For this week, however, a pair of dance styles was chosen that were to be "fused" together.All seven couples chose one professional that was either previously eliminated or participates in the dance troupe, to perform with them in their Latin routine in an event known as the "Trio Challenge". In honor of Veterans Day, the first round featured performances to songs that pay homage to servicemen and women.
Six of the returning finalists, however, had already won the title in prior seasons (Kelly Monaco, Drew Lachey, Emmitt Smith, Apolo Anton Ohno, Helio Castroneves, and Shawn Johnson).
Season eight saw the most returning contestants, with 3 out of the 13 contestants coming from that season (Gilles Marini, Shawn Johnson, and Melissa Rycroft).
There was no elimination, so all the couples returned to dance during Week Six.
Sabrina Bryan was eliminated again in week six, with nearly the same average.
The Harold Wheeler orchestra and singers provided music throughout the season.
The returning members of the dance troupe for this season were Oksana Dmyrenko, Emma Slater, Sharna Burgess, Henry Byalikov, and Sasha Farber. Season 15 was the first to feature an "all-star" cast, in which previous celebrities who have competed on the show have another chance to win the competition.Rycroft was the only celebrity to place higher than her original season (3rd to 1st) while everyone else ranked lower.Also, this is the first season where a couple performed a style of dance that no other couple performed: the waltz, danced only by Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel. A thirteenth contestant was chosen by the public, from either Sabrina Bryan, Kyle Massey, or Carson Kressley.All of the celebrities chose a dance style for one of their opponents, as well as getting their style of dance chosen by a fellow competitor.The two couples with the highest total cumulative points/average became "team captains" and chose teams to join them in the Team Freestyle; these captains were Gilles & Peta and Shawn & Derek.Kelly and Val chose the "Caveman" Hustle for Melissa and Tony, Emmitt and Cheryl chose the "Knight Rider" Bhangra for Shawn and Derek, Gilles and Peta chose the "Big Top" Jazz for Apolo and Karina and Shawn and Derek chose the "Espionage" Lindy Hop for Emmitt and Cheryl. Gilles and Peta would have danced the "Mad Monk" Merengue, chosen by Apolo and Karina, had they not been eliminated.