'Dancing With the Stars All-Stars' recap, Bristol Palin goes rogue

From former champions to fan favorites, including a celebrity voted in by fans, the All-Star cast along with their professional partners returned to the ballroom on the season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars."
From former champions to fan favorites, including a celebrity voted in by fans, the All-Star cast along with their professional partners returned to the ballroom on the season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars." (ABC)

Here we go -- second week with these All-Stars. I hate Brooke's dress from mid-thigh down. It's like a cute dress got attacked by an unraveled loofah.

Tom jokes that Pamela went home and left behind a "trail of body glitter."


Melissa Rycroft &  Tony Dovolani -- Jive

In rehearsal, Melissa says that everyone is dancing now at the level they dance in finals during a regular season. Melissa and Tony didn't get to perform the jive during her regular season because of a rib injury -- the judges had to judge based on rehearsal footage. Oh, I remember that. It was weird.


Yowza this is a full speed jive! Melissa is flagging a little bit near the end, but I'm amazed she hasn't passed out, so full credit to her.

Len says they've set the bar high for the night. Bruno calls her "the fastest girl in town" and excuses her from cardio for the rest of the week. Then Bruno and Len argue so much that Carrie Ann doesn't really get to speak.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 8; Bruno: 7.5

Bruno mentioned a few flaws he saw in the routine so that explains his slightly lower score.


Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas -- Quickstep

I'm already dubious about a quickstep danced to "Redneck Woman" in cowboy boots. Wow -- now she's taking Mark to a shooting range. I have a feeling this segment is going to be a hit with a not-insignificant part of the DWTS viewership. I do have to laugh, though, when Bristol says without a trace of awareness of the pun, "Being at the gun range triggered something in me that makes me really want to do well in this competition."

Yeah, a quickstep to this is just as weird as I thought it'd be. I bet Len is going to rip them for all the honkytonk moves.

Bruno says it was "definitely different." He says they weren't in hold enough and when they weren't in hold, she messed up and when they were in hold, her frame wasn't good. Carrie Ann explains there's a rule that you can break hold at the beginning, or the end, but that once you're in hold, you're supposed to stay in hold. Is that a ballroom rule, or a DWTS rule, or a quickstep rule?

Carrie Ann goes so far as to say, "You slammed us in the face by saying, 'I'm not gonna follow your rules." BRISTOL GOING ROGUE. Len liked the enthusiasm, didn't like the break in the middle, and surprises me by liking the "hoedown" moves.

In the backstage interview, we find out Bristol had fun and HAVING FUN IS ALL THAT MATTERS, Y'ALL. RULES ARE FOR SUCKERS.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 6; Len: 6; Bruno: 6

If this weren't the All-Star season with its prematurely inflated scores, those numbers would be lower, based on the judges' comments.

Helio Castroneves & Chelsie Hightower -- Jive

Chelsie teases Helio that he should be fine with the fast dance because he's used to being fast. And then Helio puts Chelsie in a race car, which would be SO MUCH FUN. Helio's got the speed, but every now and then on the flicks and kicks, his toes could be a little bit more pointed. After Melissa and Tony's jive earlier, this feels a little thin on content.

Carrie Ann says sometimes Helio's body doesn't keep up with the charm that shows on her face, but his week it did. Len says he has "a smile with style." Len compliments the kicks and flicks, and he's the professional, so listen to him, not me. Bruno points out a tiny flaw in Helio's landing after he jumped from the stage. Poor Helio has lipstick marks all over his face from the kisses in the routine.

Helio's daughter is in the audience and she is both bored and cute.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8; Len: 7.5;  Bruno: 7.5

Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff -- Quickstep

Apolo didn't like fourth place, because, in Olympic terms, it's "off the podium." He was surprised by how good the competition was last week. Apolo asks Siri for help with his quickstep. Good luck with that, Ohno. Karina says that the judges are going to be looking for the male celebrities to lead more this season.

Hot diggity! The camera guys have heard my pleas and give us some good, long looks at their legs and feet during this routine. And it's good they did because that was some FANCY footwork. Very impressive.

"Gold medal," Len says. He said it combined speed and control. Bruno says it proves that determination and hard work paid off and adds that in the "variations at the corner" Apolo's footwork was "incredible." Carrie Ann says "Someone put on his 'competition pants' tonight," and from the look on her face, I think she'd like to help him take them off. Cold shower, Miss Inaba!

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8; Bruno: 8

High score of the night now -- half a point ahead of Melissa & Tony.

Sabrina Bryan &  Louis van Amstel -- Quickstep

In rehearsal footage, we see that Sabrina still wears Uggs. So there's that. They're practicing a move going up and then back down the stairs and Louis drops her and it hurts her arm. Will they leave the move in or take it out? DO THE PAMCHENKO!

And now they're doing the quickstep to "Black Betty" or as you probably think of it "The Bam a Lam song." It kind of works, in a weird way. They appear to finish the routine with the controversial move and it looks like Louis almost drops her again. Personally, I'm a little worried her bosoms are going to fall out of the top of her dress.

Bruno compares her to "Ginger Rogers" at her best -- which, ok. But then he says something about a triple kick that does sound impressive. Carrie Ann goes nuts for her "top line" and is overall pretty excited. Len says this season "the hits just keep on coming." Sabrina starts jumping up and down so hard her mic gets static-y. Careful, girl.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 9; Len: 8.5; Bruno: 8.5

High score of the night and of the season so far. Somebody really, really wants to make sure Sabrina doesn't go home early again.

Kirstie Alley &  Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- Jive

Kirstie talks about how she was getting her knees up high, more like a hoedown. So Maks brings in some latex gloves and ties them together to make a band to keep her knees together. Oh, you sweet Ukrainian -- I'm pretty sure Kirstie would be the first to tell you that that's too little, too late.  Kirstie talks about how hard it is to keep up with the younger dancers and says she's "Three lifetimes of Shawn." Ha!

Oh dear. Someone's plopped some roadkill on Kirstie's head. It's a black bobbed wig and it's not good. The dance is about as good as the wig, unfortunately.

Carrie Ann is encouraging, but unspecific. Len got "palpitations" from Kirstie coming over. He says it was "neat" and "precise" and had a lot of "recognizable jive movement." Bruno speaks Bruno and Maks tries to goose Tom before they head up the stairs.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7; Len: 7; Bruno: 7

Which puts her a whole point ahead of Bristol. But I'm thinking Bristol has a huge voting base.


Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke -- Quickstep


Emmitt explains that his head is crooked because of football. I buy that. Emmitt's face is the best thing about this routine -- he's got charm in abundance. But Apolo's footwork was more interesting and Melissa's jive had more content.

Len likes his attitude but says that his upper body was not great for the quickstep. Bruno agrees on the upper body issue and points out a flaw in timing at one point. Carrie Ann says it was good, but not an improvement from last week and that Helio and Apolo did better tonight.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7.5

That's a step down for them from last week.

Drew Lachey & Anna Trebunskaya -- Jive

Tom basically explains that Drew had pretty much nobody vote for him last week, given how much he fell in the standings between judges' score and the addition of the fan votes.

Drew's begging Anna to slap him, for a move they want to put in the routine. Y'all, Anna isn't wearing much more than a bra, panties, and hose. That's one way to try to get votes. This is a very nontraditional jive, mostly because they got hampered with a Fall Out Boy song.

Bruno liked the energy but warns Drew that he goes flat footed, which affects his foot placement for the jive. Len admits he's an old fogey as he warns Drew to get up on the balls of his feet.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7.5

Overscored. But they clearly want to keep Drew around and are worried about his lack of fan votes.

Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson -- Quickstep

In this footage shot outside the trailers, it's interesting to see how Kym looks when she's not made up for TV. Kind of like a normal woman.

Oh, heaven have mercy, they've jazzed up Radiohead's "Creep" and it's worse than Pat Boone doing heavy metal. Carrie Ann says they nailed the performance, but there were some mistakes. Len says, "Poor posture, bad footwork, lost body contact, frame wasn't constant ... but I really enjoyed it." As Len says, "If you can't dance much, come out and entertain us." Bruno compliments the entertainment and the character but that "technically" it could have been better.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7.5; Bruno: 7.5

Wow. Those are really good after those comments. They really, really want Bristol gone.

Even Tom points out, "Wow, that 7.5 paddle is really earning its keep tonight."

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough -- Jive

Shawn seems a little scared by some of the moves Derek's trying to throw in. She and Derek talk about throwing in some gymnastics to the routine because that'' something she does that the other contestants don't. I don't know -- Len might get snitty about it.

Ok, they both do cartwheels to get down the stairs, and that's probably about as much gymnastics as they should put in. This jive is almost as high energy as Tony and Melissa's, but Shawn looks way less winded. Ah, youth. Tom points out as they come over to face the judges that Shawn is not breathing hard and that Derek is "almost dead."

Len says it was a "just enough" jive, with "just enough" content, "just enough" in hold, and "just enough" technique, but says from Shawn he wants to see "more than enough." Bruno likes it a lot.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 8.5; Len: 8; Bruno: 8.5.

Kelly Monaco & Val Chmerkovskiy -- Quickstep

Kelly says that last week may have been the first time she danced without counting. I like her candor. In rehearsal, Val says there's too much bouncing up top and she brings in a bra and some balloons so he'll see what it's like dancing with "a rack." She really cracks me up.

Kelly looks like a pretty, pretty princess in all this pink tulle and lamé, but that's the effect they're going for, with Val in a white suit and a castle at the top of the stage. I'm not sure it's doing her any favors, though, when it comes to showcasing the quickstep footwork.

Bruno said it was elegant and she was great in side to side, but lost herself during hold sometimes. He says she loses her frame in hold; he knows it's "hard with the zeppelins there." Hey, way to just say it there, Bruno. Carrie Ann thinks she needs to dance bigger and extend her lines better. Len likes her spins, but warns that she gets "hunchy crunchy" in hold.

Scores: Carrie Ann: 7.5; Len: 7; Bruno: 7.5

Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd -- Jive

Gilles is working through a strained hamstring. And really should rest it for two weeks to fix it. Instead a guy rubs a wand on it and I wonder what I did to anger the gods that that is not my job.

Ok, the bouffant hair makes a leeeetle more sense when it's revealed that their jive is to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now." I would have given him all the points in the world if he'd grown a big, giant Freddie Mercury moustache. Peta is wearing a fringed bikini top and fringed pants. And Miley Cyrus' new hair on a bender. It's a look.

In the middle of the song, Peta gives Gille a solo, which is bold for this early in the season. I'm pretty sure Len is going to ding this routine for not having enough "jive" in it. We'll see.

Carrie Ann says his kicks and flicks are "by far the best of the night." Len says the key to winning this season is being consistent and he thinks he attacked the jive tonight. Bruno says a bunch of nonsense that adds up to: he liked it.

Scores: Carrie Ann:  8.5; Len 8.5;  Bruno: 8.5

Second highest score of the night. YAY! I want Gilles to stick around for a long, long time.


Sabrina & Louis: 26

Gilles & Peta: 25.5

Shawn & Derek: 25

Apolo & Karina: 24.5

Melissa & Tony: 23.5

Helio & Chelsie: 23

Traffic jam at 22.5: Emmitt & Cheryl, Drew & Anna, Joey & Kym

Kelly & Val: 22

Kirstie & Maks: 21

Bristol & Mark: 18

With such a significant gap (three points!) between Bristol and the rest of the pack, it'll be interesting to see if she's in the bottom two tomorrow night. If she's not, that means her voting bloc is HUGE and the judges will either have to start scoring her waaaaaay down or scoring everyone else waaaaay up unless they want to see her beat out better dancers.

Personally, if she sticks around longer than Kirstie, Joey, and maybe even Kelly, I can live with that. Buf if she knocks out any of the other dancers, I'll start to get angry.

Next week, the stars will be asked to recreate "iconic" dances from prior seasons. Hmm, rehash!

Tomorrow night, last season's runner-up Katherine Jenkins will be there to sing, along with Placido Domingo. And the first Macy's Stars of Dance performance. Packed night!

Recommended on Baltimore Sun