Last week on Dancing With The Z-List Aaron Carter bit the dust which made me inordinately happy not because I couldn't stand the dude – although that is true as well – but because his departure brought us closer to the happy end. With four couples left and two full hours of prime time television to waste, there is room for, count 'em and weep, three whole dances from each couple. Since I consider this to be cruel and unusual punishment, I have made an executive decision which shall become abundantly clear soon enough. I apologize in advance for not being sorry about this decision.

Donny, Mya, Kelly and Joanna are left in the game and it looks like one of the dances tonight will be something called a “Knockout Dance” which, as Samantha so helpfully explains, the couples have been practicing for weeks. Weeks, I ask? Just how long have they known they'd all be in a position to dance this special “Knockout Dance” at the semifinals? Conspiracy theorists unite!

Ok, so here goes my evil executive recapper decision for this article: Since we're nearing the end and since I don't give a damn about any of these people, I'm going to severely limit the chit-chat about their rehearsal woes. Yes, you read me right. No more cutesy descriptions of studio time. No more talk of side trips, helpers, props and rehearsal banter. In other words, I'm editing down this puppy to where it should've been if ABC had just put me in charge of the red button. You hear that, ABC?? I'm sticking it to you big time. Yeah.

But fret not, I'm still going to tell you how it went... in advance. 'Cause I'm psychic like that and because it's how it went in the previous, oh, eight seasons and I'm nothing if not a fountain of Dancing knowledge.

So here goes: Rehearsals were tough! They all battled self-doubt, they all got tired, frustrated and terribly, terribly intense. Studio time was difficult but funny and it was sometimes annoying. But guess what, people! They all got through it and will be dancing tonight. I know: a miracle of predictability. So, with that out of the way and a full 1000 words shaved off of this recap we can now all relax and get to the fat fat free salad course on tonight's menu.

Sparro me this Tango

Donny's first dance is a Tango and their costumes are... Oh, wait! Stop the recap! I'm fast forwarding through Donny's epic Tango struggle when Gilles Marini pops up on my screen. Hello, gorgeous! I must briefly suspend my no chit-chat decision to include him. He gives pointers to Donny about how to look hot and how to make people uncomfortable. Wait! I've been uncomfortable with the entire Osmond family all this time. Does that count for anything? Don't mind me, I'm just rewinding to the part where Gilles makes Kym uncomfortable.

As for the dance, I must say there's at least one thing about it that's right and that's Sam Sparro's most excellent Black and Gold song. Check out Youtube for the video of that thing; it's complete retro delish with a side of tomorrow cool. Back to Donny. Not much to tell. He didn't really sell it to me despite his gold on black jacket and his put-on fierce attitude. Technically, it's a holy mess, Donny is a bore and a half who painfully waddles around the floor like whale that swallowed a cactus. It doesn't help that Kym has a bit of a wardrobe problem with the bottom of her dress and keeps trailing a piece of her hem the entire time. Remember when Marie fainted after a dance on her season? Yeah, I'd like to forget too, but after their dance Donny sits down on the floor and recreates that magical moment for us. Lovely.

Len didn't care for it, Bruno says he lost it and Carrie Ann didn't see any drama and thought the wardrobe mishap may have been to blame. Excuses, excuses. Scores: all 7s for a total of 21 points.

Amen, sistah!

Joanna has kind of grown on me, or I should say, her futuristic electro rock Paso has grown on me. Which probably means she's getting kicked to the curb next because whomever I proclaim to be my favorite always meets that unfortunate fate sooner or later. I so badly want to mention American Idol here. But I won't. Ok, moving on. Notice that I have now replaced words about rehearsal time with words about, well, nothing in particular. Progress: it's a difficult thing.

After last week's space age delight I'm expecting good stuff again and after Brooke Burke showing up in rehearsal I may just get it with this Viennese Waltz. Now that I'm fully on the Joanna train I'm prepared to praise her every move. And there are some lovely moves in this dance, nice, smooth and relaxing, a delight to watch... right up until the moment I almost fall asleep. Perhaps the song choice of Hallelujah for a Viennese Waltz was a tad too inspirational inspirational for my secular tastes. Fast forward through the sappy pap.

Bruno saw some hesitation but still liked it, Carrie Ann thought she was beautiful but gripes about unconvincing arm extensions while Len loved her posture but had the same issues with the arms. Scores: all 9s for a total of 27 points.

Rumba lite

Can Kelly hang on till the finals? I admit, this is not a question that keeps me up nights but if I cared I'd probably want her to stay simply because one Osbourne is cooler than 1567 Osmonds put together. Must maintain balance in the Universe at all costs. What I notice right away about their Rumba is that Kelly no longer looks like a lonely matron who has ten cats howling in the den the way she did during the first few weeks of the show. Perhaps ABC finally upped the hair and makeup budget. Yay for the curling iron and floral hair bands! Her baby pink sequined handkerchief hemmed dress looks sexy and sleek on her. Shocker! The dance is elegant if a bit on the clinical side but Momma Osbourne in the audience is still mighty pleased.

Carrie Ann knows Kelly is not the best technician but she says Kelly is heartfelt and the dance almost made her cry, Len says it wasn't her very best but Bruno missed the erotic hip movements of a good Rumba. Their scores are all 8s for at total of 24 points.

Pasta, pizza, Waltz!!

One more to go before we do this all over again. Mya is still here and apparently riding high on the heels of a perfect score of 30 last week. Their dance is a the Waltz for which Mya is wearing an open back white dress, like the perfect little ballroom bride. They Waltz around to an Italian song, something about love and song found again. My Italian is definitely not up to my English. Len loved the gliding and said it was an absolute joy to watch, Bruno thought it was “love set to music” but Carrie Ann says she felt a little disconnect between them. The nitpicking beyotch strikes again. So, what else is new? Scores are: 9 – 9 – 10 for a total of 28 points. Amazing. First time that scores that are not unanimous tonight. Did somebody go off-script? I'm winking at you Carrie Ann!

We're about 40 minutes into the show at this point and this is where it gets fillerific again. In an effort to stall for time, we get lovely biography montages about all the contestants. I'm sure they're all fine people and you may even want to know about them some more. And I would love to tell you all about them, however, I'm already past my deadline here and due to my above mentioned executive decision I am also on a strict word diet. Needs must, I'm afraid. Moving on to the next round.

Ballroom almost blitz

Donny and Kym are up first with their Samba set to some song I don't recognize. Kym is wearing approximately 3.5 yards of plum colored sparkly fabric strategically draped and tucked around her while Donny is in a glammy disco onesie type thing. I didn't dare look too close so I may be wrong. It's a decent Samba and I'm kind of digging it when somewhere midway Donny starts on his solo bit which is apparently a requirement. I always find these awkward. Why would you want to see a solo dance in the middle of a dance that is never danced solo? Only on DWTS, people!

Bruno thought it was fun and carefree. Carrie Ann felt they did better than in the Ballroom round but says he was sloppy and Donny was dancing small. Len sides with Bruno. They get 8-9-9 for a total of 27 points.

Up next with their Cha Cha Cha set to Kylie Minogue's Can't get you out of my head are Joanna and Derek. The whole thing is red themed from the light treatment to Derek's romantic puffy shirt to Joanna's red sequined bra and red fringe pants. The outfit matches the dance, the song matches the dance and Joanna gets twirled and twisted around plenty. However, her solo bit at the beginning is somewhat fuzzy and not very memorable. Carrie Ann loved it, Len thought it was clean and crisp but missed some cheek while Bruno thought the whole thing was sex. Hey, that's always a good thing. Right? They earn all 9s for a total of 27 points.

Zipping right along here, folks! The newly de-matroned Kelly is ready to Quickstep in a gypsy flavored sequined floral dress to the English language version of Nena's 80s cold war anthem 99 Luftballons. Talk about complete misuse of a song when these two smile and hop their way through lyrics like “The war machine spring to life/ Opens up an eager eye/ Focusing it on the sky/ Ninety-nine red balloons go by” . Shame on DWTS for shamelessly raping yet another classic. For this sin alone I'm docking 5 whole points off this otherwise decent Quickstep. Len says Kelly exceeded his expectations, Bruno gushes that she was light on her feet and fast while Carrie Ann says they nailed it. Their scores are all 9s for a total of 27 points.

Last to perform in this round are Mya and Dimitri with their Salsa. The dance starts off right with Mya, wearing a skimpy yellow fringed dress, standing behind Dimitri and unbuttoning his black jacket to reveal his bare chest. Now this is the kind of entertainment I fully approve of! Even though I've been bitching about Mya's professional background all this time, I have no problem admitting that the girl can sure grind it when it counts and this dance is no exception. Their music is Madonna's La Isla Bonita, and old 80s fave of mine with it's hot Latin pop rhythm. Of course the crappy DWTS singer chick murders every bit of joy that there is in this song but Mya and Dimitri make up for that horror with good technique, intricate steps and some sexy fun. Did I just become a Mya fan? Eh, probably not but I liked this one. Bruno is on his feet and he screams that it was sen.sa.tio.nal!! Carrie Ann says it was slammin', hot beyond belief while Len was mesmerized by Mya's ass. He also says she should be in the finale. Not surprisingly they get all 10s for a cool total of 30 points.

Cage match

Down to the last 30 minutes of show time now and we're getting into serious filler territory. The third round will consist of dances and music picked by the remaining couples which Tom calls their “Knockout” dances. And of course it is the first time in the history of Dancing that three dances will be performed by each couple. Of course. It turns out that they all practiced these dances for the possible elimination night dance-off situations. Or so they say. I'll pretend to believe them.

The first attempt at a knockout comes from Donny and Kym whose secret weapon is the Jitterbug, you know, the Jive's penniless bastard second cousin from the suburbs. They're both decked out in fun sparkly outfits of pink, green and white but the dance is on the short side. Which is a good thing! Marie gives them a standing ovation, Carrie Ann says they did well, Len thought they put on a winner while Bruno says they were on fire. Their scores are all 9s for a grand total of 74 points for the night.

Three more to go; hang in there. Joanna and Derek are up with a hot Salsa. Joanna is wearing another fringed barely there short number, this time in killer hot pink. They do a good job of shaking and twirling around, and again, the performance is a nice compact one. Why couldn't they have made all dances this short? Maybe I'll spam email that ABC producer again and whine some more express my displeasure. Len thought it was tasty and full of spice – old perv! - Bruno thought Joanna was a dazzler and Carrie Ann liked the heat and wants to see them in the finals. Oh, that's bad! If Carrie Ann wants you, you're probably doomed. There goes my fantasy of Joanna walking away with the glittery trophy. They earn all 9s for a total of 71 points.

Kelly and Louie's last dance of the night is a Cha Cha set to a very badly sung version of Cindy Lauper's Girls just want to have fun. I can't even critique this as it went by so fast but Kelly looks happy with the result and her hot pink sequined and ruffled dress is very 80s chic. Is electric pink the new gunmetal gray? At least on Dancing it is! The judges are all pleased. Bruno loved the sharpness of their moves, Carrie Ann adored the finished lines and Len thought it was high level. Their scores are 9s across the board for a grand total of 70 points for the night.

Last to dance tonight are Mya and Dimitri with a Cha Cha Cha. Mya is wearing a short white skirt with a sequined green bra but then towards the end the skirt comes off to reveal a pair of green fringed granny panties. And that's about all I can remember of this routine. Carrie Ann says they had all the elements but didn't quite feel the beginning, Len was disappointed because he wanted more while Bruno says it was like “an action packed trailer to a blockbuster”. Allrighty then. They earn 9 -10 -10 for a total of 87 points tonight.

And with that we're finally done, done, done. Two hours! Most funerals, wedding ceremonies and... well, you know... don't last that long. Hell, it will take you less time to unpack all your Hanukkah gifts from all eight nights combined. And if Britney ever decides to have a concert where she doesn't lipsynch it won't be two hours long either. It's good to have perspective.

Next week it's the grand finale – finally! - which will be another bloated affair padded with guests, performances, fake drama and lots and lots of hairspray and glitter. Don't forget to skip it!