10/09/2012 08:53 am ET Updated Dec 09, 2012

'Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars' Recap: The Contestants Are In Control

With the upcoming double elimination looming over "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars," the contestants were anxious to prove that they deserve a spot in Week Four. This week, each contestant selected their favorite routine from a previous season and they were given the creative control of their performance. For once, the dancing pros were at their mercy. Shockingly, the stars pulled it off and created some of the most exciting performances of the season -- there were no truly uncomfortable routines.

Not to mention, there were a couple surprising announcements of the night: Paula Abdul as a guest judge next week? Yes please! The contestants picking the dance styles for their competitors? Sounds like drama. (Can someone please choose hip-hop for Kirstie?) This episode definitely didn't disappoint. So what were the highlights of the night? Find out below.


Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough: OK, so it might not have gotten the highest score of the night, but it was totally lame of the judges to deduct points from Shawn and Derek's awesome quickstep on a technicality. The pair brought the audience and the judges to their feet with their acrobatic routine that all three judges agreed was the best dance ever performed on "Dancing with the Stars." And let's be real, no other contestant could have pulled it off. We love Kirstie, but somehow we can't picture her entering the stage with a flip. Score: 26.5


Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: Melissa was not about to play it safe as creative director and she took her and Tony's samba to the next level. The judges raved about the routine and Len called it a "knockout" performance. Plus, there was a sparkling stick-on tramp stamp on Melissa's back. Now that's commitment. Score: 27

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy: Kelly and Val's dramatic paso doble was full of intensity and passion. The dance showed off Kelly's skills as a dancer and an actress and showcased the couple's insane chemistry, with Carrie Ann naming them the "couple to watch." Score: 27

Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd: Gilles's put it all out on the stage with his "menacing" tango. Carrie Ann loved the dramatic nuances, but Len called it "a little bit cranky." Interesting word choice, Len. Score: 25.5

Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff: Apolo and Karina's fever-inducing fox trot left the judges and audience satisfied. Apolo pretty much said it all with, "I was just tryna channel my inner sexy." Score: 25.5

Helio Castroneves and Chelsie Hightower: Helio and Chelsie's quickstep was nearly perfect, but a slight issue with Chelsie's dress left the couple disoriented. Luckily, Helio's quickstep skills were able to (mostly) redeem the brief fumble. Score: 25.5

Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel: Sabrina, terrified of the double elimination, decided to play it safe and stick to the rules with her and Louis's fiery paso doble. While the dancing was fabulous and the technique perfect, Carrie Ann wished she would have come up with a more creative concept. Score: 25.5

Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke: After his dethroning last week, Emmitt was anxious to prove that he's still all-star material and he didn't hold back with his tricky paso doble. After nailing a difficult stunt, Carrie Ann called him a "human torpedo" and Bruno declared him "back in the game big time." Score: 25


Drew Lachey and Anna Trebunskaya: Drew brought us back to first season with his "Crazy in Love" cha cha and successfully turned the routine into a full on concert, complete with smoke machines and flashing lights. The judges loved his creative direction and thought his moves were "tight and precise". Score: 24

Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy: You can always count on Kirstie to keep things exciting and this week was no different. Her "Moves like Jagger" cha cha featured groupies, Union Jack cars, and Maks in a wig. It was the most fun the judges had all night and we really hope she sticks around. She may not be the best dancer, but she's by far the most entertaining contestant. Score: 24


Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas: This week, Bristol brought the drama both on and off stage. After a slight breakdown at rehearsal, where she told Mark that she "knew he was bummed" to have her as a partner, the couple was able to pull it together for their chessboard inspired paso doble. The dance wasn't perfect, but the judges were all in agreement that it was Bristol's best performance to date. Score: 22.5

What was your favorite performance of the night? Who do you think will get eliminated on Tuesday night? Sound off in the comments.

"Dancing with the Stars" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC