. Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 33 + 58.5= 91.5/100
  7. Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 28 + 51.079.0/100

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook. Online voting closes at 8 a.m. PST.

Yet being at the top of the leader board doesn’t guarantee that a couple will survive. Remember that the last elimination during week six took the top scoring couple, Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel, who also had just received a perfect score the night before for their rumba. That meant fans voted for the bottom couple of that week–Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy who had 78.5 points compared to Bryan and van Amstel’s 88.5. Alley and Maksim had a score of 82 and Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke were just barely better with 82.5.  Week five was limited to two performance shows due to the presidential debates and there was no elimination so the team freestyle scores and the individual dances carried over to week six.

This week, each couple performed an individual dance which was themed to honor veterans because Monday was Veteran’s Day. That brought out the uniforms and heroes and who doesn’t love men in uniforms? Gilles Marini and his partner Peta Murgatroyd looked like secret agents: Anyone for a French James Bond?

Monday night’s individual dances brought one perfect score.  Rycroft and Dovolani wouldn’t be the only team to get tens and that left three couples tied for second. Head judge Len Goodman found Marini and Smirnoff as good as Rycroft and Dovolani. It was Carrie Ann Inaba who found them less than perfect. For the two teams of Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff and Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough, Goodman found fault–just half a point.

  • Tied for second: Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 29.5 (9.5,10.0,10.0), Quickstep to “Danger Zone“—Kenny LogginsApolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 29.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0), Tango to “Holding Out for a Hero“—Bonnie Tyler

    Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 29.5 (10.0,9.5,10.0), Viennese Waltz to “Angel“—Sarah McLachlan

  • Tied for fifth: Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy: 28.0 (9.5,9.0,9.5), Viennese Waltz to “I’ll Be“—Edwin McCainEmmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 28.0 (9.0,9.5,9.5), Viennese Waltz to “Love Letters”—Ketty Lester
  • Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 27.0 (9.0,9.0,9.0), Viennese Waltz to “Hallelujah“—Leonard Cohen

The judges agreed that this was Alley’s best dance and she received her highest scores for the season. She looked good and even lost some of her characteristic limp arms. Unfortunately that didn’t carry over to the Latin round.

The Latin round was a trio challenge: Each team added a new professional dancer to the mix.

Two teams received perfect scores: Rycroft and Dovolani and Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke. Rycroft and Dovolani were joined by DWTS troupe member Henry Byalikov for a passionate Paso Doble which forced Rycroft to find her inner dominatrix.

Two teams were tied for third place: Marini and Murgatroyd dancing salsa with Chelsie Hightower and Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff were dancing jive with Sasha Farber.

You’d think that Derek Hough and Mark Ballas with Shawn Johnson would be a perfect team, but they went a bit wacko and performed a tribal, earthy samba with very few samba steps. That’s the kind of choreography that may get the attention of producers of musicals, but aren’t what this show requires and everyone knows that Johnson can dance. Another misjudgment was having Alley dance barefoot in a paso doble. She didn’t have the lines and the paso doble requires forced Latin lines that are easier to do with the help of Latin heels. Latin heels are higher than regular ballroom heels by about half an inch.

    • Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani with Henry Byalikov: 30.0 (10.0,10.0,10.0), Paso Doble to “Rumour Has It“—Adele
    • Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke with Kym Johnson: 30.0 (10.0,10.0,10.0), Salsa to “Mr. Saxobeat“—Alexandra Stan
    • Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd with Chelsie Hightower: 29.0 (9.5,10.0,9.5), Salsa to “Rebelión”-—Joe Arroyo
    • Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff with Sasha Farber: 29.0 (9.5,9.5,10.0), Jive to “Greased Lightnin'”—from Grease
  • Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy with Louis van Amstel: 28.5 (9.5,9.5,9.5), Jive to “Animal“—Neon Trees.
  • Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough with Mark Ballas: 26.0 (10.0,7.0,9.0), Samba to “Jungle Jazz”—Les Tambours du Bronx
  • Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy with Tristan MacManus: 24.0 (8.0,8.0,8.0), Paso Doble to “Bring Me to Life“—Evanescence

Rycroft and Dovolani hopefully won’t be eliminated. They deserve to be in the finals, particularly after Rycroft overcame her injury. Alley and Maksim should go, but they have a fan base and remember what happened during the last elimination.

You can still vote online through the ABC.com website or by Facebook. Online voting closes at 8 a.m. PST.

About Jana J. Monji

I've written for the Rafu Shimpo, LA Weekly, LA Times, Examiner.com and, more recently, the Pasadena Weekly and RogerEbert.com. I formerly worked for a dot-com more interested in yodeling than its customers.

Posted on November 13, 2012, in Apolo Anton Ohno, Dancing with the Stars: Season 15, Emmit Smith, Gilles Marini, Kelly Monaco, Kirstie Alley, Melissa Rycroft, Voting. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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