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Dance fans like excitement. I know this not because ballroom dancing is a rollercoaster ride of thrilling moves and intricate, fast-paced fancy footwork. Not because the studio audience is so often inspired to leap to their feet and give a standing ovation for an invigorating mambo. No, I know this because of the fickle dialing fingers of the voting public. Here we are, smack dab in the middle of week 7, and the self-admitted weakest link is still gracing the DWTS stage. Each week, we have held our breath, waiting for what we all think must be certain elimination…and each week, we have been – disappointed? Relieved? No…instead, we are oddly exhilarated. That’s the only excuse I can figure for the ongoing presence of Jerry Springer.

But on this week’s results show, there’s a different feeling in the air. And even more ominous, there’s no talk of a shocking elimination. In fact, host Tom will even remind us, later in the show (you know, when we’re almost ready to throw in the towel, around the time of the Slim-Fast Dance Challenge) that there’s been shocking eliminations…in the past. Scary stuff, and Halloween isn’t until next week.

Still and all, there’s a whole hour to get through before the apparently non-shocking elimination, and as usual, it starts with a rehash of the previous night’s performances. There’s the usual mixed bag of post-show comments from the stars – Emmitt & Cheryl, usually quiet in the confessionals, good-naturedly complain about Bruno ruining their chance for a perfect score, and Joey gibbers on about Gene Kelly and how thrilling it is to be mentioned in the same sentence as him. The only interesting comment – well, if “disturbing” is the same as interesting – is from Jerry’s partner Kym, who describes Jerry as an “old hottie”. I think she’s confusing Jerry’s turn as Agent 007 a few weeks ago with Sean Connery’s James Bond. Now Sean Connery…there’s an old hottie for you. Although I’m still not certain I would want to see Sean in Jerry’s floral bathing trunks, either.

Tom reminds us that the stars’ scores are the result of being judged on 3 dances, so the scores are out of 90 points rather than 30, and we get another quick look at the leaderboard. I went through all this nasty math stuff for Tuesday’s show, but I guess *sigh* I can give ‘em out one more time: Mario & Karina, 84/90; Emmitt & Cheryl, 82/90; Joey & Edyta, 81/90; Monique & Louis, 77/90; and both last and least, Jerry & Kym, 64/90.

The nod for the encore performance this week goes, predictably, to the couple robbed of the perfect score for their mambo last night, Emmitt & Cheryl. They run through their crowd-pleasing routine one more time for us, and then it’s off to this week’s guest star, country vocalist Martina McBride. There’s a quick plug for the CMA Awards broadcast on ABC November 6th, and Martina swings into one of her hits, This One’s For The Girls. I know nothing about Martina McBride, but she is wearing a fairly hideous glittery black sack dress. My husband is a country music fan (but I love him anyway), and he tells me that Martina may be pregnant. I did try to confirm that with a google search, but all I found out is that Martina has been pregnant in the past, several times – so maybe this is just one of her old maternity dresses.

At any rate, it’s a rather sweet, wistful song, and she’s certainly preferable to watching Sam’s painful attempts at witty repartee with the stars. But this is DWTS, not CMT, so we’re stuck with Sam. Emmitt and Monique are far too well-mannered to talk trash or say much beyond how they are striving to improve, what a wonderful challenge the show is for them, etc., etc. As usual, Sam has better luck with Jerry – she jokes that he didn’t earn any scores of 10 last night, and he responds that if you add them all together, you’d get at least 10. The chuckles haven’t quite subsided when Jerry adds that Sam has made him feel bad, causing Kym to cluck over him reassuringly and inducing Sam to quickly hand over the proceedings to Tom.

A quick trip to the audience for some feedback on the remaining stars and surprisingly, there’s a lotta love for Joey Lawrence and his Charlie Brown ‘do. I mean, I’ve been a fan of Joey’s assets from the start, but I thought most of the fangirl love was for Mario Lopez. There’s more than a couple ladies that express the desire to rub Joey’s bald head and to that I say – get in line behind me, sister.

Back to Tom & Sam for the non-shocking revelation of the first two safe couples, which are Mario & Karina, and Emmitt & Cheryl. No point in dwelling on the lack of drama for these early results, so we’re whisked off to commercial break and then introduced to my recap partner Brandy’s TV boyfriend, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, and his students, who will perform a cha-cha to Michael Jackson’s hit, Billie Jean, complete with single white gloves and some moonwalk action. Now can someone please explain to me why all ballroom dancers apparently hail from Slovakia? Is there a plot for world domination of competitive ballroom dance? “What are we going to do today, Brain Instructor Maksim?” “Same thing we do every day, students…try to take over the world.”

Um, yeah. Anyway, let’s get to Sam’s interview with our two safe couples, shall we? Mario hasn’t got much to say, but Emmitt is touchingly proud of his performances. I’m thinking he’s starting to clear a spot in his rec room trophy case for a big, ugly, glittery ball.

Which brings us to the Slim-Fast Dance Challenge and the woman who is in no danger of ever bringing home a dance trophy, Tysonia Sichinga. OK, that was mean. But it’s pretty obvious from watching Tysonia dance that she’s not putting in quite as much time as her celebrity counterparts. Of course she has a real job that she has to work at in order to put food on her family’s table and kids she has to look after by herself – no nannies in Tysonia’s world. However, she’s taking some time out this week to meet our final five dancing stars, and she’s quite giddy over the prospect of meeting Mario Lopez. Of course, she loves everyone to pieces, and gets some (presumably dancing) advice from Kim, Karina & Cheryl. The producers, in their infinite cruelty, are having Tysonia dance the Paso Doble in front of a group of strangers on the street. No word on how much pocket change she collected for her effort, but to Tysonia’s credit, it looks like the Slim-Fast she’s been chugging the past few weeks has started to pay off. *gives thumbs up*

Martina McBride is back to sing that age-old AM radio hit, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. No one but a real pro could possibly dance to this, and sure enough, our performers are Edyta Sliwinska and real-life squeeze Alec Mazo, season 1’s champ. I ask my fellow women – is it possible to watch Edyta and not want to kill her for her incredible physique? I’d start on Slim-Fast and ballroom lessons tomorrow if I thought I could get results like that. Wowza.

Next up is a somewhat amusing montage of interview clips and video about the men – the stars, that is – of this season. The theme is their struggle to stay manly while doing sissy dances in even sissier costumes. Jerry expresses surprise that the men – the other men, that is – have dominated this year. For himself, he’s pretty much given up on the manliness thing. Mario still wants to look masculine, though, and he proves it by swigging beers and watching ESPN with the rest of the boys. Joey, who’s arguably the girliest of this bunch, chuckles that his brothers are giving him a hard time about his gig – possibly because he’s literally dancing from room to room while at home. His siblings tell him he has “jazz hands”, a phrase that only a guy’s brothers can make incredibly insulting and hysterically funny all at the same time. As for Emmitt – who’s gonna tell Emmitt that real men don’t dance? Go ahead, try it – he’ll tell you that real men do things they think they can’t do. And then beat the snot out of you.

We’ve heard plenty of bitching & complaining from this season’s stars about all the practicing and hard work DWTS is, right? So for a change of pace, we’re going to hear some bitching & complaining from some previous season’s stars. First up, is camera-loving Lisa Rinna – and for the love of God, Lisa, lay off the collagen already. Her lips are puffier than a porn star’s after a week of steady filming. Or maybe that’s her new gig. Lisa admits that she & Louis Van Amstel, her former dance partner, hated each other. Presumably because she’s not quite as moldable as Monique Coleman, or maybe her lips scared Louis, too. Drew Lachey, last season’s winner, says how difficult it is in the home stretch, having to learn 2 new dances per week. Jerry Rice likens the show to football – you can have a great season, then you have one bad game in the playoffs and your year is over. A warning for his fellow football hero, Emmitt? Joey McIntyre is there too, but whatever he has to add is as memorable as his former appearance in the show, because I’ve completely forgotten it, and who he is.

And with that, it’s time for the non-shocking elimination! Joey & Edyta are proclaimed safe, leaving Jerry & Kym and Monique & Louis in the bottom 2. There’s some brief tension – okay, maybe it’s not so brief, and not that tense – and to no-one’s surprise, Jerry & Kym will be going home this week. Jerry may have sucked as a ballroom dancer, but he’s given a hero’s farewell – the crowd leaps to their feet, chanting Jer-ry’s name – hell, even Martina McBride is giving him a standing O. As would be expected, Jerry is both gracious and witty in defeat, thanking his partner and co-stars for the opportunity and the fans for letting him go home. He tears up during his thank you’s, and if there was anyone prior to DWTS who wondered why the hell so many people love Jerry – well, now you know why. Kym tells us that Jerry is the nicest man she’s ever met, and we all believe her. He then tells Kym that if his daughter, Katie, could have a sister, then he & wife Mickie would adopt her, and adds that Katie called to tell him that she loves him but is coming to take him home. There’s already not a dry eye left in the house, but Jerry tries to defer his last dance with Kym, saying that she came all the way from Australia and that she should have the opportunity to dance with someone other than him. He’s pooh-pooh’d by Kym and everyone onstage, and the couple dances their last to the strains of My Way.

Next week my fellow recapper Brandy will following our final four through two more new dances – the end is near, my friends! And Jerry – have a blast at Katie’s wedding, waltz your heart out, and don’t forget, we want to see the pictures!

If you’re reading this, Jerry, you can email me my invitation. ajane@fansofrealitytv.com