‘Dancing With the Stars’ results: No more tears
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He’d staved off elimination for so long, it seemed as though he had figured out how to stay simmering under those red heat lamps without being kicked out of the running. But alas, fate caught up with Aaron Carter, and he, his bulging forehead vein and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, were all eliminated from the Season 9 competition. And bravo to the singer for not shedding any tears! The producers must be patting themselves on the backs for creating such a nice story arc for Aaron, as over the course of eight weeks, the unbridled, emotional teen pop star had grown into a poised, gracious dancing man. Crusty Len Goodman shed his gruff and continued with his fatherly praise, even bucking convention and speaking out when the 21-year-old was voted out of the competition. “The dedication that you’ve shown week after week is absolutely fantastic,” the head judge said. “If you were my son, I would be so proud of you. But more important, you’d be proud of yourself.”
Such endearing words from someone Kenny Mayne called “the old wanker.” While Aaron was a better dancer and earned more judges’ points than fellow bottom-two dweller Kelly Osbourne, the young Carter just never seemed to secure the voter support that the Princess of Evil commanded, and his time in the Rectagon was up.
It was a bittersweet end to another jam-packed results show. After some guffawing, Len revealed the encore dance performance was not Mya and Dmitry’s perfect 30 samba, but Joanna and Derek’s paso doble, because it offered “a glimpse of how it could look in the future.” And it was fun to see the dance again without Joanna’s distracting silver bob of a wig and matching eye makeup (though Derek’s blue eye stripe had made its way up into his faux hawk of hair). Certainly, Hugh Hefner liked it, and came out in support of his cover girl.
Michael Bublé came on the scene, singing two songs during this hour. “Haven’t Met You Yet” was a fun romp from his latest album made even more delightful by some fancy stepping from Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Jonathan Roberts, Cheryl Burke and Anna Trebunskaya. And then the singer returned on the stage and belted out the brassy “Feeling Good,” accompanied by two dancers whose names were drowned out in a sea of applause.
“Britain’s Got Talent” sensation Susan Boyle also graced the Rectagon stage and sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from “Les Misérables,” while Tony Dovolani and Chelsie Hightower acted as modern-day ballroom Jean Valjean and Fantine, respectively. Kudos to Boyle for making it through not one but two potentially awkward pre-commercial camera pans with an enthusiastic amount of waving. And while her performance didn’t pack as much punch as the first time I saw it on the Internet (nor the 300 or so subsequent times I clicked on it afterward), her voice was still so sonorous and rich, and I loved how her sequined dress matched the sequin strands hanging on the stage behind her.
And then we had the popular Design a Dance performance, in which Season 5 star Sabrina Bryan was paired up with old partner Mark Ballas to do a paso doble to “Eye of the Tiger” wearing striped cat costumes designed by a fellow viewer (who also outfitted himself in the orange and black of a tiger -- rowr). And their dance was, dare I say it, fierce. High energy, great, sharp moves and nice unison, full of verve and movement, and I loved how both Sabrina and Mark totally got into the performance. At one point they were grappling like two feral minxes on the dance floor, and then Mark totally pounced and made it seem like he devoured her at the end. Front-row attendee Jane Seymour sure did like it. And why wouldn’t she? Other than the somersault move, which was cool but somewhat tentative, the performance moved as stealthily and as fierce as a tiger itself. It was, as Tony would say, grrrrreat!
Also great: DanceCenter! The Kenny Mayne-hosted spoof of ESPN’s SportsCenter is one of my favorite segments on “DWTS,” and this season did not disappoint. Well, Season 2 finalist Stacy Keibler’s role as special correspondent interviewing Rocky Horrorific Donny Osmond in a fauxmance with Bruno Tonioli was a tad superfluous, and I was a bit disappointed that neither Kenny nor Jerry Rice decided to pretty themselves up with makeup or face decals this time around. Still, their commentary was spot-on hilarious. Loved the Joanna needing Polish/polish joke, and how Kenny called out Derek’s questionable bobbing for crotches strategy in the group mambo dance (Jerry: “I taught him that move”).
The DanceCenter crew also pointed out Osmond #7 Donny’s timelessness. “How old is this guy anyway?” asked Kenny. “He acts like he’s 3 years old on sugar.”
They also listed “Cry baby” as one of Aaron Carter’s stats. “Don’t confuse crying with being emotional,” defended Len. “When tears come out, he’s crying,” asserted Kenny. “There’s no crying in ballroom!” said Jerry. “This guy Aaron has the lowest pain threshold of any man I’ve ever seen in my life,” continued Kenny, which prompted another bon mot from former 49er Rice: “He’s so fragile, like a snowflake resting on a lily.” Ha! Also thought it was funny how Kenny so slyly mistook Dmitry as the star contestant (“Was he on a soap opera or something?”) rather than his partner Mya. And how they brought out the toy hockey rink and had each team slide across the dance room floor (“No crying on the ballroom floor!” “Earthquake!”). Bravo to Kenny Mayne for taking his week-long “DWTS” stint and parlaying it into one of the highlights of the season. Can’t wait to see what he has in store next year.
What did you think of the results show? Did the right person go home? How about that Design a Dance performance? Is Kenny Mayne the best Week 1 elimination ever?
-- Allyssa Lee
Photo (top): Karina Smirnoff and Aaron Carter. Credit: ABC / Adam Larkey
Photo (bottom): Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa. Credit: ABC / Adam Larkey