STEP OFF: DANCING's Semi-Finals End Up as a 'Bad' Mish-Mash

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We're at the tail end of this season's DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS. It's a little bit like the last day of middle school, isn't it? We can only hope it gets a little bit better from here.

There's a bit of light that inspires, as if maybe next year, at the dawn of high school, there might not be any de-pantsing in the middle of the cafeteria - or that maybe Bristol Palin won't come back to DANCING WITH THE STARS. A light that signifies that there just might be an end to all of this suffering: an end to insatiable awkwardness like gawky legs or acne scars or Bruno Tonioli - or the hilariously weird mash-ups forced upon the contestants in tonight's episode. 

Yeah, tonight's episode, the first night of the semi-finals, featured some of the oddest routines ever performed on the DANCING stage. Including, but not limited to, the "Knight Rider" banghra and the "Caveman" hustle. I mean, who even imagines that this could work out in favor of the competition itself? It's like a Turducken. (A duck stuffed inside of a chicken stuffed inside of a turkey for those who didn't watch The Food Network in 2003.) It makes no sense!

The contestants also had to create a Michael Jackson-themed Latin dance just because. It's actually the 25th anniversary of "Bad" being released - and that has everything to do with DANCING WITH THE STARS.

To see how each star fared, check out the breakdown of tonight's episode below:

Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 30/30 + 29/30 = 59/60
Mash-Up: "Knight Rider" Banghra
What the Judges Thought:
 - Len: "[It was] fantastic."
What Derek Thought: "I would rather have mustard on ice cream as a combination of things."
Score: 30/30

Jackson Dance: Argentine Tango to "Bad"
What the Judges Thought:
 - Carrie Ann:"Every line was perfect, but dance is sometimes more than just movement and I thought that you lacked the real passion of the Argentine tango."
Score: 29/30

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.5/30 + 30/30 = 57.5/30
Mash-Up: "Caveman" Hustle
What the Judges Thought:
 - Len: "Fred and Wilma have never danced so well."
Score: 27.5/30

Jackson Dance: Argentine Tango to "Dirty Diana"
What the Judges Thought:
 - Len: "I would be really disappointed if you're not here next week."
 - Carrie Ann: "That was beyond anything I could have imagined for you."
Score: 30/30<


Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 27/30 + 30/30 = 57/60
Mash-Up: "Big-Top" Jazz
What the Judges Thought:
 - Bruno:"[It was a] great mixture of jazz movement."
Score: 27/30

Jackson Dance: Rumba to "Man in the Mirror"
What the Judges Thought:
 - Len: "There was wave after wave of effortless motion. There was a subtlety to it, there was a calmness. It captivated - it was fabulous."
Score: 30/30

Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 27/30 + 27/30 = 54/60
Mash-Up: "Espionage" Lindy Hop
What the Judges Thought:
 - Bruno: "It was like a LOONEY TUNES version of James Bond…but [it was] the most fun performance I've seen you do."
Score: 27/30

Jackson Dance: Tango to "Leave Me Alone"
What the Judges Thought:
 - Len: "You've coped marvelously well with two dances that didn't really suit you."
Score: 27/30

Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 25.5/30 + 28.5/30 = 54/60
Mash-Up: "Surfer" Flamenco
What the Judges Thought:
 - Bruno: "It had a lot of aggression and a lot of fire. But the flamenco has very, very exact placement - it wasn't there."
Score: 25.5/30

Jackson Dance: Rumba to "I Just Can't Stop Loving You"
What the Judges Thought:
 - Bruno: "That was smoldering, driven by desire, and consumed by lust."
Score: 28.5/30


Be sure to check BroadwayWorld tomorrow night to find out which three contestants have secured their last, desperate shot at fame/the mirrorball trophy, and which two got the boot.

Also featured on tomorrow's elimination: a performance by Paula Abdul that's sure to be enlightening. Whoo.

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Tyler Peterson Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He studied Public Relations and Creative Writing at Loyola University Chicago while working part-time for BWW on evenings, weekends, and occasionally during classes. He has also been involved in the Chicago theatre industry, working in media relations and publicity with Margie Korshak, Inc.