Published April 08, 2009
Comedian David Alan Grier couldn’t sing his way out of elimination on tonight’s "Dancing With the Stars" results show. Although he and his partner, Kym Johnson, outscored the other lowest-ranking couple, football player Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, in the dance-off, DAG’s viewer votes were evidently so low that he was sent home.
The night’s biggest surprise, however, was that Steve-O of "Jackass" fame wasn’t in the bottom two despite receiving last night’s lowest total score from the judges. (In fact, he’s had either the lowest or the second lowest score for each of the last four weeks.) As he said to co-host Samantha Harris, "My dad told me that if the judges’ scores stay exactly the same, I need at least a 12 percent edge in the audience voting to get through to another week." (At least someone has gone to abc.com to check the rules.) It seems the viewers are simply ignoring the judges’ ratings and opinions entirely.
Clearly, Steve-O has found a winning strategy: suggesting to viewers that their votes are the only thing keeping him from resuming a life of drug abuse. (We’re exaggerating slightly.) Tonight, he made sure to remind them again, saying, "Going from rehab to the ballroom was definitely a major transition." (Translation: Please don’t send me back!)
(We should note that although foxnews.com did say Steve-O was basically a lock for the bottom two, we also said that Lawrence and David were the ones most likely to join him in the dance-off. So we were, uh, 12 percent right?)
Here’s how the couples were lined up in last night’s judges’ scores.
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: 29
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 26
Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough: 26
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 25
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough: 23
David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson: 22
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower: 21
Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska: 20
Steve-O and Lacey Schwimmer: 18
And here’s the order of how, in no particular order, the stars were told they were safe: Shawn, Lil’ Kim, Gilles (big pantomime "whew!"), Steve-O, Chuck, Melissa, and Ty.
Once David, Kym, Lawrence, and Edyta had absorbed the bad news, they were rushed quickly onto the floor, with none of that suspicious re-rehearsal footage of weeks past. (If those previous couples hadn’t known until Tuesday night that they were in the bottom two, why had they rehearsed all day Tuesday?)
David and Kym’s Viennese waltz was still boring, and David still did that leg-lift move that Bruno so vividly compared to a dog lifting its leg on a lamppost. But the judges saw some improvement tonight. Len, however, said he wasn’t sure if it was a whole point’s worth improvement. "I think you should be in the dance-off every week," said Bruno, whereupon DAG shook his head no. Carrie Ann agreed with Bruno that the couple seemed better connected tonight. Both Bruno and Carrie Ann gave DAG an extra point (bad Len!), bringing his total up to 24.
Lawrence and Edyta’s paso doble was less exciting, less passionate and clumsier than last night, and the judges gave L.T. encouraging remarks that seemed designed to make him feel better while doing his bye-bye dance. Bruno said we’d only seen the tip of the iceberg of what Lawrence could do. (Cue mental image of sinking ship.) Carrie Ann praised his power and sympathized that the paso doble music was difficult. Len said that all he’d written down was "difficult music." And then they gave the same scores as last night: a 6 from Carrie Ann, a "seVEN!" from Len and a 7 from Bruno.
After a break meant to give Lawrence time to pack up his belongings in order to leave the Top Model house, the shocking news was announced: David and Kym were eliminated. He looked genuinely downcast, perhaps having done the math and figured out exactly what percentage of the viewers must have preferred Lawrence and Steve-O. Samantha tried to prompt him to do one of his little joke songs, but he clearly wasn’t up to it, only managing to compliment Kym and the other dancers, who looked downright gloomy. Even the farewell-dance song, Michelle Branch’s "Goodbye to You," was just sad, without the usual redeeming hint of snarkiness. Goodnight, funnyman!
The filler was the usual mixed bag. The encore dance was Lil’ Kim and Derek’s waltz, probably because the judges assumed that viewers had already worn out their DVRs replaying Gilles and Cheryl’s paso doble. Melissa confessed that she had ripped her dress on Monday, but not in an interesting, wardrobe-malfunction way. Etta James performed a sultry version of her classic "At Last" as the show’s engaged couple, Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Karina Smirnoff, performed a rather overwrought waltz. Pumping up applause for James at the end of the number, Maks did an "I’m not worthy" bow in her direction (as if those words had ever crossed his mind).
Benji Schwimmer, champion of season 2 of "So You Think You Can Dance" (and Lacey’s big brother), danced to a performance by Demi Lovato, star of a Disney Channel show. It was nice enough to see that Benji can still perform an entire number while maintaining his "I know you love me" face, but when he and partner Torri Smith broke out his signature double-cartwheel move, it was reality-ballroom heaven.
The [Department Store Name Goes Here] Stars of Dance segment was a performance by the cast of a Vegas show called Le Rêve, who simultaneously performed ballroom, tumbling, and some sort of martial-arty motions. If you like prosciutto and melon, you probably thought this odd combination was just fine.
And after a segment on the show’s styling procedures touched on the joys of spray tanning, Samantha and host Tom Bergeron appeared on camera with garishly bright orange faces. As David Alan Grier forgot tonight (we hope temporarily), it’s important to be able to laugh at yourself.