Dancing With The Stars All Stars Semi-Finalists Named; two go home

One elimination was expected, the other was a big surprise. There goes my prediction! Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor

SAN DIEGO, November 13, 2012 – It’s now down to the five semi-finalists after Tuesday’s double elimination on “Dancing With The Stars: All Stars.”

One departure was not at all unexpected. Having sat near or at the bottom of the leaderboard for several week and this week ending up well behind the rest of the pack, Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy left the show. Following her elimination, Kirstie Alley sent this message to her DWTS fans on “Twitter: Spoiler alert DWTS… I want to thank all of you who voted your hearts out!!!! I love you and I’m deeply touched by your support!! KIMMEL!!!” “Kimmel” refers to the appearance by the most recently eliminated competitor on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Prior to Kirstie’s departure, Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovoloni and Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough learned they would advance to the semi-finals. They were the highest scoring couples over the past two weeks.

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy were saved, and then Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke were also told they are safe.

The two couples right in the middle of the leaderboard over the past two weeks were left in danger of going home: Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff, and Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd. Since Gilles and Peta have never been in jeopardy and since they are the overall points leaders this season, their safety seemed assured. But they were the ones going home, with Apolo and Karina making it to the semi-finals.

Gilles Marini with Chelsie Hightower (left) and his partner Peta Murgatroyd (right). Their sizzling Latin Trio dance was his swan song on Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars. Photo: ABC/Adam Taylor.

Gilles addressed his fans on his official Facebook page after the elimination: “I am so sorry about the elimination. I feel like I let you guys down somehow :( We worked so so hard every single day to bring the best dances possible. Yet came out short ! Life !
I love you and admire your support ! For ever I am your fan! Gilles”

Now the remaining competitors must perform two dances in Week 9. For the first routine, all couples will perform to a song from the Michael Jackson album “Bad.”

For the second dance, couples were assigned a theme, and a dance style. The themes are wide range and the potential for disaster is all over the place. Here’s how they turned out:

Melissa and Tony’s theme is “Caveman;” they will dance a Hustle.

Shawn and Derek’s theme is “Knight Rider;” they will dance an Indian style called Bhangra. We’ll save you the trouble of Googling it: Bhangra is a high intensity, high energy, fast moving dance from Punjabi. The Jay-Z song “Beware of the Boys” features Bhangra style music and an Indian MC/rapper.

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff drew a “Big Top” theme;” they will dance Jazz.

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke’s theme is “Espionage;” Lindy Hop is their dance.

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy drew a “Surfer” theme, dude. Their dance style is Flamenco. Kelly and Val as surfers? I can’t see it.

It seems Shawn and Derek drew the routine best suited to them; Derek has created futuristic versions of traditional dance styles before with much success, and they have the energy to pull it off. If Apolo and Karina manage to avoid the clown theme and instead think of being an aerial or Cirque du Soleil type act, it could be tremendous. Bring back the zip line, Apolo.

Emmitt and Cheryl are probably in trouble simply due to the energy Emmitt will have to generate to perform a Lindy Hop. Melissa and Tony are probably stuck with playing the “Caveman” theme for laughs, but the Hustle isn’t a very serious dance anyway.

“Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars” Week 9 airs Monday, November 19, at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.


Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. Read more Media Migraine in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.



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Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.


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