Tuesday night’s Dancing With The Stars All Stars sent shock waves through the performing arts dancing community as day end results did not turn out the way folks had imagined. Surprisingly, Helio Castroneves and Drew Lachey were sent packing. The two, both danced quite well, but didn’t wow the viewers enough to get their vote. On the other hand, Bristol Palin and Kirstie Alley escaped elimination when loyal fans by the droves voted to keep them for another round.
The elimination of Castroneves and Lachey, season 2 champion and season 5 champion drew boos from the ballroom audience.
Castroneves, Lachey and Sabrina Bryan were all in danger of going home because they had the three lowest overall totals.
Elimination is determined based on a combination of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes. Both Castroneves and Lachey have found themselves in the bottom two in previous weeks, so while it’s a shame based on their dancing skills, it wasn’t a huge surprise.
Nevertheless, both were gracious in their remarks about leaving the show. Meanwhile, hardcore “Dancing With The Stars” fans expressed outrage about Bristol Palin staying on the show as twitter overwhelmingly echoed their disappointment.
It’s easy enough to find the comments under the hashtag #DWTS, so none will be repeated here. But it’s the fans who kept Palin in, combined with the fans who didn’t vote for Drew or Helio.
Because the couples are all quite skilled, some exceptionally so, the point range isn’t very wide from top to bottom. If Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas’ score of 22.5 was tossed out, only three points separated Drew Lachey and Kirstie Alley tied second to last with 24 points to Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni and Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy with 27 points.
This week was more apparent than ever that the fans will have a big say in who eventually makes it to the finals.
Next week, the competitors dance in a style chosen by their fellow competitors from a short list. It was their chance to strategize and pick styles that would present a greater challenge to their competitors. Some made smart choices; others threw their competitors straight into the briar patch.
Palin chose Bollywood for Gilles Marini, which drew laughs. Kirstie Alley picked Disco for Sabrina Bryan, which she seemed to like, and Sabrina handed Kirstie and partner Maks Chmerkovskiy the Charleston, a truly brilliant and wicked thing to do. Helio Castroneves picked the Mambo for Shawn Johnson. Kelly Monaco handed the bolero to Emmitt Smith; Smith responded with Contemporary for Monaco. Rycroft chose hip-hop for Ohno. Apparently she didn’t see Ohno’s winning hip hop freestyle routine in season 4; he was delighted. Ohno chose the jitterbug for Rycroft, which will be fine for her. Bristol Palin ended up with the last choice, rock and roll. Please, let’s not put her in too much leather. It’s not asking too much.
For Monday night’s performance, judges gave Castroneves 25.5 out of a possible 30 points for his quickstep, landing him in a four-way tie for fourth place. Judges awarded Lachey 24 points for his cha-cha, putting him in a two-way tie for sixth place. Those scores were later combined with the viewers’ votes for the overall total. Bryan, a singer and actress, had the second-highest score of Monday night. The lowest scorer of Monday night was Bristol Palin, who earned 22.5 points for her paso doble. She was not in the bottom two tonight. Lachey, the former 98 Degrees member who won season 2 of “Dancing With the Stars,” found out he was going home at the halfway point during the results show, and he was disappointed. “I can honestly say I would not change a thing. … We had a great time. I had an amazing competitor,” he said, referring to his pro partner, Anna Trebunskaya.
Castroneves, a race car driver and the show’s season 5 winner, thanked his pro partner, Chelsie Hightower, and thanked the fans who voted for him. “I want to thank my family, Chelsie, and I want to thank America. … I couldn’t be happier,” he said.
Last night’s show featured live performances by Karmin and Frankie Moreno.
In addition to Palin, returning next week to perform are actresses Kirstie Alley and Kelly Monaco, Olympians Shawn Johnson and Apolo Ohno, actor Gilles Marini, Bryan and TV personality Melissa Rycroft.
Stay tuned for next week as we’re guaranteed to see some new elements as the contestants have selected dances for each other and Paula Abdul will guest judge.
When Castroneves got the cut, she spoke of wanting to thank America, but with Bristol Palin saved for yet another day, it begs the question of who really should be thanking America.
Contributor D. Chandler