‘Dancing With The Stars:’ Melissa Rycroft Hits Perfection With Veterans Day Tributes & Trio Dances

The All-Stars have upped the ante this week of Dancing With The Stars in hopes to avoid the looming double elimination that faces themAdding to the pressure, the stars had two dances to tackle last night: one of which was a tribute to U.S. soldiers in honor of Veterans Day, the other a trio dance with another dancing pro or troupe member.

Standing at the top of the leader board this week is Melissa Rycroft, who had a perfect night of dancing. Her individual Navy-inspired quickstep delighted the judges who awarded her a perfect score, her first of the season. In the trio round, she stepped up her game playing the role of dominatrix for a fiery paso doble that made judge Len Goodman gush, “Of all the celebrities…you impress me the most.”  Melissa earned her second perfect 30 of the night, bringing her combined scores from this week and last to 99, which she was more than elated about.

Melissa was the one to beat this week, but gymnast Shawn Johnson was right on her tail. Shawn’s graceful and poignant Viennese waltz made judge Bruno Tonioli exclaim for its “heavenly perfection.” However, her first high score of 29.5 was tarnished in the trio round when Shawn’s animalistic, tribal samba with partner Derek Hough and guest dancer Mark Ballas failed to deliver to the judges’ high expectations. Len claimed there was “very little samba content” while Carrie Ann Inaba applauded her for taking risks. She ended the night with a score of 26, bringing her combined total to 93.5 for the two weeks.

Coming off a strong performance, Apolo Anton Ohno kept his momentum going for his action-packed tango and made quite an entrance by zip-lining down to the dance floor. He came out with a “full on attack,” according to Len, with sharp, defined movements that Bruno compared to Tom Cruise’s stealthness in Mission Impossible. Scoring a near-perfect 29.5 in the individuals, Apolo added another 29 points in his Grease-inspired trio jive that Carrie called his “most vibrant performance” yet.  His new total is 91.5.

Sliding gradually down the leader board week after week, Gilles Marini attempted to resecure his spot on top with a quickstep that had all the elements of success. With fast, slick movements, Gilles captivated the audience and even gave a very pronounced salute to the troops sitting in the front row. Earning a 29.5 from the judges, he seemed to have gained his confidence back and entered the trio dance at the top of his game. The judges loved how he took control of the sexy salsa threesome with guest dancer Chelsea Hightower and didn’t seem to mind that he lost timing a couple of times during the routine, earning him a score of 29, bringing him in total to 92.

Kelly Monaco keeps proving herself as a dancer each week and pushing the limits of her agility in hopes to stand out from the other All-Stars. Her first dance, the Viennese waltz, was filled with graceful arm movements and big twirls, and overall Len said her routine “flowed nicely.”

Going into the trio dance with a score of 28, Kelly ended the night on a high note with her spunky jive trio dance with guest dancing pro Louis Van Amstel. Len said the routine had the “F-factor” meaning it was fast, fun and flamboyant. Carrie thought her transitions were “seamless,” which helped earn Kelly another 28.5 points.  Her final combined score for this week and last is now 92.5.

Emmitt Smith’s temperate Viennese waltz, prompted mixed reviews from the judges.  He earned a 28 in the individual round, but it was the trio dance that let the NFL star really shine. His spicy salsa featuring dancing pro Kym Johnson wowed all the judges for its clever choreography and natural movements that earned him his first perfect score of the season.  He also ended the night with a 92.5

Sitting at the bottom of the leader board for another week is Kirstie Alley, who’s coming off a tough last week of dances. The judges all agreed her elegant Viennese waltz was her best dance yet, earning her a 27, a highest score of the season. Carrie Ann though would like to see more difficulty from Kirstie next time. Dressed as fallen angels, the judges loved the theme of the dance, but thought the presentation “lacked finesse” and was a bit “sloppy.” Though she was only awarded 24 points on the trio dance and bringing her to a total of 79, it didn’t seem to faze the eternal optimist in Kirstie.

Tonight, two stars are in danger of going home as they face a double elimination. More than ever, it’s the fans’ votes that will keep the best dancers safe for another week. Who are you voting for?


This week’s scores:

Melissa Rycroft: 30; 30 – Combined total of 99 points

Shawn Johnson: 29.5; 26 – Combined total of 93.5 points

Kelly Monaco: 28; 28.5 – Combined total of 92.5 points

Emmitt Smith: 28; 30 – Combined total of 92.5 points

Gilles Marini: 29.5; 29 – Combined total of 92 points

Apolo Ohno: 29.5; 29 – Combined total of 91.5 points

Kirstie Alley: 27; 24 – Combined total of 79 points

Voted Off:

Pamela Anderson (week 1)

Joey Fatone (week 2)

Helio Castroneves and Drew Lachey (week 3)

Bristol Palin (week 4)

Sabrina Bryan (week 6)

Britt Bickle, 94.7 The Wave


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