Welcome to the Dancing with the Stars results show where we found out which of our C-list celebrities would be hanging up their jazz hands, sequins and soft shoes and returning to Vegas or wherever these people hang out. The ballroom has been cleared of all traces of Motown Week, except for a few traces of the tracks of Smokey Robinson’s tears. To celebrate the occasion, Brooke Burke Charvat wore an outfit that was clearly designed by Mattel and Tom Bergeron has reigned in his acid tongue and prepped his words of consolation and condolence.
Here’s how the pitter patter of little feet played out last night:
The Result: Remember yesterday when I posed Morrissey’s question about whether life was sick and cruel? Well, it is. Living legend, godmother of soul, Motown star Gladys Knight was eliminated from the competition during Motown week. It’s disheartening, it’s wrong, and it’s enough to make me think Judge Len didn’t really go home and vote for Gladys.
He’s Safest: Jaleel White did such a good job proving to the judges that his initial performance wasn’t just beginner’s luck that they rewarded him by telling him he was safe within the first two minutes of the show.
Most Awkward Moment: At the start, Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were told that they were in jeopardy. However when Tom Bergeron announced their result, the in-ballroom audience either misunderstood or are a roomful of jerks, because they cheered loudly. Tom chided them for their rudeness and made the audience write “We will not be impolite” twenty times.
Keep-It-In-Perspective Moment a.k.a. AT&T Spotlight Dance: In last night’s spotlight dance, we met Michaela DePrince, a young dancer who grew up in Sierra Leone. Whatever you were complaining about, stop, because her mother starved to death after her father was killed during the war. Then she was taken to an orphanage. Also she had vitiligo and was called “the devil’s child,” which was not a term of endearment. She was eventually adopted, came to the United States and is now living the American dream, which is, of course, to dance on national television while Natasha Bedingfield sings “Wild Horses.”
Most Obvious First World Problems: After Michaela’s inspiring story, we get a poorly placed montage of the celebrities whining about how hard it is to dance as a career-boosting PR stunt. As Melissa Gilbert explains that she just doesn’t know where the energy will come from to keep going, you can hear Michaela rolling her eyes if you listen closely.
Best Comeback of the Night: While everyone was extolling Jaleel White’s comeback performance (you know, from week one wunderkind to bottom dweller and back again), the real wow-inducing comeback was tonight when Boys II Men played. That’s right, the “End of the Road” singers are back, on tour, and more importantly, harmonizing on your television.
What We Missed Last Night: Donald Driver almost wiped out during his dance with Peta Murgatroyd. Despite that nearly fatal flaw (it’s reality television so all drama is multiplied by 11!!) Donald still managed to get a 27 and was deemed safe this week, too. Also safe were William Levy, who added the word “raunchy” to his ever expanding dance vocabulary and Melissa Gilbert who gets to spend another week under Maks’ tutelage (and abs!).
Best Faker: Each and every week of this competition Katherine Jenkins tops the leaderboard with nearly flawless performances. Yet, each and every week she reacts with shock and humility about making it another week. She’s so good at looking surprised, maybe she should switch from singing and dancing to acting.
Old School vs. New School: The week’s bottom two were living legend Gladys Knight and Disney upstart Roshon Fegan, who I called would be in the bottom for his snoozeworthy sexy dance. To decide their fate the duo faced off in a simultaneous split screen jive-off dance duel that was fast and furious. While America chose the bottom two, it was up to the judges to decide who should go home.
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The Big Decision: Comparing the slow-moving yet soulful senior citizen Gladys Knight to the hip hop gawky teen star Roshon Fegan is a decision that Bruno Tonioli calls Sophie’s Choice, which I should re-read, because I did not realize it was about pseudo celebrities ballroom dancing. Carrie Ann votes for Gladys, because it was Motown week, after all. This does not sway Len or Bruno, who vote to save Roshon and let Glady go from the competition. The bitter irony of dismissing a Motown legend during Motown week lingers in the air like a bad smell, which will hopefully dissipate by next week.
Was it Gladys’ time to go? Should they have given her a pass?