‘Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars’ review: Shawn Johnson shines minus Derek Hough

When you go out to eat at a fusion restaurant, you expect all sorts of great things in between some tasty cuisine, fantastic service, and an experience that makes you want to live through it all over again. It was fusion night on “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” Monday, and the judges were looking for much of the same sort of thing.

There were plenty of standout performances even with this confusing theme, though about midway through the show, it was almost as if producers lit a sign over a certain pair that should be leaving the competition a week from Tuesday night.

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff – For this cha-cha / paso doble, Karina obviously taught Apolo the most important rule for a male dancer in the ballroom: if you want more votes, take your shirt off midway through the performance. The dance got off to a slow start, but it is almost like the shirt was his kryptonite, and he was so much better once he had it off. Score: 27

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke – Poor Emmitt. Why would anyone be so cruel as to make him do a rumba and a samba in the same dance? The tempos here are confusing, but the dance somehow worked well from an entertainment standpoint. Apolo was probably the better dancer technically, but even as an athlete Emmit seems to have figured out how work the crowd better than anyone. Score: 27.5

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy – Forget what we said about Emmitt. Kirstie having to do a quickstep and a samba together is horrendous. This dance wasn’t really good, either. Are the judges finally starting to bury Kirstie and get her out? We wonder. On a different note, hats off to these two for taking time out of their rehearsal schedule to get care packages together for Hurricane Sandy victims. Score: 24

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy – This foxtrot and the cha-cha do not go together at all, but this dance really came together better than most of the others. While Emmitt is about entertainment and Melissa shines with technical prowess, these two are all about chemistry … and they have enough of it to make Walter White jealous. Score: 27

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani – Just as we said, Kelly is the master technician of the remaining stars, and she nailed just about every step of the cha-cha / tango hybrid that she was given. It’s not as easy to connect with Melissa as some of the other stars, but Tony more than made up for it after what his family has been going through on the east coast. Score: 29

Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas – Admittedly, Shawn had a bit of an advantage in that the tango and paso doble bear some similarities when it comes to the sort of intensity you bring to each style. As you know already, Mark came in to replace an injured Derek Hough for the week, and he actually did a great job here in getting rid of some of the tricks, and just allowing Shawn to shine with this incredible dance. Score: 30

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd – If you were basing your vote solely on who shows the most skin, Gilles wins! This was not his best dance by any means, but the Argentine tango mixed with a samba did still play to many of his strengths as a dancer and an entertainer. Score: 28.5

Dance Marathon – This was completely ridiculous, but we should point out that Melissa and Tony were the winners, and they thus received ten extra points for the night.

Who was your favorite dancer on this week’s show, and did you like the whole fusion night theme?

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