Tuesday’s “Dancing with the Stars” elimination episode promised to have much more drama than usual in the wake of hoofer Maks Chmerkovskiy’s shocking attack on the critics, er, the judges, on Monday night’s Broadway-themed show.
When bad boy Maks put his dancing shoe in his mouth, declaring that “DWTS” was HIS show, America listened. But would his fighting words mean an elimination for him and partner Hope Solo? Or would it be the low scoring Chaz Bono and his partner Lacey Schwimmer who faced their final curtain call? In fact, it was Chaz who provided most of the drama on elimination night, as footage from Monday was shown on Tuesday’s telecast which revealed how hurt and frustrated he really was.
But before we exclaim, “Spoiler alert!,” we’ll describe the show.
“DWTS” opened with judge Len Goodman saying that Monday night had been a “mix of fights, frights, and delights.” Indeed!
The judges rightly selected J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff’s quickstep to showcase as the encore dance. If anything, the couple performed their playful “Chicago”-themed quickstep even better than last night. One of this season’s highlights has been the candid footage from before and after their Monday performances, and the cameras captured J.R. and Karina seeming to know how well they did at the end of their dance. “Yes. Money!” J.R. yelled. Coming off the stage, J.R. said, “I’m so excited.”
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J.R. and Karina are then, predictably, the first to be declared safe on elimination night. They hugged, and J.R. couldn’t wipe the smile off his face. The pair gave a preview of next week’s Halloween show, with Karina telling Brooke Burke, “He’s going to be chasing me. I’m going to be a ghost.”
Backstage, a few of the couples mingled and Nancy Grace said that J.R. is her hero. She also revealed that mommy duty was calling her: “Lucy threw up so I’m going to go straight home.” Okay, we love Nancy– but a little TMI!
“Wicked” star Kristin Chenoweth performed “Lessons Learned” from her new album “Some Lessons Learned.” And what are those lessons? The “DWTS” cast needs to know! Kristin as usual was as sweet as honey and enjoyed the show, saying, “this is as old school as it gets” and that Broadway is where the live concept started, so how appropriate! Kristin gave a shout out to J.R. and her fellow southerner Nancy Grace because she’s another petite lady.
More candid footage followed that showed Ricki telling Derek after their Monday dance, “I apologize for being so difficult.” Nancy was shown getting her nine from Carrie Ann Inaba and seeming to justify her score to Len, telling him, “that’s right, Brudda!”
The next couple called safe is Ricki and Derek, who look more and more like potential champions. They gave each other the double high five as the former talk show hostess delivered a “thank you!” like she’s at the Oscars. Nancy and Tristan, who seem the most relaxed couple tonight, are then also passed on to next week’s show.
Time for a confessional segment with the remaining celebs moaning and groaning about how hard it all is. Oh, well, it’s another time filler! Ricki confided that after rehearsals, she is “covered in my sweat, in Derek’s sweat. It’s disgusting!” David Arquette wondered if he’s good enough (oh, c’mon David, let out a “Scream.” I hope he makes it to Halloween week). Hope Solo admitted the criticism had been bruising, saying the tears keep coming because she’s been told on the show she looks like a dude and “you have balls.” Whaat? I missed that one!
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Musical producer Kenny Ortega rolled out his “Corbin Bleu 42nd Street” number, which is a high-energy Broadway tribute that degenerates into a hip hop number (sorry, I’m a purist). That’s followed by Martina McBride performing her latest country song as a dancing pro pair dances along (this particular elimination show time filler is getting a little old—and what does Martina have to do with Broadway?).
What’s to come is much more interesting; with Len shouting that David is on the wrong foot with Kym Johnson in more Monday behind-the-scenes footage. Kym told David afterwards that he messed up the “chang chang” part in their Grease number.
But it’s Chaz’s TV package that is the most emotional. After Bruno Tonioli called Chaz a penguin, Chaz conveyed his hurt backstage, raving to partner Lacey that overweight women are given lots of love on “DWTS,” but an overweight man? Forget it! A visibly angry Chaz said, “Bruno f—ing makes a comment about me like I’m some fat troll dancing with a beautiful woman. I’m sick of it!”
After Chaz’s meltdown, it was back to real time on the show as David and Kym are told they will dance another day and Chaz and Lacey are predictably declared in jeopardy after their low scores. Chaz looked stoic but mastered a smile for Lacey, as this observer wondered why Chaz ends every dance with his arms in the air.
Cut to Maks, the man of last night, who finally seemed to have gotten the message he shouldn’t have slammed the judges. “I want to apologize. It’s not my show. I’m part of a very large cast.” And don’t you forget it!
Rob’s candid clips showed loyal sister Khloe Kardashian Odom yelling at the judges, “give him a nine!” on Monday night. Maks told Hope before hitting the dance floor that she’s been in the Olympics so she can’t be nervous. Viewers are also shown the judges reaction to Maks’ Monday meltdown, with Carrie Ann open-mouthed in horror.
Rob is safe, Hope in jeopardy. Although they are not necessarily the bottom two, Chaz and Hope face the red elimination lights.
The thumping “DWTS” exit theme started. Tom Bergeron told viewers that Chaz and Lacey are the ones going home and Chaz seemed more than sad to be leaving his DWTS comrades. “I took so much away from this. It was an amazing journey,” said a gracious Chaz said, who smiled through a standing ovation and added, “I wanted to show America a different kind of man.”