Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, escaped elimination on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” on Tuesday.
A medalist in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics, Ohno was named DWTS’ Season 4 champion with partner Julianne Hough in 2007. Season 15 is an all-star competition featuring winners and other contestants from past seasons.
Last week, actress Pamela Anderson was booted off the show along with partner Tristan MacManus. This week’s casualties were former NSYNC star Joey Fatone and partner Kym Johnson.
In addition to Ohno, the remaining celebrities are reality TV personality Bristol Palin, 98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey, former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith, actor Gilles Marini, race car driver Helio Castroneves, actress Kelly Monaco, actress Kirstie Alley, reality TV personality Melissa Rycroft, Cheetah Girls singer Sabrina Bryan, and Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson.
Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, the Season 6 winner, is not competing but was in the studio audience for the season premiere.
The dancers’ rankings are determined by votes from the public and scores given by judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
Last week, the colorfully costumed Ohno and Smirnoff danced the cha cha to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” and received scores of 7.5, 7 and 7.5 for a total of 22 out of 30 points. Inaba said that Ohno has gotten even sexier; Goodman said Ohno gave a bronze medal performance that needed more hip action; Tonioli said Ohno’s extensions of the arms were exquisite.
This week, Ohno and Smirnoff did the quickstep to Louis Prima’s “5 Months, 2 Weeks, 2 Days” and received scores of 8.5, 8 and 8 for a total of 24.5. Inaba said Ohno was truly driving the dance; Goodman gave Ohno a gold medal for his combination of speed and control; Tonioli said Ohno’s footwork was incredible.
Next week, there will be a rare double elimination — two couples will be sent home.
DWTS airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. For video highlights, photos, cast bios and more, click here.
To see clips of Ohno’s appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Wednesday, click here.