Dancing with the Stars All Stars 2012 resumed November 5 as each of the seven remaining couples tackled the challenge of fusing two very different styles to create a visually coherent routine. How did Olympian and sparkplug Shawn Johnson cope with her Tango/Paso Doble assignment? Quite well, as it happened, but a lot of effort went into the final product. Thanks to a neck injury to all star season partner Derek Hough, Shawn began her rehearsal segment working with both Derek and original partner Mark Ballas, who was prepared to step should Derek be unable to compete.
Shawn thought the Tango/Paso Doble fusion would provide lots of opportunities to please the judges, but found the preparation process “chaos”. She likened working with both DWTS pros to “having two chefs in the kitchen” as they each threw out conflicting ideas for the routine. So which guy performed when the show went live? Mark! The two started off their “Livin’ on a Prayer” fusion with powerful Paso moves. Shawn may be little, but her presence on stage was huge as she strutted her way through the number, seamlessly integrating elements of both the Paso and the Tango throughout.
Carrie Ann Inaba was called it “a fusion beyond anything I could’ve imagined” and said she hadn’t seen a single misstep. Previously hard-to-please head judge Len Goodman finally changed his tired tune, calling the number “a firecracker”. Bruno Tonioli finished up the critique by calling Shawn “the queen of the night” and the dance “flawless” and “just sublime”. Shawn and Mark scored a 30 for their fusion week number, marking the Olympian’s first perfect mark of the season. With the 8 additional points they nabbed for their third place Swing Marathon finish, they enter the next week of competition in second place, trailing leaders Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani by a single point.
After Shawn and Mark’s fusion scores were revealed, Derek said it was “tough sitting out” and promised to be back to dance with his partner next week when Dancing with the Stars All Stars 2012 returns.