A lot to say about this week. First of all, we had Hurricane Sandy (I have to keep remembering to hit the "y" instead of "i" for someone I know), who wreaked havoc all up and down the east coast last week, and THIS week was the Presidential Election. Because of all this, there was no elimination this week. However, there was no lack of entertainment! This was the week of the Fusion Dance, where the dancers had to recognizably dance TWO different styles within the confines of a single song. All that was followed by a Swing Marathon.
Poor Kirstie Alley. This was not her week. Her two dances were Quickstep and Samba. She started off fairly strong with the Quickstep, did a nice transition - spinning out of her costume - but then kind of lost it. Admittedly, she had a lot on her mind, as she single-handedly started a support campaign for victims of the storm, but...*sigh* The saddest thing was...she knew.
Shawn Johnson ended up dancing with her original partner - Mark Ballas - as Derek Hough had a neck injury, but the change in partner did not slow her down. On the contrary, her Tango/Paso Doble fusion not only was one of the few that truly touched upon the MEANING of "fusion", but more than made up for last week's gimmicky (albeit excellent) dance. They were all business, seamlessly slipping back and forth - Tango...Paso...Tango...Paso - as if it were truly only one style. She received a well-deserved perfect 30.
Gilles Marini was the only other one who truly "got" the concept of "fusion" with his Argentine Tango/Samba. Smoothly going from one style to the other, staying true to both, made for a pretty hot number.
Kelly Monaco improved upon last week's performance with her Foxtrot/Cha-Cha-Cha fusion. However, hers was one of the many...well, I'll call them half-&-half's. She started out with the Foxtrot, did an on-stage costume change (lost the skirt, which seemed to be a recurring action this evening), then slid into the Cha-cha-cha. Not bad, but not quite "fusion".
Apolo Ohno opened the show with his Cha-Cha-Cha/Paso Doble fusion. It was almost - but not quite - a half-&-half. The first half of the dance was all Cha-Cha-Cha, but halfway through, the shirt came off, he Paso-ed for a touch, then bounced (albeit seamlessly) back and forth to end it. Even though Karina Smirnoff did slip at one point (not as bad as her Hip-Hop slip), I thought the judges could have given him a slightly better score than he got (three 9s).
Melissa Rycroft's Tango/Cha-Cha-Cha fusion was pure half-&-half. While fantastically danced, the only difference with hers is she did her costume change behind a smokescreen. Her wonderful moves and talent for technique still gave her a great score.
Emmitt Smith did a different kind of half-&-half for his Rumba/Samba fusion. Instead of splitting the dance down the middle, they changed styles every 8 measures of music...consistently. It went Rumba-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, Samba-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, Rumba-2-3-4...etc. He also wasn't "performing" as much as he usually does, but seemed to spend most of his time counting.
After a guest dance by Mark Ballas, Chelsie Hightower & some incredible dance students from Utah, there was the Swing Marathon, where everyone was out on the floor until they got tapped. They stayed in their "spotlight" until there were only 4 left...then those 4 couples had the whole floor to run amok. The first couple out got 4 points; the final couple 10. They went out in this order: Kirstie, Gilles, Apolo, Emmitt, Shawn, Kelly, Melissa. I would have put them as: Kirstie, Emmitt, Apolo, Kelly, Gilles, Melissa & Shawn.
As previously mentioned, due to the Presidential Election being Tuesday and all shows pre-empted for election results, there was no Results Show...hence, no elimination.