Now that Dancing has finally kicked its last senior citizen to the curb, five celebs are left in the running for that cheesiest of all reality TV prizes: the mirror ball trophy. I wonder what the winners usually do with their shiny new - but embarrassingly kitschy - reward? After weeks of overdosing on spray tanner fumes, muscles pained by Jive kicks and Samba rolls and coughing up sequins and body glitter by the pound, I would probably keep the damn thing by my side 24/7 to remind me of my hard earned, but inevitably fleeting, dancing glory. Chances are nobody is going to be catapulted to greater fame and fortune after this shindig is over but I will still be left with permanent scars on my retinas and a deep desire to never see this show again for as long as I live. Which is what I said I'd do after last season... and the season before that. Oh, well.
Why all this sudden introspection? It seems there will be only four celebs left after tonight and as Tom put it “the race is on for the semifinals”. Can't wait.
Reheat and repeat
While the live results show is one hour long, I feel morally obligated to tell you that it was preceded by a recap show, one hour in length as well, which I have decided to completely disregard. No point serving up lukewarm leftovers when the most excellent MotherSister has already dished all the dirt in her usual funny way.
So we're off to the elimination action. The judges weigh in saying this was the most competitive night of dancing yet. And before this night, the previous night was the most competitive, and before that... Well, you get the point. The judges weigh in on each performance in their usual roles of Len the grumpy grandpa, Bruno the flamboyant cheerleader and Carrie in her Paula Abdul on speed mode. Too much footwork, not enough footwork, too little hip movement, too much booty shaking, not enough drama, too much drama. All in all, three minutes of air time filled with little to show for it. In the end Len zeroes in on the tonight's repeat performance which will be Warren and Kym's Tango.
I missed it the first time around but it's an okay number although nothing that we haven't seen before around six or seven weeks into the competition. Aside from the Pink Panther music, there are some clever moves and Warren does a good job despite his big, hulking frame which is his chief limitation.
Country fresh filler
After the commercial break, we find out a bit about Julianne who is over her surgery and here to compliment Edyta and Cody on a job well done. But what's a bit of surgery when we have
obscureillustrious guests ready to make sure nobody falls asleepentertain us! Some guy called Brad Paisley is here to croon country style and Lacey has her brother over to guest dance. They hop and skip around to lyrics like “I'd like to kiss you/I'd like to check your tick”. Or something. I think I just lost a few IQ points by listening to that inanity, but the show is thankfully moving on to more filler.
The first two couples safe tonight are Warren and Kym and Lance and Lacey. Edyta looks a bit worried, Brooke just stares and Maurice smiles sheepishly. All of them have cause to worry but we have bigger problems aside from who is getting voted out. Country guy has apparently not gone home after the first masterpiece he sang for us, and will be back to croon some more about kissing and ticks and whatnot. Yay.
Take two Prozac and come back for another $500/hr session.
Perhaps because the show is finally running out of decent filler, perhaps in an honest effort to prevent lasting brain damage to the participants and/or the viewers, Dancing has finally decided to bring in a shrink. Yes, Dr. Drew is in the house and ready to dispense some sage advice. Quiet, inspirational guitar music plays as the good doctor meets with Lance and Lacey first to quiz them on their relationship. It turns out Lance has lingering daddy issues and that nasty incident with the clown in third grade is still giving him nightmares, but thankfully his fear of tuna fish has completely gone away ever since he tried it on wheat toast instead of white. Okay, not really, but is anybody really interested in hearing about a fake therapy session with a TV shrink and lots of reheated footage of Lance and Lacey whining about their “issues”? Didn't think so.
Because nobody can escape Dr. Drew without confessing to at least one or two grave problems that will need further counseling and services not covered by any health insurance, Warren cops to some stress problems and schedule troubles. Maurice and Cheryl have communication problems and are frustrated about it. I'm about to weep which could mean that I'm in need of Dr. Drew's expert advice too. Or maybe I just want to smack whoever came up with this segment. It's hard to say.
Is this all there is?
Remember that thing where the audience could vote to create a “custom” dance for the pros, picking every aspect of it including music, style, participants and costumes? Well, tonight is the night! The custom dance is set and one lucky viewer also got to design the costumes for this shiny new dance. She is giggling excitedly, sitting in the first row dressed in a little black dress with a huge red bow over her shoulder. The music is Great balls of fire, the dance is the Jive and the pros are Derek and Julianne who are wearing black and white outfits with a piano keyboard motif on them. Very cutesy. Julianne is dancing as if she was never in surgery, doing the tough Jive footwork and assorted lifts with ease, even dancing on top of a big red piano. It's a nice routine, it manages to fill up a solid two minutes of air time but I'm left wondering... Is this all there is to the big online vote? Are we destined to just vote, vote, vote and get not much in return? Why am I writing these Carry Bradshaw-like rhetorical questions? Maybe this show is messing with my head after all.
We're making progress but you still need more therapy.
Just in time to help, Dr. Drew is back, this time to talk to Brooke and Derek. Turns out Derek is a bully and Brooke thinks he's disrespectful towards her, but Derek just wants to push her to do better. They both agree to try harder because it's expected and they only have 30 seconds according to the script to come up with a solution to their troubles. Next, the soft music swells as Cody is tearfully confessing to being emotional and excited and angry and weepy all at once. He breaks down confessing how worried he was over Julianne's surgery making her cry as well. A big hug and a box of Kleenex later we're back to the ballroom and getting down to business again. You know how on 24 it takes Jack Bauer, well, 24 episodes to fix whatever dreary foreign threat is plaguing our shores? It takes Dancing only two short segments and one commercial break to fix five couples' season long emotional problems. Take that Jack!
To the Maks!
It seems this show has been going on for hours, but we're still at least one filler session away from the end. The country crooner guy is back to whip out some more cheesy lyrics to nearly the same tune. Luckily, six pros including Maks (Maks!!!) and Karina are here to help him “let the good times roll”. Oui, oui, laissez les bon temps rouler! Very original. The pros' talents are wasted on this fluff, I'm bored and I can't think of a single reason why this guy is wearing a big fat white hat indoors. Let's move on.
Red hot alert! Maks (Maks!!!) has cut his hair! Yes, he did and despite that fact being front page worthy news in and of itself, he will also be choreographing this year's Dancing tour. He promises that the whole thing will be fresher, different and will have all the best celebs from the show. Tickets to see Maks's new hairdo live are on sale now.
What is better than one doctor on the show? Why, two, of course! Having dealt with the stars' mental health, their bodies need some attention too. Dr. Jill McNitt-Gray from the department of Kinesology at USC is here to weigh in and fill in some more time before the elimination. She talks about speed, muscles, agility and power which is all very interesting, however I have a sneaking suspicion that this segment is just a thinly veiled excuse to show Edyta and Alec stretching half naked in front of the camera.
Run, run and don't look back!
Finally we're on to the basic bones of the show. Maurice and Cheryl are in the bottom two, Brooke and Derek are safe and Cody and Edyta are also in the bottom two. The audience boos loudly and when the show comes back from commercial break the red light of doom shines down on both couples before it's finally announced that Maurice and Cheryl are out. Maurice is disappointed but still has a smile on his face. He should be proud that he didn't fall victim to Cloris is all I'm saying.
Be back next week to witness the wonder of the semifinals and marvel at my ability to cut the fat for you in the most efficient manner.