The end is near. Tonight is the penultimate Dancing with the Stars episode, and what better way to get psyched (and I use that term loosely) than to relive all of last week’s tears, joy, and Bublé. Yes, it was another stellar (READ: overly inflated) edition of cha chas and quick steps, but this time around, it was jam packed with all sorts of sweeps-tastic stunts and guest stars. Hulk Hogan popped up for no real reason, Nick Lachey clocked in some valuable face time, and Tom Bergeron hammed up the stage with one of the most regrettable ballroom dances of the season. One might say it was the perfect week. The only thing it was missing was Samantha Harris starting up a conga line.
Stacy & Tony
Kicking off the show were the dynamic duo that’s favored to win this whole shebang: Stacy and Tony. Now, I don’t know if he’s been losing weight or if his hair’s been growing out or what, but Tony’s head has become more and more trapezoidal by the week. At this point, he’s actually verging on triangle. This doesn’t have much to do with anything — just a general anthro-geomatrical observation. And yes, I just made up that term.
Anyway, seeing that this was the semi-finals, the producers raised the stakes on the dancers. They would now have to learn two dances each — one ballroom, one Latin. Stacy would be doing the quickstep and the cha cha cha, but in order to hone her craft, she really needed to get into character. Hence, she announced her two alter-egos: the “elegant and refined Priscilla” for the quickstep and the “fiery, sexy Lola” for the cha cha cha. Personally, I have a hard time associating the word “Priscilla” with elegant and refined — mostly because “Priscilla” makes me think of “Camilla,” and that makes me think of both my hefty 6th grade art teacher as well as the little chicken that Gonzo adores so much. But that’s just me.
Well, Stacy may be a great dancer, but when it came to getting into character, she was having some trouble. What to do? Why, call in world renowned actress Lisa Ann Walter! What’s that you say? “Who’s Lisa Ann Walter?” DUH! Lisa Ann Walter! Thespian extraordinaire! I mean, hello — she was in Shall We Dance. And let’s not forget her groundbreaking work as Sexy Feminist Executive in the latter day masterpiece, Farm Sluts. Yeah, now you remember her. Anyway, Lisa Ann dropped by to teach Stacy some acting lessons, but mostly, it was just a chance for us to gaze upon her surgically augmented bosom (not to mention her trampy little blouse). I guess the best way to describe her is a low-rent Bette Midler. Well, with fierce gusto that seemed to say “Why, hello, America!!” Lisa forced Stacy to switch between Priscilla and Lola at the drop of a dime — something that pretty much translated into Stacy cocking her head to the left or right, depending on the character. A master class with Meryl Streep this was not.
Lisa Ann Walter: ass chest and proud of it.
The good news for Stacy was that the lessons must have worked because she executed a pretty solid quickstep. Bravo, Priscilla! I’m surprised Bruno didn’t take the opportunity to make a forced analogy like “This was the adventures of Priscilla, queen of the dance floor!” or “You were the Priscilla Barnes to my John Ritter!” Nevertheless, he was still colorful, especially when Carrie Ann Inaba dared to say that Stacy needed to take more risks. “She’s not doing a trapeze number! She’s doing a dance!” Bruno yelled, coming out of his chair. Len was equally furious, barking, “You cannot do risks in a ballroom!” I haven’t seen a British person this upset since the time Oasis almost broke up.
Anyway, Stacy headed backstage, but not before dodging some salacious jokes by perennial perv Tom Bergeron (he said something about Carrie Ann being the only one looking at Stacy’s feet or something like that). Anyway, Samantha Harris intercepted the couple and asked, “This week, Tony, you did lose your temper. Stacy, how does it feel to have him talk to you like that?” Huh? What temper? Samantha, you confuse me so. Ultimately, Stacy pulled in straight nines, which meant all that bickering over Carrie Ann Inaba’s statement was for naught.
Jerry & Anna
Up next were the odd couple of Jerry and Anna, and this week, our baby Stalin announced that she would be pushing her NFL star to the limit. To do this, she brought in two more experts. First, Anna called upon the help of Jonathan Roberts — former partner to Giselle Fernandez and Rachel Hunter. And here’s a shocker: Jonathan is Anna’s husband. Huh? In all honesty, I thought he was gay. Also helping out was Anna’s mom, Irina Trebunskaya, and man, this woman looked like the definition of battle ax. I would not be surprised to learn that Irina employs flogging as a daily ritual.
She can actually kill you with her glare.
Anyway, with Anna’s small ballroom army working extra hard on him, Jerry began to wear down. And what does a football champ do when he’s reached rock bottom? Why, force out some lame football metaphors. You know, like saying it’s like the fourth quarter of the Superbowl. Then again, he actually was in many Superbowls — so I guess it wasn’t really a metaphor. Damn you, Jerry, and your incorrigible champion spirit!
Well, Anna and Jerry eventually took the stage, performing a tango to, uh, “One Way or Another” by Blondie. Not necessarily the prototypical tango song. Not necessarily a tango song at all. And to make the entire moment even more bizarre, Jerry and Anna employed the liberal use of a broom throughout the dance. First they clutched onto it like a pole. Then they straddled it between themselves like some unlucky bystander crushed amidst a tango. Add to this a random temperance subplot involving Jerry pulling Anna away from a glass of wine, and the entire spectacle became a surreal disaster. Unsurprisingly, the judges were not happy. Bruno said he didn’t like it, causing firecracker Anna to explain that they were trying to be like George Hamilton. Memo to Anna: George Hamilton was eliminated two weeks ago. You probably shouldn’t use him as a model.
The rare ballroom broom dance.
Looks just like a tango…
Still, Anna was getting fired up, and when Len complained “I didn’t see a proper tango,” she shot back: “Oh, it wasn’t a proper tango. It was blondie for god sakes.” Can’t argue with her on that. And wouldn’t want to either. I don’t want Irina hunting me down and beating me with a wooden mallet.
Moments later, Len returned to his classic zinger form as he bashed Jerry Rice for having too many rises and falls in his tango. “Jerry Rice was Jerry Springer!” Z-Z-Z-ZING! Wow! Len Goodman does it again! I’m not sure if it was as good as “Jerry Rice? More like geriatric!” line, but I’ll tell you this: Len is about a step away from appearing on Wild ‘N Out.
Ultimately, Jerry earned two sevens and a six for a lowly score of twenty. This, of course, led to lots of angry boos, but backstage, it was all love from Samantha Harris. “I gotta say. Watching you out there made me happy!” she said. And at the end of the day, isn’t it all about making Samantha happy?
Lisa & Louis
Next up were Lisa and Louis, who were feeling so stressed that they decided to fly to Lisa’s hometown: Medford, Oregon. The two practiced at the Ginger Rogers Theater where Lisa marveled at how amazing it was that Ginger Rogers had danced on that very stage seventy-five years ago. Of course, the theater is also home to Tap Kids, so let’s not get too carried away here.
Anyway, Lisa performed the fox trot pretty well; although, if you were to judge it by Harry Hamlin’s jubilant cheering, you’d think she’d just been elected President. The judges all praised Lisa, with Bruno calling her “foxy” and Len describing her as “a treat.” The only criticism came from Carrie Ann, who charged Lisa with having a DANGLING ARM!! Dunh dunh DUNH! Ultimately, Lisa earned strong scores of an eight and two nines for a total of twenty-six.
Backstage, Louis explained how annoying it was to be wearing so many clothes, which then led to the inevitable Tom Bergeron comment about Lisa Rinna wearing less clothes. Sadly for Tommy boy, he stuttered and stumbled through his joke, making the moment doubly awkward for everyone involved.
Drew & Cheryl
We must never forget that ABC is owned by Disney, and if we do, ABC will remind us. Yes, Drew and Cheryl headed down to Disneyland for a little corporate cross-promotional synergy. The duo took to a makeshift stage in front of the Magic Kingdom and danced for a massive crowd of people, all of whom chanted the awkward cheer: “Drew and Cher-yl!” (It sounded more awkward than it reads.)
Anyway, turns out Mickey Mouse et al. were the perfect muses for this power couple as they dazzled the crowd once again with their performance. And by the way — what was the deal with Drew’s face? It looked all red like a tomato. I blame the lighting, the Mystic Tan, and in some way, Samantha Harris. Don’t know how or why she fits into the equation. She just does.
Well, everyone seemed to really enjoy Drew’s dancing, especially big bro Nick, who we found clapping and sporting a puffy little ‘fro. Len and Carrie gave Drewryl high marks, with Carrie saying, “I loved it!” But Bruno was a bit of a downer as he complained that Drew entered Paso Doble mode a few times. “Ignore him. He’s Italian,” Carrie Ann laughed. Ironically, that’s the name of the next Rob Reiner romantic comedy. Except it’ll have an exclamation at the end of Italian. And it’ll star Roberto Benigni and Heather Graham. Wow, what a terrible fake movie I’ve concocted.
Anyway, Bruno’s critiques seemed to totally deflate Drew and Cheryl, but they perked up when they received two nines and an eight, tying them with Lisa and Louis with twenty-six points. As for Samantha Harris, she executed her fourth interview in a row without a flub. Almost. Man, she was doing so well, and then, when she was wrapping up, she said, “You guys can go get danced. Go get danced! [awkward beat] Latin. Next. Go!” Okay, for those of you who didn’t see the show, that sentence looks almost like an exercise in Dadaism. What happened was that she meant to say “changed” but said “danced” instead. Then she laughed at herself by saying “Go get danced!” But unfortunately, by this point, self-consciouness had set in, and this then led to a total syntactical breakdown, causing her to blurt out “Latin” and then “Next,” eventually concluding with the hasty command, “Go!” It was one of Samantha’s very worst (or shall I say, best) moments yet.
On to round two…
Stacy & Tony II: The Revenge of Lola
With these second dances, the producers thankfully didn’t even bother airing another video clip. We just cut right to the action. Stacy and Tony performed their much-hyped cha cha cha, all to the oddly chosen tune of “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson. I thought Blondie was a bad choice for Jerry’s tango, but this really was just awful music selection. And the poor singer. This song was just completely out of her range. She was reduced to simply caterwauling through portions of the song, thus attracted my neighborhood’s feline population to my doorstep.
Nevertheless, Bruno absolutely loved the performance, saying, “That was a visual feast of a cha cha cha.” Len, meanwhile, said “Sometimes your cha cha action for me was a little bit clipped.” For some reason, that sentence sounded really dirty. Something about “cha cha action” and “clipped” seems vaguely vaginal.
As for Carrie Ann, she didn’t understand why Stacy’s face was so angry during the performance. The wrestler balked at this critique, saying that the song wasn’t exactly a happy one. “Since U been gone / I can breathe for the first time. / I’m so moving on. / Yeah, yeah!” Sounds pretty happy to me.
Anyway, Stacy earned two nines and a ten (Bruno, natch), bringing her cumulative score up to fifty-five points out of sixty. Not bad. What you go, Drew?
The Return of Jerry and Anna
Before we could get to Drew, we needed to see Jerry’s rumba, which promised to be all sorts of okay dancing — possibly with a mop or feather duster. I personally was looking forward to Len’s next zinger. I’m thinking, “Jerry Rice? More like Jerry Roni!” or “That was supposed to be the rumba, not the run-ba!”
Anyway, Jerry’s rumba was much better than his tango (the lack of a broom was a plus), but still, compared to the other dancers, it just wasn’t in the same league. “Nice attempt,” Carrie Ann said patronizingly. Len, meanwhile, took the build-him-up and then take-him-down approach. “I admire you so much… against the others, you’re the worst,” he said. But wait! Jerry wasn’t about to take this sitting down!
“Len, I totally disagree with you,” he rebuked. (Cue the flag-waving, triumph of the spirit music now). “You know why? Because this is something totally out of what I do. And I come out, and I give it effort every day, every time I’m here. So I feel like I’ve won already.” And with that, the crowd burst in uproarious applause. Hey Lisa, have fun with the popular vote this week. I’m sure those Team Rinna t-shirts are selling like hot cakes, right?
Backstage, Jerry continued his inspirational speech, telling Samantha “I had won already. If I don’t go any further, you know, for my fans, for everybody that have supported us, I have won. I’m a winner. From football player to ballroom dancer. I’m a winner!” Well, except that if you’re cut, you’re actually a loser. But that’s neither here nor there.
Anyway, stirring orations aside, Jerry’s improved his score by only a point as he earned sevens across the board, taking his total to forty-one out of sixty.
Lisa and Louis: Reloaded
Next up to perform the… I don’t remember actually. Cha cha cha, perhaps? Anyway, Lisa and Louis were next, and as promised, they were wearing less clothes. Louis, in particular, was wearing what I like to call “Giant Boner Pants.” As in, “You could very easily see his giant boner.” Bulges or not, the two danced up a storm to “Material Girl,” and the judges ate it up. “By sheer determination, you nail these routines,” Carrie Ann lauded. Ultimately, the duo pulled in all nines for a total of twenty-seven points and fifty-three total.
Of course, anyone watching the show could tell at this point that despite Lisa’s contender scores, her lack of a Jerry Rice fan base was going to totally spell disaster for her. That’s why Samantha asked Lisa how she’d feel if she were cut. “I will feel like my job’s not done yet,” she replied. And what exactly is her job, btw? Nevertheless, in a lame attempt to wrangle in some extra votes, she pandered to the housewife vote, saying that she wanted to “show all the women out there who are over forty, who have kids, that you can do anything you want in life. Look at me. I’m here to prove it!” Bad news Lisa: that didn’t work for Tia, and it didn’t work for Giselle. You’re screwed, woman!
Drew & Cheryl 2: Electric Boogaloo
Let’s face it. This season’s been all about Drew versus Stacy. Well, so far, Drew had earned an unsightly eight tonight while Stacy had managed nothing but nines and a ten. Could Drew lay the smackdown on his competition? In short, yes. Dancing the rumba to “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Drewryl managed to win over the judges yet again. Well, for the most part. Bruno shouted, “Rocket man, BACK IN ORBIT!!!” (somebody get a taser. This guy seriously needs to be calmed down.) Carrie Ann glowed, “I thought that was so sexy and so passionate!”
As for Len, he had the most amusing and sexually suggestive comment as he complained, “It was too HARD! It was all [insert various Len grunts here].” Seriously, you haven’t heard erotic until you’ve heard Len’s guttural noises. Don’t worry though. Len may have been nitpicking, but only a little bit. He still gave Drew a nine while the other two gave him tens, thus tying him with Stacy for a total of fifty-five points.
Another week, another extra-long results show. I had very little respect for this hour. Not just because Tom Bergeron performed an over-the-top quickstep, but because there was flagrant overuse of Michael Bublé. I am a firm believer that Michael Bublé should be thrown in a volcano with Wayne Brady, Danny Bonaduce, and Josh Groban. (Although, Wayne Brady’s Dave Chappelle turn still remains so excellent, that he may be dropped from volcano status.) Nevertheless, any program that proudly showcases The Bublé (whose name is dangerously close to “Bubble.” In fact, I bet that’s what it originally was) is the product of Lucifer.
Hey, that’s not Master P!
Back in the Hollywood Squares days, Tom used to do this with Bruce Vilanch.
Could it be?? SELA???
So let’s just cut to the chase, shall we? The first couple to be safe was Drew and Cheryl. The second couple, however, was… Jerry and Anna! Oh, Lisa. You are crazy screwed. Unless she could pull off some monumental upset (unlikely), Lisa was going down in flames.
Sure enough, Team Rinna lost the battle this week and wound up eliminated. This of course led to many tears flowing, most of which, surprisingly, came from Louis. The two sadly took to the floor for one last dance, and to rub salt on the wounds one last time, the house band sang “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?” I’m sure Lisa really appreciated that. I kind of felt bad for her. Yeah, she was fairly annoying, and yeah, her gigantic lips were a constant attract, but truth was that she seemed to really want the trophy. Like really really want it. Like, it would have filled some childhood void in her life. Alas, it was time for Cinderella to leave the ball.
Now it’s down to Jerry, Stacy, and Drew tonight. I think Stacy might win, but then again, it’s anyone’s game, especially with Jerry’s domination of the popular vote. Had Lisa been around tonight, she could have been a dark horse contender (maybe), but it should still be close. What do you think? Who’s gonna win this thang?