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In the semi-finals, the stakes are higher. Judges and viewers alike expect to see the performances of the season. Quite frankly, dancers simply didn’t bring it. With elimination looming, who will make the cut? Will it be Kristi, the early favorite who has lost momentum? Or Cristian, the one-armed Latino hottie who continues to wow the judges? Jason, who has slipped down on the leader board? Or Marissa, the big-mouthed big-haired the one in last place? (Yeah, I know the title spoils it, but play along for the sake of recappage, okay?) Let’s get to it…

Jason kicked off the night with an elegant Foxtrot. Len thought they were brilliant and finally pulled out his 10 paddle. Jason expressed his love for the stuffy old judge…he loves him like a “play cousin.” With an aggressive Paso Doble, Jason continued to wow Len who declared him like the price of gas…on the rise. Looks like Lenny has been taking figure of speech lessons from Bruno, the master of the metaphor. Cristian also dazzled the judges getting a big “wow” from Bruno with his Viennese Waltz. In an open shirt, he dazzles his female fans with a hip-shaking Samba that gains him another 10. But for Len losing his 10 paddle once again, Kristi’s Tango would have yielded a perfect score. Her Jive excited Bruno who called it the “cherry on the icing of the cake of a sweet, sweet delicious Jive.” The master, I’m telling you. At the bottom of the pack, Marissa stumbled in her Quickstep. At this stage of the competition, mistakes like this shouldn’t be happening. With her Rumba, she disappointed Carrie Ann. She wasn’t excited at all with this semi-final performance. So the big question is this…will Lucy Lawless’ antics Marissa’s fans once again save her? Will we get a shocker of an elimination?

After the judges’ scores, here are the rankings…

In 4th place - Marissa and Tony with a combined score of 52. They think it’s an awesome score because they performed two like really, really hard dances. But is it awesome enough to bring them out of the bottom spot once combined with Lucy Lawless’ the viewer’s votes?

In 3rd place - Jason and Edyta with a score of 55. Jason is having a blast and jokes that he must be fooling America. We love you, Jason. No fooling!

In 2nd place - Cristian and Cheryl have a combined score of 56. They’re happy with second place.

In 1st place - Kristi and Mark landed a score of 57. They’re scores have gotten higher week after week and they’re pleased with the steady progress. In fact, the judges are so impressed with them this week that their Tango gets the encore. Bravo!

For more cream filling, producers have decided that viewers should see kids’ ballroom dancing competition. They’re cute and all but seriously, shouldn’t this be on Nickelodeon or something? In all fairness to those who actually care, here’s a brief - very brief - rundown. Okay honestly, there's nothing else to cover except the kids this week. Aaron and Rashell are the first pair dancing in the finals. They’re cute as little buttons and if they don’t win, they laugh that they were still on TV. Pretty cool for kids their age alright. They dance the Cha Cha Cha. Len loved the Cuban flair and that their little bums were shaking everywhere. Bruno and Carrie Ann were equally impressed with them. Moving on to bigger people…

Shameless plug for Desperate Housewives here as Tom recognizes Dana Delaney in the audience (Good thing, I wouldn’t have recognized her in those horn-rimmed glasses) and promotes the upcoming season finale. Be sure to tune in to find out if bratty little Kayla gets the swift kick she deserves.

You know, the show wouldn’t be complete if Samantha didn’t stumble through an interview or three. Backstage with the semi-finalists, she asks about their hard work and how excited they all are. Pointing out that Cristian is risking energy, she wants to know what his inspiration is for sticking with it. He says they have a dream. Since Edyta has stated you can’t have friends in the finals, Jason and Cristian agree to put the budding bromance on hold until after the finale.

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s landmark Thriller album, Emmy nominated Travis Payne choreographs a Macy's Stars of Dance performance with Grammy nominee, Omarion. The number features a montage of MJ’s big hits, infamous glove and crotch grabbing included. Ashamedly, I admit that a teeny tiny part of my inner 80’s child likes the MJ oldies but goodies. Help me sing it… Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa. Ma Ma Se, Ma Ma Sa, Ma Ma Coo Sa…

Team number two in the Ballroom Kids’ Finals are Jaryd and Cara. For them, it’s so exciting to be in the finals. Their school gave them a pep rally and they were stars for the day. In the studio, they get a few pointers from Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Even Cara gushes over how “cute” he is. Now this girl know her stuff! The kids dance the Samba and the judges were completely enamored. Cara even signs an autograph for Tom. Look for it on eBay soon.

The final pair of kids in this mini-dance off is Brandon and Brittany. Their dancing dreams have come true. Ashley Delgrosso from season one used to be their teacher so she comes to practice to give them some tips. The kids just hope to impress the judges with their Paso Doble. And they are quite impressive. The judges’ jaws drop at just how sophisticated their performance was.

Backstage, Samantha interviews the kiddos and makes a plug for votes. She also gives the kids the news that along with their families, they’re all going to Disneyworld.

Finally, we’re on to the results. Which three couples will make the cut? Who will be watching the finals from the audience? Millions voted and the first couple securing their place in the finals is…drum roll, please…Kristi and Mark. Joining them in the finals is Jason and Edyta. No surprises so far. After a few more minutes of dramatic pause and filler, Cristian and Cheryl are sent to the finals, leaving Marissa and Tony to join the audience next week. In her parting words, Marissa encourages everyone to go out, do something fun, and shake what your mama gave you.

Speaking of next week, be sure to tune in for finale night where the champion will be crowned and Usher will peform.

Admit it, you sang along during the MJ tribute.