"Dancing with the Stars: week five; part one of two; guilty pleasures." No elimination! And the other headline of the week: "Melissa Rycroft goes to the hospital!"
The producers have a lot on their plate this week. We have the presidential debate to thank for this mixed up schedule. Due to the programming hiccup, this week's competition was split into two nights. We see four couples dance Monday night; four dance on Tuesday. Plus, one "team freestyle" rocks the ballroom on each night. And Monday night, one dance literally knocks a judge off her seat!
The theme for the week is your "guilty pleasure" song. And, as it was explained to us by Apolo Ohno, it means the song you sing loudly and proudly - when you're in your car, when you're in the shower, when it's your turn to choose the karaoke tune - even if it might embarrass you just a bit.
Night one individual scores, from highest to lowest:
Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd - 29.5 out of 30
Give this guy a romantic dance and you know it's going to be special. Peta Murgatroyd choreographs the rumba for the couple this week, and Gilles' song is Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." We discover in the too-much-information segment, that this song was popular when he was a teenager and first started "discovering" the opposite sex.
The first part of the dance is done with singer Carmen Carter performing a cappella. They keep to time perfectly, and that's got to be tricky! Len Goodman said the dance had everything; Bruno Tonioli called it incredible and one of Gilles' best; and Carrie Ann Inaba got so excited she fell out of her chair and hit the floor. (She was okay. And, Gilles came to help her get up, so she was actually more than okay).
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke - 29 out of 30
When you hear Emmitt's guilty pleasure song, it's hard not to move. Or at least tap your toes! It's Barry Manilow's "Copacabana." Emmitt and Cheryl Burke do a lively, energetic and fun samba.
Both Cheryl and Bruno let us know that this is one hard dance, and the trick is to make it look easy. And Emmitt does. Len says this routine was a near perfect equation: Emmitt + Cheryl + Barry = Unstoppable!
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy - 25.5 out of 30
Kirstie's partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy speaks the truth. He said, out loud, what a lot of us were thinking: now that Bristol Palin is gone, the show is filled with amazing dancers. Kirstie has a great reply, though. Not all of those others dancers are also great entertainers! And she is, that's for sure. (She also stayed classy and didn't tell us who she doesn't consider an entertainer!)
Kirstie has a tough rehearsal week and has a breakdown during final rehearsal, but she left those nerves behind for her quickstep performance to Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson." All three judges called it her best dance yet!
Kelly Monaco and Valentin Chmerkovskiy - 24.5 out of 30
Kelly's a closet pop princess since she chose the very contemporary tune by Brit songbird Cher Lloyd, "Want U Back" as her guilty pleasure song. Her "day job" is back on, so Kelly had to juggle "General Hospital" duties with her dance rehearsals.
Kelly and Val Chmerkovskiy performed a swinging samba; Bruno liked it best and gave them a half point higher than the other two judges.
Group freestyle dance: Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough, Sabrina Bryan & Louis Van Amstel, Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff, Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani - 29.5 out of 30
It's a talented group that didn't seem to take to their Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe" right away! But their talent shines through, and after one rocky rehearsal, they pull together a fun, vibrant, filled-with-flips routine. We also got the 4-1-1 on Melissa Rycroft's injury; Tony Dovolani likened it to whiplash and in the end, we learn she herniated a disc in her neck. But doctors cleared her to dance, and dance she did.
The group chose a high school/cheerleader/football player theme and it was non-stop action from start to finish. Both Len and Bruno gave the group a "10", with Carrie Ann holding back a hair and offering a 9.5.
These four from "Team Shawn" will perform their individual dances Tuesday night; the other four from "Team Gilles" do their group routine. And no one gets eliminated this week!