Dancing with the Stars All Stars returned November 12 with the exciting Trio Challenge round, which challenged each couple to join forces with an additional pro to perform an exciting three-way number. Two of the night's best-scoring trios belonged to two of season 15's manliest men, Gilles Marini and Emmitt Smith.
Up first to hoof it were Gilles and his partner, Peta Murgatroyd. Gilles and Peta chose to work with Chelsie Hightower, who previously partnered racer Helio Castroneves, because "she's an amazing choreographer and performer." Gilles called their Salsa "very sensual" and hoped the judges would like it, because he felt a growing "need to get amazing scores."
Their "Rebelion" Salsa began with Gilles, chest exposed, shaking his moneymaker for the two ladies, who looked him up and down. It was definitely sexually charged. Bruno Tonioli said "menage trois comes naturally to you" but chided him for losing timing a few times. Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with Bruno, noting "your musicality was a little bit off," but she praised him for taking control. Len Goodman said "you exposed yourself" and praised him for not hiding behind his partners.
Afterward, Gilles called the performance "a dream come true." For their routine, the trio earned 29 out of a possible 30 points, including a 10 from finicky Len. They enter the November 13 double elimination with a two week total of 92 out of a possible 100 points.
Following Gilles' Trio number, Emmitt and partner Cheryl Burke took their turn to impress with a three-way Salsa of their own. Kym Johnson, who worked with Joey Fatone earlier in the season, was chosen to join the couple because Cheryl "really wanted to showcase Emmitt" and his ability to lead two girls. Emmitt called the task "complicated," noting that it's hard to keep track of all of their flying body parts as they dance. Kym called it "a lot of work for Emmitt" but promised it would "blow everyone away" if they could pull it off.
Emmitt began their Salsa with a hip-shaking solo, and then the ladies joined him. The rest of the routine consisted primarily of Emmitt shaking his behind or shoulders as the girls danced around him. It felt like there wasn't much content, but it's precisely the kind of thing the judges have eaten up in the past.
And because predictability is king, eat it up they did. Carrie Ann Inaba gushed, "you were in the red hot spicy jalapeno salsa zone" and praised his ability to "handle your women." Len Goodman called the choreography "very clever" and deemed it a "knockout." Bruno Tonioli praised the routine as natural and well done. They earned a perfect 30 for the dance, giving Emmitt and Cheryl a two-week total of 92.5 out of a possible 100 points.
It seemed like both trios were overscored, but Emmitt's more egregiously so. He's a likable fellow, but he needs to do more than just stand there, smile, and shake his bum to be a true all-star champion. Neither delivered a performance nearly as memorable as Shawn Johnson, Derek Hough, and Mark Ballas' tribal Samba, which received a paltry mark of 26.
But how will America vote? Tune in to the Dancing with the Stars All Stars 2012 November 13 results show tonight at 8 PM on ABC, and find out which two couples will fall sadly short of the semifinals.