Last night was full of surprises on Dancing with the Stars: All Stars, at least according to co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet, who was dressed like a mermaid when she said it, so you know it is has to be true. Yet after every performance show, we have to watch someone we love (or barely tolerate — we’re looking at you, Drew Lachey) go home. Who was it last night? Before we get to the dramatic elimination, we get some thrilling behind-the-scenes footage of Bristol Palin cheering her own score (32!) and Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy making a make-up lady uncomfortable with their weird mooning over each other that would not be out of place in the back row of a high school viewing of Twilight. In short, let’s just get to the results already.
How did the pitter patter of little feet score? Let’s find out:
Least Surprising Save: Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough are safe after earning three 10s and a grouchy 9.5 for their mambo. Joining them in the Circle of Safety are fake vote-seeking lovebirds Val Chmerkovskiy and Kelly Monaco as well as Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel and, presumably, the Cookie Monster if he survived eviscerating Sabrina last night.
Least Surprising Jeopardy: Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas. While the judges gave them their highest score yet, the practice footage showed Bristol resisting Mark’s attempt to teach her tougher choreography for last night’s rock ‘n’ roll number and then she miffed the steps she was given. That undoubtedly rubbed the voting viewers the wrong way.
Best Return: Carson Kressley, once of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and former Dancing with the Stars contestant who was robbed of the Mirrorball Trophy by getting tossed off really early in the competition. Now he is back with attitude ablazing to give us a tour of the DWTS set, with highlights including bronzing Gilles Marini’s abs.
Macy’s Stars of Dance: David Guetta’s and Sia’s ubiquitous duet “Titanium” is verging on its saturation point, but Christina Grimmie’s live performance was a nice twist on the played-to-death song. Backed by the dance troupe doing their best Peter Sellars in Being There meets A Clockwork Orange meets Narnia (who knew a snowy lamp post would look so very right at home in the DWTS ballroom?) it was a nice change of pace from, say, Pitbull.
Fun Fact du Jour: NFL star Emmitt Smith’s guilty pleasure song is “Copacabana” by Barry Manilow.
Worst Question of the Night: When Karina Smirnoff fell on her booty and burst into tears after her and Apolo Anton Ohno’s hip hop routine, what does hostess with the mostess Brooke ask? “How upsetting would it be to go home?” They both agree it would be very upsetting. Good question, Brooke! Maybe you can moderate the next Presidential debate. Karina and Apolo are in jeopardy.
Best Ron Burgundy Shout Out: When the teleprompter went on the fritz, host Tom Bergeron ad libbed: “I don’t care. I’ll read anything you put on the cue cards. It’s like Anchorman.” I knew Tom and I had a lot in common.
Listen to the Rhythm of the Night Moment: Continuing the night’s trend of non-annoying dances, Cheryl Burke and all her oldest friends got together to dance to the wild rhythms of Tito Puente. The result was an understated yet brilliantly executed mambo with a Latin beat that didn’t involve anyone dressing up as cultural stereotype.
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Best Vote Stacking: Kirstie Alley and Maks Chmerkovskiy proudly crowed about finally getting a 30 from the judges. No need to mention that it took adding an extra judge’s score to get to 30. Kirstie and Maks are in jeopardy despite their “high” score.
Random Gripe: This show is wildly inconsistent with their flashback dances. Sometimes they pick a dance to be done over during the results show, and sometimes they don’t. I want to see Shawn and Derek’s mambo again and the judges should have let me.
Best Reality Show Crossover Moment: Donny Osmond reminds us that he still exists by popping up to perform with famed Britain’s Got Talent winner Susan Boyle, who may have been having an off night. (In the spirit of American Idol judge Randy Jackson, it was kinda pitchy, dawg!) But any missed notes are forgiven because there was a Tristan MacManus sighting!
Worst Gym Class Flashback: In advance of next week’s freestyle team dances, team captains (read: highest scorers) Gilles Marini and Shawn Johnson had to publicly pick team members. The first picked? Kelly and Val, of course. Last picked? Bristol and Mark, probably because Bristol is an awkward dancer prone to hissyfits (see last week).
The Bottom Two: With the Presidential debate looming, Tom Bergeron quickly announces that Apolo and Karina are safe. That means that the lowest scorers — Kirstie Alley and Bristol Palin — are both in jeopardy and all is right in the world.
Who’s Going Home: Bristol Palin. Unfortunately her mother, Sarah, won’t have time to make it to the Presidential debate at Hofstra University.
Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Gilles Marini has promised to dance a rumba to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
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