Was Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya's jive good enough to avoid the… (Craig Sjodin )
Welcome to Week 2 of “Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars,” ballroom fans! Now that we’ve worked out all the Week 1 jitters and the contestants have sized up their fellow stars, the competition can really begin.
Certainly, it’s a whole new Mirrorball playing field this season. No one can be content to rest on laurels. One bad step can leave you simmering under the red lights of jeopardy. This week’s dances zipped back and forth between the quickstep and jive, and the all-stars and their pro partners were risking life and limb to gain that cutting edge. Not to say that there was love lost among these stars and pros — there were also a lot of kisses proffered during this performance show, weren't there? Maybe as a reward for bringing their A-plus game.
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And we’ve got a new leader! This week, that honor went to fan favorite Sabrina Bryan and her pro partner Louis Van Amstel. Though this result, as it turned out, was hard won. Louis was not going Amstel light on the former Cheetah girl. He pushed her to do a trick that had them scampering up the ballroom steps and Sabrina dipped at the end. Only Louis accidentally dropped his partner during one trial run and she cut her arm. Some water cooler talk was spent on whether or not to keep the move, which nearly made Sabrina and Louis late for their routine. But the move was kept in, Sabrina was successfully dipped, and the crowd went wild at the end.
“Oh my god, it is Ms. Ginger Rogers at her best!” Bruno cheered. “A dazzler! A true dazzler!” Carrie Ann called the whole thing “ridiculous.” “Your top line is something that I’ve never seen before, ever,” she exclaimed. “You had grace, you had drama, you had dynamics. It was awesome!” “The hits just keep on coming,” Len cheered. “You kept all your upper body calm and under control, but your legs were working.” And she scored the season's first 9! Total: 26 out of 30.
Gilles Marini was hampered somewhat during this week’s rehearsals. The actor was sidelined by a pulled hamstring the morning of his first performance, and he also strained one of the muscles in his thigh. But if anything, Gilles is a trouper, and his hair during this jive with Peta Murgatroyd matched his lofty ambitions. He wants to perform the best jive ever. And their dance was technically good, though I found the disconnect between Gilles’ and Peta’s outfits distracting. Gilles looked like a ’70s throwback, while Peta looked punk like Pink in a bristly looking fringe bra top and pipe cleaner pants. Still, Carrie Ann called Gilles’ kicks and flicks the best of the night. “I’m seeing a little John Travolta thing happening here, and it’s quite enjoyable,” she giggled. Len called the routine fast and fabulous. “You’ve got the kicks, you’ve got the cleavage, let the good times roll!” roared Bruno. What’s more, the song was in tribute to Gilles’ father, who passed away 17 years ago today. Total: 25.5.
As a gold-medal-winning Olympian, Shawn Johnson said she burned a little bit after she didn’t end up in the top three the first week. The cartwheeling gymnast realized that she’s going to have to up her game with Derek Hough in this week’s jive. And their routine, which took a page from "Hairspray," was an "American Bandstand"-style treat. Bonus points to Shawn and Derek for gamely raising their arms in gymnastics-like salute before commercial break. And an extra gold star to Shawn for not being the slightest bit winded after that whip-fast content-laden routine (“Not breathing hard,” Tom pointed to Shawn. Pointing to Derek: “Almost dead”). Len, however, thought their jive was the dance equivalent of melba toast. “It was good enough, [but] I want to see more than enough,” the head judge winked. Bruno called shenanigans on Len’s critique, crowing that the routine was “vibrant, exhilarating, eye-popping.” He wouldn’t fault it with a microscope. Carrie Ann dubbed Shawn and Derek “the all-star sweethearts.” Total: 25.