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'Dancing with the Stars' Semifinalists Pay Tribute to Michael Jackson

Written By King on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | 5:40 AM

"Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" has entered its semifinals with five couples remaining in the competition. This week, each pair had to do two dances, one was an "offbeat challenge" number while the other was a tribute to Michael Jackson. MJ's mother, Katherine, was among the audience.

In the first round, Melissa Rycroft danced "Caveman Hustle" with Tony Dovolani, who has just recovered after hurting his back. "I really enjoyed watching it," Len Goodman raved about the performance. Carrie Ann Inaba also liked it, but noticed that Melissa's feet were a "little off during the hustle. The judges gave her 27.5.

For the second number, the pair danced an Argentine Tango to "Dirty Diana". Bruno Tonioli gushed, "That sequence of lifts were absolutely extraordinary," and Carrie Ann agreed. Len, meanwhile, said, "I would be really disappointed if you're not here next week." This time, Melissa got a perfect score of 30.

Shawn Johnson was another celebrity contestant who earned a perfect score that night for her unusual dance which mixed "The Knight Rider" and Indian dance Banghra. Derek Hough donned a leather outfit, while Shawn went with a Bollywood-style attire. Both Len and Carrie Ann called the fun performance "fantastic," while Bruno gave Shawn a hug.

Later, Shawn and Derek danced an Argentine tango to "Bad", which turned out to be another great performance. Bruno had nothing but praises, stating, "It was breathtaking...Stylistically it was perfect! Is there anything you can't do?" Carrie Ann called the movement "perfect," but added, "It lacked a little of the drama and the passion and the intimacy." Shawn got 29 for her second dance.

Apolo Anton Ohno danced "Big Top Jazz", which he claimed was "really hard" during the rehearsals. Len praised him for being "a fighter" though noted that "there was a couple of awkward moments." Carrie Ann added, "I loved the concept... It was very disjointed...You were out-of-sync a lot, and a lot of the dismounts were sloppy." The speedskater got 27 points.

For the MJ tribute, he danced rumba to "Man in the Mirror". He nailed it perfectly as the judges gave him 30 points. "Get down on it, Apolo! You nailed it, I'm telling you. That was perfectly pitched," Bruno commented, as Len described it as a sea with "wave after wave of effortless motion."

Emmitt Smith admitted his "Espionage Lindy Hop" number was challenging, but he still managed to deliver a great performance. "I liked the concept, I liked the energy, I liked the lifts, I liked the fun," Len said, while Carrie Ann wanted to see this more often from Emmitt. The judges gave him 27 points.

For his second performance, Emmitt danced a tango to "Leave Me Alone". He once again earned 27 as Bruno liked the "intensity," but said that "the footwork could have been more exact." Carrie Ann chimed in, "You really brought your A-game...The hold was a bit broad."

Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy danced the "Surfer Flamenco", during which Val stripped down to his speedo. Len said, "If this dance was poker, you went all in." However, Bruno and Carrie Ann thought the dance was lack of the flamenco touch. The judges gave her 25.5.

Kelly redeemed herself in the second performance, a rumba to "I Just Can't Stop Loving You". Len praised her, "You did it wonderful - well done." Bruno called it "smoldering," as Carrie Ann added, "That was beautiful. I thought some of the movements were a little clipped, but I know that's your style." Kelly earned 28.5.

On Tuesday, November 20, two more pairs will be eliminated, while the other three will be sent through to finals.

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