'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Week 8 Recap: Saluting the Vets
'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Week 8 Recap: Saluting the Vets
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
In honor of Veteran's Day (which was on November 11 but is celebrated by many who get a day off today), Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars is going all patriotic with armed forces-themed music choices. And, of course, costumes. What else do we get in Dancing with the Stars week 8? Find out in this recap of the performances.

What else do we get on this night of patriotic fervor? Well, there's nothing particularly all-American about it, but there will be trio dances. And our normal couples whirling about the floor of course.

Because there were no eliminations last week, this week is also a dreaded double elimination. Which of the dancers are going into this week at an advantage and at a disadvantage? Check out last week's performance rankings to remind yourself:

And here are the performance rankings for week 8:

So let's get to it!

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: Bit of a disclaimer here: I don't like this song. Too sappy. But the dancing was pretty at least. Very flowing and emotional and such. Nice one.

Judges' Comments
Len: "This was quiet, this was gentle, yet it was louder than any yell."
Bruno: "That was heavenly perfection." "The shapes and the figures were absolutely perfect."
Carrie Ann: "You've turned into this beautiful, rich, in-depth performer."

Scores: 10+9.5+10 = 29.5

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff
Dancing the tango

My Comments: The zip line is definitely cool. Although I'm not sure what it has to do with the dance. At least they moved on to that pretty quickly. Some of the smaller steps from Apolo look a little bit off, but those are more than made up for by the larger, more flamboyant moves. Those are great.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You're my hero!" "Your frame got a bit wide sometimes." "It was full-on attack and it was great."
Bruno: "Fully-loaded for maximum firepower! It was like Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible!"
Carrie Ann: "It was amazing! Your lines were ridiculous!"

Scores: 10+9.5+10 = 29.5

I'm sensing a theme here... 

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: I never thought of "Hallelujah" as a military-themed song. Whatever... It's pretty. And it fits quite well with this waltz. The dance is slow and flowing, but it's actually quite pretty. This totally brings up the issue of high technique vs. just doing what you can do well.

Judges' Comments
Len: "Your best dance! Well done!"
Bruno: "It was very stylish, it was very elegant, it was very nice."
Carrie Ann: "I thought the musical interpretation was beautiful." "I'd like to see a little bit more difficulty in your next number."

Scores: 9+9+9 = 27 

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: Uh oh! Scarf in face! Definitely a hazard when doing any kind of waltz.

There are some interesting moves being used in this particular waltz. It seems a lot more twisty than your average Viennese waltz. The result is very cool. Sometimes, it's also jerky, but the novelty of the dance moves keeps it good.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I didn't always enjoy the movement. I thought it was a little bit sharp at times." "I have my standards. She [Carrie Ann] has none."
Bruno: "You're a twinkling twirler!" "You never lost the beat."
Carrie Ann: "You are growing each week, and I thought that emotional commitment was beautiful."

Scores: 9.5+9+9.5 = 28 

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing the quickstep

My Comments: Ah, we're doing the "cool" military people. Top Gun, even. Cute. 

Kind of a weird theme for a quickstep, of course. The dancing itself is excellent -- lots of precision and athletic ability. I just had trouble watching a quickstep to Top Gun music and black flight suits.

Judges' Comments
Len: "This wasn't cupcakes and ice cream, this was thunder and lightning!"
Bruno: "You took off like an F-18!" "That variation in the middle was absolutely fantastic."
Carrie Ann: "It was so close! It was almost Top Gun!"

Scores: 9.5+10+10 = 29.5 

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke
Dancing the Viennese waltz

My Comments: I am always amazed at how light Emmitt is on his feet. A man that big shouldn't be able to tiptoe and float through a dance, right? And yet he does. Some of the grace falters slightly in the toughest of the moves, but it's only slightly. Otherwise, lovely.

Judges' Comments
Len: "This man puts the oooooo in smooth." "I would've liked a little more fluidity in your arms."
Bruno: "It had a very classy feel to it." "Overall, it was very, very nice."
Carrie Ann: "You slipped a little bit there on that." "I wanna see you push yourself."

Scores: 9+9.5+9.5 = 28 

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Dancing the quickstep

My Comments: Just the music for this quickstep is ambitious. So fast, it's hard to see how anyone can keep up. Not sure if it's reality, the music or the wide pants, but a couple of the steps look so hectic that they're not as clean as they might be. But yes, that was a lot of fun.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was a quickstep! And that's what we got. It was quick. There were a lot of steps..." "That was the bees-knees!"
Bruno: "Oh Melissa, won't you join the Navy?!" 
Carrie Ann: "I salute you guys!" 

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30 

Tomorrow night's entertainment: Kylie Minogue, Ne-Yo and the cast of "Newsies." Interesting combination... 

Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough and Mark Ballas
Dancing the samba

My Comments: Tribal elements. Len will love that.

Shawn kind of looks like she has a tail in this costume. Also, wow. This is interesting. I'm not sure how much of it is samba and how much is Derek Hough craziness, but the result is incredibly cool. Wild and almost mesmerizing, this is one of my favorite dances in awhile.

Judges' Comments
Len: "The two of you have got very self-indulgent. There was very little samba content." "Shawn if you go home tomorrow, blame these two."
Bruno: "As art, it was absolutely fantastic." "Even I have to admit that it wasn't really a samba."
Carrie Ann: "I disagree with both of you, because you know what -- sometimes you have to take a risk." "What there was of samba was executed with perfection!"

Scores: 10+7+9 = 26 

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff and Sasha Farber
Dancing the jive

My Comments: In terms of high compliments, I have to say that I can't always tell which guy is which. That said, the focus of the dance is totally Karina, which is annoying. And emotionally, I can't really get into it. But it is fun. And who doesn't love Grease?

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was fast, it was sharp, it was tight, and it was together."
Bruno: "You took a huge, huge risk with this." "You conquered this brilliantly!"
Carrie Ann: "I've never seen you shine brighter."

Scores: 9.5+9.5+10 = 29

Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Tristan MacManus
Dancing the paso doble

My Comments: They've all got angel wings to start. I'm actually kind of sad that they ditched the wings before the dancing really got going.

This is a different kind of trio -- much of the dance is Kirstie dancing with one guy while the other waits on the sidelines. It's entertaining, but I'm not entirely sure there was a lot of dancing in there.

Judges' Comments
Len: "There was no incidents." "It just lacked a bit of finesse here and there."
Bruno: "It was a bit surreal, wasn't it?" "As a paso doble, it could have been a little more refined."
Carrie Ann: "I love the theme, I love the costumes... But it was a little sloppy."

Scores: 8+8+8 = 24 

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy and Louis Van Amstel
Dancing the jive

My Comments: The couple thing between Kelly and Val is certainly interesting. Especially with Louis around making fun of them.

But at least they focused on the dancing while in rehearsals -- the results prove that. The amusing fight over the girl works with some actually awesome dancing. And Len gets a kiss at the end! And somehow everyone ends up on the table with her?

Judges' Comments
Len: "Well, I liked the end, I'll tell you that." "It was fun, it was fast, it was flamboyant and it was fabulous."
Bruno: "You're always on top!"
Carrie Ann: "Ditto." "The transitions were fantastic."

Scores: 9.5+9.5+9.5 = 28.5

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd and Gilles Marini
Dancing the salsa

My Comments: Gilles seems happy with his dance partners. Very happy.

The way Gilles starts the dancing alone makes me think of the way male birds present in order to get the female birds' attention. Of course, the girls look more like birds than the guy in this.

You certainly have to give Gilles credit for not hiding behind the pros in this -- they're almost relegated to the roles of backup dancers, it's so much about Gilles.

Judges' Comments
Len: "I didn't see anything... I thought you exposed yourself. You weren't hiding behind these two." "Well done!"
Bruno: "Menage a trois seems to come natural to you." "You lost timing a couple of times."
Carrie Ann: "Your musicality was a little bit off." "I love how you came out and took control over the dance floor."

Scores: 9.5+10+9.5 = 29

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke and Kym Johnson
Dancing the salsa

My Comments: Wait, how did the women get down off those giant boxes? We were robbed!

Emmitt is dancing well, as usual, but he is also letting the two women do a lot of the work. They never stop moving, but Emmitt is just kind of standing there a lot. He definitely could have done more, even if this was fun to watch.

Judges' Comments
Len: "It was like working two yo-yos at the same time." "Knockout."
Bruno: "You do it naturally, and it's great to see."
Carrie Ann: "This time you were in the red, hot, spicy-jalapeno zone!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

Obviously, I don't agree with the judges on this one. Oh well!

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani and Henry Byalikov
Dancing the paso doble

My Comments: That's certainly a dramatic opening. They got the intensity right for this dance anyway. I also like how all three of the dancers seem to be working equally hard throughout the performance. This is one of the only dances we've seen that actually seems like it needed all three dancers instead of just accommodating them.

Judges' Comments
Len: "You were like a frisbee that was being passed one to the other."
Bruno: "Jaw-dropping, whip-cracking Queen Bee!" "You're a fantastic dancer."
Carrie Ann: "I love seeing you so in control out there. You owned that paso!"

Scores: 10+10+10 = 30

Now that dance I think deserved a perfect score!

And that's it for the week 8 performances of Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars. Who was your favorite? Did anyone surprise you? Were the trio dances worth it? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of ABC)