After two weeks of performances, it's time to kick the first star to the curb! Who went home with the dubious honor?... Not so fast. We have a dance-off first.
OK, I've never watched a whole results show with undivided attention for more than two minutes (aka the last two minutes, which is all that matters), so this is a semi-new experience for all of us, I guess, with the introduction of the dance-off. It's amazing - yet not - that it's taken producers eight seasons to find a way to fill out the hour with something actually relevant to the results.
Yet, the first thing out of the gate isn't relevant at all. Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's swung by (hehe) with "Calloway Boogie" and we get our first pro dance of the season. Did Tony use all the sculpting cream or something? Someone get Derek some hairspray.
Steve-O's OK, guys. Dressed in his waltz outfit (would you want to try that "salsa" again?), he tells Samantha he was insistent on the flip (Not. Lacey's. Fault.) and he luckily has no fractures. Now he wants to make it up to Lacey. Aww. Sam ruins the moment by fudging the explanation for the dance-off.
Score recap time with confessional footage. Boring and time-wasting, right? Except for Karina not giving Steve the time of day while he's complimenting her. At least try to look like you care.
First four couples safe:
Lawrence & Edyta
Shawn & Mark
Chuck & Julianne
David & Kym
Back from commercial, we're treated to four more safe couples. I like this brisk pace.
Next four safe couples:
Denise & Maks
Melissa & Tony (did they purposely announce them after Maks?)
Lil Kim & Derek
Gilles & Cheryl
The original Dancing Superman, Cameron Mathison, is back with some Celebrity Survival Guide fluff. Way to spell the guy's last name wrong. I thought you were ABC. The Guide includes taunting Shawn, crying in the confessional (I support any excuse to see Shannon Elizabeth's histrionics again), a nude thong for Bruno, spray tan (I veto this) and not signing up at all to prevent injuries. Har har. After that, it's time to slow it down even more. Macy's Stars of Dance does an ode to glamorous movie musicals by "choreography Michael Rooney," according to Samantha. It gets a standing O from... Mickey Rooney (the "choreography's" pop). My life is officially complete. Not. Next is just more filler. Fallen star Jewel, resting her fragile frame against a stool, belts out "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Um, why? I think 437 versions of it are enough. Can the hardwood not take the yodeling? Dmitry and Chelsie dance to Jewel's crooning. Chelsie's pulling a Lance - she's shoeless. Who will save her soles? Sorry, I had to.
Now it's time to introduce you to the cast. No one ever said they were good with timing. In case you're not aware, there are singers, actors, athletes and reality stars, the latter of which was created and is only populated by our replacements. Woz (the Computer Nerd) and Steve-O (the Jackass) get their own categories. Then it's time to talk some smack. I give Holly the win with her, uh, pictorial count. I lost track of the months, nor do I feel inclined to look them up.
Now down to business:
Holly & Dmitry are safe!
Ty & Chelsie are safe!
Steve-O & Lacey are safe!
That pits Woz & Karina vs. Belinda & Jonathan. They each repeat a routine to get new judges' scores that will be combined with votes from the past two weeks.
Belinda & Jonathan: Salsa
Hips don't lie! The two spend the morning working on her hip action and it's improved, but overall, I don't really see much of a difference in the performance. Then again, I barely remember hers from yesterday except for the spread eagle at the end. She's nervous and totally channeling Denise from last week. The judges all praise her new hip work, but note her sloppy footwork. She got an 18 Monday night.
Steve & Karina: Quickstep
The injured Woz fudged a step toward the end and is determined not to miss a beat this time around. His quickstep seems more peppy (if that's even possible) and sharp at first, but like Belinda's salsa, I don't really notice a drastic improvement. Can someone really improve that much in less than a day? I'd wager that they're all more nervous about this performance than the original one. Bruno admires his good spirit. Carrie Ann says he was smoother except for one spot in the middle. Len admires him too but doesn't see much improvement. Woz seems resigned to leaving backstage, while Karina just seems downright embarrassed. "We were lucky enough to get to do [the quickstep] twice." They got a 17 on Monday.
Score: 17 (or 11 with Bruno's flipped paddle)
And Season 8's first casualty is... Belinda & Jonathan. She knows, but it's alright, she tells Jonathan. "I had a great time ... and I wish I could've done better for Jonathan," she says. Jonathan wants to see more hip-shaking in her next Go-Go concert. I liked Belinda, but she was definitely unlucky No. 13 here, falling through the cracks with all the hoopla going on with the other contestants. She doesn't have Woz's adorkableness, so she had to come out and make a statement, which she didn't.
Conventional wisdom will say Woz, the worst dancer, should go, but I don't mind that he has another shot - not because he's fun to watch, but because he exemplifies what the show's supposed to be about: learning to dance with absolutely no experience.