It's a fast moving round two for the 12 All-Star couples on "Dancing with the Stars." We see six quicksteps, and six jives. And now that Pamela Anderson is gone, we're seeing a competition develop that, as the weeks go on, is going to be too close to call!
Here's a rundown of the routines, from high score to low score:
Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel - 26 out of 30
The first big rehearsal injury of the season! Sabrina and Louis van Amstel don't seem to have a "slow" button; it looks like they go all out, every time. In fact, that's what they were criticized for last week. During a rehearsal for one big trick, Sabrina wiped out and hurt her arm. But not badly enough to ruin things! It did make them think twice about going full throttle all the time.
Sabrina and Louis debate whether or not they should do the "injury move," but in the end, they do it, and pull it off with no one hitting the ground. The judges all loved the routine, with Bruno Tonioli calling Sabrina, "Ginger Rogers at her best."
Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd - 25.5 out of 30
Last week, Gilles was a half point behind Emmitt; this week, he's the same half point away from first place. Gilles is playing hurt this week; he's dancing with a severely strained leg muscle. He visits the doctor, gets treatment, vows to dance his heart out ... and he does. Carrie Ann Inaba said his jive had the best kicks and flicks of the night. Len Goodman said the key to winning is consistency, and so far, he and Peta Murgatroyd have that in spades.
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough - 25 out of 30
It's a little funny to see Derek Hough be the old guy of a dance team! He said he honestly is having trouble keeping up the energy level with spitfire Shawn. The jive is a great dance for these two and Derek is really bringing out the fun in this sometimes too-serious Olympian. They start their dance with a cartwheel down the staircase, and it keeps going up from there.
Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff - 24.5 out of 30
The Olympian is used to being on that medal stand, which means first, second or third. He tied for fourth in week one and was not happy about it. Does he get mad? No. He works harder (and sadly, misses the imagined podium by a half point). A tough week of rehearsal with Karina Smirnoff literally means a few kicks in the head, but he learns a great quickstep routine. Len called it gold medal worthy; and Carrie Ann said it looked like he put on his "competition pants." Where do you buy those?
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani - 23.5 out of 30
Melissa called this her redemption dance because her first time here she cracked a rib doing this dance and the doctors wouldn't let her perform on "game night." Remember that dance, fans? They judged her on her taped rehearsal. Tony Dovolani choreographs a fast, fast, fast jive to the 50's favorite "Shout." And shout is exactly what Bruno and Len did when they disagreed about Melissa's technique. There was a lot of yelling and nitpicking, and, in the end, it was all over half a point difference in their scoring.
Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower - 23 out of 30
It's time for Helio to take Chelsie Hightower to the racetrack to see how hard his day job is. But dance rehearsal is what we really want to see. It looks like Helio might not pick things up as quickly as some others but no one works harder. He learns a very fast moving jive, and as usual, smiles throughout the whole thing. Carrie Ann said this week his body caught up to the charm, Len called the dance fabulous, and Bruno said it was a delicious treat.
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke - 22.5 out of 30
Emmitt was absolutely as good this week as he was last week. But that's not good enough! This competition is tough, the scores are tight, and doing a really good routine doesn't cut it when others do really great routines. The judges all liked his attitude and his chemistry with Cheryl Burke, but advised him to "bring it" if he wants to keep holding on to the top of the leader board.
Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya - 22.5 out of 30
Drew was absolutely freaked out at being in the bottom two last week. He and Anna Trebunskaya hit the rehearsal hall like crazy because he does not want to feel that feeling again. Drew starts the routine by surprising us with a move I can only describe as a side handstand on a flagpole. Their jive is non-stop action, and the judges are mostly complimentary; they all warned him about being flat footed every so often. Yes, they can be that picky during week two because this is All-Star season!
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson - 22.5 out of 30
Like Drew and Anna, Joey and Kym Johnson also give each other a big pep talk about how hard they need to work because the standard is set so high this season. Joey does "fun" better than anyone else, but it's the technique parts that the judges keep calling him out on. They do a quickstep that unnerved me a little because of the song. Radiohead's "Creep" just doesn't seem right for the ballroom.
Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy - 22 out of 30
Maybe it's because she is seven years older than her first time on the show, maybe it's her different partner? but Kelly seems very much more at ease this time around. She showed her fun side by bringing in a bra and water balloons for her partner Val Chmerkovskiy to wear so he could get a first hand "feel" of what it's like to dance with big breasts. Empathy works! She looked like a princess in her pink ball gown during their romantic quickstep.
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 21 out of 30
Maksim Chmerkovskiy has a unique technique to show Kirstie Alley how to do her jive kicks and flicks properly: he ties her knees together. With rubber gloves. It sounds like a comic bit, but I don't think it was! Bless Kirstie for giving it her all; she has the line of the night when she says "3 lifetimes of Shawn Johnson is how old I am." The judges give her kudos for keeping up with the "kids" and overall, gave her loads of encouragement.
Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas - 18 out of 30
After the Results show last week, Bristol was jumping out of her skin with excitement over her week two song. And Bristol is not one to show too much excitement over anything. We learned the favorite song is the Gretchen Wilson country anthem, "Redneck Woman." Mark Ballas had the challenge of designing a quickstep to a country song. It was certainly fine, but didn't seem up to the level of the other All-Stars. Apparently they also broke the rules (by breaking hold) and that drew much scorn from the judges.
On Tuesday night, 12 will quickly be cut down to 11 on the next Results show. Special guest in the ballroom: last season's runner up Katherine Jenkins!