Last night on “Dancing With the Stars: The Results,” country singer Chuck Wicks and his partner/girlfriend, Julianne Hough, were eliminated from the competition, even though their total score after Monday night’s performance show was five points higher than that of the lowest-scoring celebrity, “Bachelor” star Melissa Rycroft.
Melissa had seemed destined for elimination. Having been forced to sit out Monday night’s performance show because of an injury, she had nonetheless been graded by the judges using footage of a halfhearted rehearsal performance and had scored far lower than any of the other contestants. Monday was also the night of the group competition. After the team that Melissa would have danced with lost, that score was added to her individual score, sending her even lower in the total rankings.
Here’s how the contestants lined up in the judges’ leaderboard after their individual performances:
Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough: 28
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 27
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: 27
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough: 26
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower: 24
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 21
And here’s how they lined up after the group-dance scores were added:
Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough: 56
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: 55
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 52
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower: 52
Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough: 51
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 46
But as judge Len Goodman had pointed out, if you took into consideration all of Melissa’s performances so far this season, she clearly deserved to stay. Enough viewers felt the same way to keep her in the competition.
As for Chuck, he was gracious in defeat, saying he had enjoyed the competition but was looking forward to rejoining his country fans, and then adding, “I think the team dance did us in.” “Sure, blame the others,” said co-host Samantha Harris with a snicker. Fortunately, host Tom Bergeron jumped in to distract viewers by telling Chuck that he personified what “Dancing With the Stars” is all about. Then Chuck pointed out that he and Julianne were still together, even though unnamed “critics” had suggested that being on the show would ruin their relationship. (Hey, Chuck: If you like it, then you should put a ring on it.)
Samantha, who often makes you wonder if she’s had any professional experience on television, was either extraordinarily obtuse or extraordinarily snarky throughout the evening. Early on, after talking to Melissa Rycroft backstage about Melissa’s plans to get back in shape for next week’s show, Samantha told her, “You were at the bottom of the leaderboard, five points behind the entire group of people on that leaderboard.” Without letting Melissa respond, she turned to Lil’ Kim and said, “You on the other hand were at the complete top side of that.”
Then, in an interview segment after the professional dancers’ competition, when Anna Demidova said that being on the show would be “a great opportunity to teach somebody to dance and just to share my world with their world,” Samantha commented, “Aww, it’s like a pageant in here! I love it!”
And when only two couples were left standing in the elimination countdown, Sam said that they were going to reveal who was going home and who was staying “in no particular order.” Based on that, it’s probably a safe bet to assume Samantha wasn’t being deliberately snarky tonight.
As for the night’s filler segments, Robin Thicke performed two songs, the first with dancing by an assortment of “DWTS” professionals and the second with Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis, from season 3 of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Four of the dancers from the “vote for a new professional for next season” competition returned to perform again. (Oddly, the two eliminated dancers from last week weren’t given the dignity of an on-air elimination or even a mention. Since foxnews.com predicted correctly that they would receive the fewest viewer votes, we’ll give them one last name check: Brent Borbon and Snow Urbin.)
The two younger siblings of “DWTS” professionals, Afton DelGrosso and Genya Mazo, were paired off tonight and performed a competent but tame quickstep that was marred by Genya’s failure to plop Afton securely enough on the judges’ table. The two tall blonds, Mayo Alanen and Anna Demidova, did a jive that was, again, less flashy than ones we’ve seen “DWTS” couples do before. Bruno praised Mayo for moves that were “so sharp I feel cuts everywhere.” Anna, apparently thinking Bruno said “cats,” made clawing gestures with her hands. (Prediction: Mayo and Anna will be eliminated, because of the name-recognition factor and because of Samantha’s “pageant” wisecrack/goof.)
In the humor segments, the judges discussed how to build the perfect celebrity dancer out of the contestants’ body parts; the resulting composite photo flashed on and off the screen so fast it made you wonder why they bothered. And the performers appeared in a series of commercial parodies.
In a takeoff on a PETA campaign, the pros spoke to the camera against the cruelty of “Dancing With the Stars,” saying they would rather go naked than see another dancer hurt. (We learned that Cheryl Burke needs two mirror balls to cover herself, whereas Edyta Sliwinska needs only one, and that Derek Hough’s ball is bigger than Tony Dovolani’s.)
In a commercial for a dating service called “Dance Match,” Chuck and Julianne were adorable as hell playing young lovers. (“It was almost like we had danced before, but we hadn’t.”) They’ll be missed, especially by viewers whose hearts skipped a beat when Chuck said to Julianne, referencing the skimpy outfit she wore Monday night, “I don’t know if you have a plan with less clothes as the season goes on, but it’s working.”