Last night on “Dancing With the Stars: The Results,” rapper Lil’ Kim was eliminated, even though she had scored six points higher in the judges’ ranking than the last-place finisher from Monday, rodeo star Ty Murray.
Monday night’s show had been a two-stage competition, in which each star performed a standard ballroom dance and a Latin one. Ty had received the lowest scores in both rounds (tying with Kim in the ballroom category), but the score of 21 (out of a possible 30) for his rumba was generous.
Ty’s charm and carefree attitude may have compensated for that rumba and the painfully awkward solo with which he ended it. After the performance, he joked that the stiff stripper moves he pulled were for his wife, Jewel, who had been sitting nearby: “I’m hoping that my solo pays dividends later.” In a taped segment tonight, he said, “I could tell by the look on her face: Mommy liked.”
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Kim has been appealingly earnest throughout the season, so it’s difficult to say why viewers would have stopped supporting her. Maybe they had grown tired of the constant references to her booty.
Here are the total scores the contestants received from the judges last night for their two dances (out of a possible 60):
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani: 57
Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas: 56
Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke: 56
Lil’ Kim and Derek Hough: 52
Ty Murray and Chelsie Hightower: 46
The first couple to hear they were safe from elimination, in no particular order, was Gilles and Cheryl, whose big celebration upon learning the news looked less faked than it did back when they were considered shoo-ins to win. Then came Melissa and Tony, whose perfect-30 samba from last night was the judges’ pick for a reprise tonight.
At the end of the show, the announcement that Shawn and Mark were safe left Kim and Ty onstage with their partners. Asked to comment on the final two, judge Len Goodman praised Ty for making so much progress in the season (as if he’d forgotten last night’s rumba) and said of Kim, “We’d miss her bionic booty.” (See?) When host Tom Bergeron announced Kim’s departure, the audience sounded astonished. Co-host Samantha Harris stepped in with an uncharacteristically glib “not a happy audience to see either of you go.” Tom courteously told Kim that he had loved watching her perform, and then ruined it by the way he invited her to take her ceremonial last dance: “Could you please grace us with your bionic booty one more time out here?”
Fortunately, tonight wasn’t all about unjust eliminations. The English pianist-vocalist Jamie Cullum gave an attitude-filled rendition of “I Get a Kick Out of You,” with a quickstep by the professional team of Urs Geisenhainer and Agnes Kazmierczak, who had appeared in the group waltz choreographed by Louis van Amstel earlier in the season and who really deserved to have their names spelled out on screen.
The pick-a-professional-for-next-fall contest continued with the pros dancing with contestants from previous seasons. The focus was supposed to be on how well the pros made their stars look, rather than on the pros’ own dancing. Afton DelGrosso taught Cody Linley to samba to “Hips Don’t Lie” (continuing the week’s booty theme). The judges praised her for trying to make Cody sell himself and look less wooden. The rehearsal footage seemed designed to make us shake our heads in wonder at the thought that someone could shoot “Hannah Montana” and “Dancing With the Stars” in the same week. The first time Afton’s phone-in-vote number was posted, it was incorrect. This was the worst case of “DWTS” sabotaging a DelGrosso since her older sister Ashly got stuck with Master P in season 2.
Mayo Alinen was paired with the always committed Lisa Rinna, who danced in a spray tan and a revealing yellow outfit that got more revealing when he ripped off the skirt. During their rehearsal, she commented on learning to dance with such a tall partner: “I guess it would be like having sex with someone else.” (Family show, producers!) The judges seemed to find their quickstep a little out of control.
Finally, Anna Demidova had to teach track star Maurice Greene the tango, which he said he’d chosen because he’d never danced it before. She received the highest praise from the judges. Len said that of the three pros, she brought out the most in her celebrity, and Bruno Tonioli called her “a miracle worker.” If the viewers listen to the judges (and they don’t, obviously), Anna will win. (It would be nice if Mayo Alinen got hired too so we could learn if he tells his partners, “Hold the Mayo!”)
Introducing the “Macy’s Stars of Dance” segment, Samantha said it would feature “the biggest star this ballroom has ever seen.” Turns out that was a cage-like five-pointed star that the performers danced around and climbed through. Though Samantha made sure we noticed the use of the sponsor’s logo, she was far less concerned with helping us decipher the names of the people who choreographed the number. (At least when Tom said “Urs Geisenhainer and Agnes Kazmierczak,” you had a fair chance at Googling the names phonetically and coming up with something.)
The best part of the show, as it is every season, was the “DanceCenter” segment. Kenny Mayne, the first eliminee from season 2, and Jerry Rice, the runner-up from that season, joined Len Goodman on a panel to assess the final five. As usual, Kenny got the best lines. Of Ty Murray, he said, “I’m so happy this show is finally rewarding poor dancing.”
He also got to read the hilarious vital statistics that appeared on the screen:
Lil’ Kim: “Height: Lil’. Weight: Lil’. Shoe size: Lil’.”
Melissa: “Shoe size: Pretty. Height: Pretty.”
Gilles: “His height: 184.5 centimeters. His shoe: A European 41. Weighs 80 kilos. His age is trente-trois. Eleven on the sexiness scale.”
Kenny, whose face was encrusted with makeup and sequins, also kept cutting off Len, finally telling him, “Once you start in with all your technical mumbo-jumbo and all your 80 years of ballroom experience, no one cares.” Judging by the viewers’ votes this week, Kenny may be right.