"What was good has got to be great and what was great has to be exceptional," warned Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars judge Len Goodman on Monday night as thirteen all-stars shimmied back onto the dance floor for a second go at the coveted mirror ball trophy.
The competition kicked off on a decidedly tougher note with the introduction of a new system of judging, allowing for Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba to bestow half points in scoring.
NFL star Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke dominated the dance floor with the highest combined score of the night, taking in 24.5/ 30 points (8, 8.5, 8) for their energetic Cha Cha Cha praised for its "flair."
Not far behind, actor Gilles Marini and his partner, reigning DWTS champ, Peta Murgatroyd raked in an impressive 24/30 points (8, 8, 8) with an old Hollywood-style Foxtrot.
Former Cheetah Girl (and season five alum) Sabrina Bryan Cha Cha Cha-ed her way with partner Louis Van Amstel into third with 22.5/ 30 points (7.5, 7.5, 7.5).
Rounding out the middle, Olympic gold medal gymnast Shawn Johnson partner three-time champ Derek Hough's energetic Foxtrot scored 22/30 points (8, 6.5, 7.5) and landed the pair in equal ranking with season four winner and eight time Olympic gold medalist Apolo Anton Ohno, who wowed the crowd with a glow in the dark, LMFAO-inspired Cha Cha Cha for 22/30 points (7.5, 7, 7.5).
Former 98 Degree-er and season two winner Drew Lachey's high-energy Foxtrot with partner Anna Trebunskaya took in 21.5/30 points (7, 7, 7.5), making a three-way tie for the night with season one champ Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy who received high praise for their sexy Cha Cha Cha (7, 7, 7.5), and season-five winner and champion racer Helio Castroneves who also took in 21.5 points (7, 7.5, 7) with partner Chelsie Hightower for their enjoyable Foxtrot.
Season eight star and Bachelor alum Melissa Rycroft snagged 21/30 points (7, 7, 7) with partner Tony Dovolani for their Fosse-inspired Foxtrot, but season four runner up and former 'N Sync-er Joey Fatone was not far behind with 20.5/ 30 points (6.5, 7, 7) for his rousing, Jackson 5-infused Cha Cha Cha with partner Kym Johnson.
Voted "most improved," Bristol Palin reunited with former partner Mark Ballas to perform a Cha Cha Cha bestowed with 19.5/ 30 points (6.5, 6.5, 6.5), narrowly beating out season twelve alum Kirstie Alley who was paired with former partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy tonight to perform a romantic (yet fiery) Foxtrot to the tune of 19/30 points (6.5, 6, 6.5).
Baywatch babe and season ten star Pamela Anderson took in the lowest combined score for the night with partner Tristan MacManus as their sultry Cha Cha Cha pulled in only 17/30 points (5.5, 5.5, 6).