Contestants on "Dancing with the Stars: All Stars" and "The Voice" stepped up their performances during Monday night's shows by trying out new styles and mash-ups, but will their efforts be enough to save them in tonight's elimination shows?
The 2-hour semifinal show on ABC was divided in half. The first hour showcased combination dance routines by each of the five teams, including combos like surfer flamenco (see video above). The themes were picked for teams by competitors in the previous week. The second hour was dedicated to Michael Jackson and his music, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the release of his iconic album "Bad."
Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough scored a perfect 30 points for their "Knight Rider Banghra" routine, which floored judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli. Their second dance, an Argentine tango to the title track off Jackson's "Bad," brought in a 29, giving the duo a 59 and the highest combined score of the night.
Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft were handed a 30 for their second dance of the night, a sensual Arengtine tango to "Dirty Diana," but their efforts in rehearsal were almost all for not. Their combined 57.5 would not have been possible had Dovolani sat out because of a back sprain he suffered in rehearsals for the show. Dovolani told ET Online that he "got scared, for the first time" in his life after leaning too far during a practice lift.
Watch the episode in its entirety courtesy of ABC.
Blake Shelton, recently named "Entertainer of the Year" by the Country Music Association at this year's CMA Awards, was brought to tears by team member Cassadee Pope's rendition of "Over You." The tune was co-written by Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert and later recorded for Lambert's album "Four the Record."
"I mean, you just sang easily the most important and most personal song I've ever been a part of writing in my life, but you made me feel like I had heard it for the first time," Shelton said of Pope's performance. "That means more than words can say."
Fellow coach and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine recommended that Pope, one of 10 remaining contestants, sing more country tunes like "Over You," compared to the "markedly different" rock-inspired songs she has sung in past shows.
Trevin Hunte convinced coach Cee-Lo Green to let him do his own thing this week, throwing away the usual ballad stylings for a more upbeat approach with Usher's current hit, "Scream." The audience received the song well, but it was unclear whether the judges appreciated the up-tempo attempt from the 18-year-old New York native.
With just one performance episode of "Dancing" left, we have to wonder: what will they come up with next? Two couples will be sent home in tonight's 8 p.m. elimination show.
Will "The Voice" contestants continue down the paths that they have chosen, or go with suggestions from the mentors? We'll have to tune in next Monday to see! Turn to NBC tonight at 8 p.m. for the live results show.
About Viewer Discretion
ContributorsMatthew Gilbert is the Globe's TV critic.
Sarah Rodman is a staff TV and music critic for the Boston Globe.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Glenn Yoder is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.