Summer is officially over, because Tom Bergeron is on my screen, telling me that tonight’s elimination was a surprise even to the producers! It’s just not an official season until the first hyperbole is tossed at us.
(We can just skip over the first hour of tonight’s show, as it was little more than an edited rerun of last night’s premiere.)
The evening begins with Carlos Santana performing “Oye Como Va” as Cheryl and Maks (who also choreographed) lead two other couples into some fiery Latin moves. Corky and Anna act up (shock!) while Tony adds some heat. No booties were harmed in the making of this dance. After the crowd goes crazy on cue, we get to view the full celebrity line-up, and the suspects aren’t as usual as…usual.
Tom recaps all of last night’s performances from lowest-scoring to highest: David & Kym are hoping that The Hoff’s creaking body can make it past the first few rounds. Margaret Cho & Louie were hoping that their jokey routine had produced more laughs and less harrumphs. Mike the Sitch makes a sexist joke about his half-baked performance as he drags Karina along for a walk. Michael Bolton makes a sincere vow to improve as a bemused Chelsie cheers him on. Bristol Palin may not have wowed anyone, but she felt a surge of empowerment from shaking her hips in front of millions. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, eh?
Florence Henderson managed to get through her routine without breaking her favorite vase, and for that she is thankful. Corky stands by her, breathing through his mouth. Audrina joined Bristol in the “I’ve Conquered My Fear” club, as Tony blinds us with his smile. Kurt Warner was happy just knowing he was making other people happy, while Anna shows us she’s learned a new word: “Touchdown!” (You might want to save that for a better-scoring dance, sweets.)
Moving on to the highest scorers: Giant Bit’O’Honey Rick Fox was happy to display all the hard work he put in with taskmaster Cheryl. Melted Bit’O’Honey Kurt Massey is happy to accept (and expand on) partner Lacey’s compliments about his dancing and presence. He melted ‘cause he’s hot, folks!
Brandy, who must be the poster child for the American Overachievers Association, considers her and Maks’ score of 23 a good omen, because it was also Michael Jordan’s number. Finally, Jennifer Grey, whose poignant Viennese Waltz (and emotional rehearsal footage) with Derek landed her atop the leaderboard, decides that this show is too much fun, and she’s not leaving until Derek is pried from her cold, dead fingers. It’s sort of how a 50-year-old Baby might say “I’ve had the time of my life.” (Yeah, I know, but I’m following her example and getting all this stuff out of my system in the first week, so that we don’t have to think about it anymore.)
We’re back liiiiiive, and we have arrived at the first preliminary results: The first couples pronounced safe are Michael & Chelsie and Margaret & Louie, who are happy to receive a reprieve from America. As for The Sitch & Karina and The Hoff & Kym, the word “jeopardy” is used for the first time this season. One of the Cheesy Nicknames may be going home.
Because, as Tom said, “we have an hour to kill,” Adam Corolla returns on his unicycle to give us a traveling history of the dances performed on the show, as well as the history of Hasselhoff haircuts. Len and Bruno receive their usual bad Photoshop treatments.
Next, Idol expatriate Daughtry performs his/their latest single, as four “guest pro’s” accompany with some romantic steps. The tall blonde guy looks like the twig from last season’s “Pick a Pro” contest, or at least his butch older brother. After this, Brooke interviews the leading couples backstage (they are pretending to get make-up applied to lend the appearance of spontaneity): Brandy is nervous, Kyle is horny, athlete Rick continues the tradition of answering questions like an athlete, and Jennifer is stressed but determined. Rick interrupts to complain about wearing so much make-up, which cracks them up and lightens the moment.
The four stars join their partners onstage as Len gives his mini-review of Week 1: It’s possibly the best first week they’ve ever had! (Really?) Tom then pronounces Jennifer & Derek the next safe couple, followed by the shiny Rick & Cheryl. Inexplicably, Brandy and Kyle are in jeopardy/limbo, which means the show wants to milk the idea that this elimination will be truly shocking, but we know these two aren’t going anywhere.
Santana returns to perform “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” with guest vocal by India.Arie. Carlos and India riff off each other nicely as Louie & Karina twirl around the floor.
Brooke is now surrounded by all the middling couples in the waiting area (I guess the Celebrity Fish Tank is getting restocked this week). Audrina says something, but we’ll never know what because Brooke forgets to give her the microphone. Florence shares that she’s been campaigning to be on the show since Season 1, and that she’s having a blast. Kurt continues Rick’s tradition of answering questions like a jock. Bristol shares that her mom watched the show from home with friends (with tweets and a pic provided as evidence); Sarah Palin will reportedly attend the show next week.
As these couples make their way to the stage to hear their fates, we get an edited clip package of all the stars when they first met each other and instantly fell in love, and started playing ball, teaching each other fly dance moves, and in Florence’s case, molesting The Situation.
Tom breaks them up to give us some results: Audrina & Tony are safe, as are Florence & Corky. Kurt & Anna and Bristol & Mark are left hanging.
Santana refuses to go home, this time dragging Chris Daughtry onstage to help him crank out Def Leppard’s “Photograph.” Someone show this guy a calendar. Tom asks Carlos and Chris who they are rooting for: Chris is sweet on The Bolton, while sports nut Carlos is a Kurt Warner fan.
The hour gets longer and longer, as another edited piece spotlights the pro dancers, who talk about the pressure of their jobs. Louie and Mark talk about getting cut in Week 1: basically, it sucks. Carlos sputters out some human beatbox, while the rest basically bare their souls in 10 seconds or less. Aaaaand, commercial.
Brooke also refuses to go home, this time interviewing The Hoff, who sympathizes with all the hopeful people that he cut on his TV show. Meanwhile, Brandy is now hyperventilating, and may need a paper bag soon. The Sitch blinks a lot, and flashes his pearly grays.
Finally we get down to business: Brandy is called safe, and has a seizure to celebrate. Bristol & Mark are also pronounced safe, and hug it out. Tom sizes up the four vulnerable couples, and once again cuts to a final commercial before announcing the elimination, which still infuriates me.
Kurt & Anna and The Sitch & Karina are pronounced safe. This leaves The Hoff and Kyle Massey as the last two stars standing. Gee, I guess which one is going home? This was one of the show’s less successful attempts at building drama, not to mention some name recognition for one of their Disney stars. Tom includes the caveat that “these couples aren’t necessarily the bottom two” just to seal the deal. To drag things out even further, Tom interviews Kyle’s family and David’s daughters in the audience.
And finally, we say goodbye to David Hasselhoff. This is indeed a surprising result, as The Hoff is by far the biggest star ever to get the boot in the first round (Penn Gillette and Belinda Carlisle are tied for a distant second). The Hoff takes things in stride, and feels worse for Kym, who worked so hard to make him suck less than he would have.
This just in: Germany has declared war. Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer and Franka Potente have been detained for questioning. Stay tuned for further developments!