Dancing with the Stars got what it wanted with Tuesday night’s results: some additional mild controversy. It was one thing when the fun but modestly talented Kirstie Alley and the non-fun and even less talented Bristol Palin were outlasting Joey Fatone, but now both women have survived while two former champions were sent home in their place.
Season 2 champion Drew Lachey and Season 5 winner Helio Castroneves were the unlucky victims of this week’s double elimination. Drew, partnered with Anna Trebunskaya, got the news about halfway through the results show. When the pair marked as “in jeopardy” were Drew and Kirstie, Anna nodded her head in resignation, guessing correctly that since both had scores of 24 on Monday, there was no way her partner could be more of a viewer favorite than the bawdy ex-Cheers star.
Drew took the departure in stride, telling Tom Bergeron “I can honestly say I would not change a thing. Everybody questioned why I would come back – I came back because this is fun.” One has to wonder, though, if he’s just a little bit bitter about not being included in the overall grade inflation this season. His performances seemed to mostly be on par with the other ex-champions, but the judges seemed unenthusiastic and he didn’t get the best time slots, going first in a two-hour show this week.
Helio, who partnered with the perennially unlucky Chelsie Hightower, was something of a surprise winner in Season 5, but that fanbase didn’t come along this time around. He was among those in jeopardy a week ago and was voted out this week despite a score of 25.5 that seemed like the judges’ effort to ensure his safety. But Helio made an unusually obvious mistake this week, tripping on Chelsie’s skirt as she dipped low to the floor, and it’s possible some of his usual voters were in no mood to cut him an additional break. He was in good spirits too, but someone who has already won the Indianapolis 500 a few times, and DWTS once, can afford to be OK with an early exit.
The other highlight of the night was the stars choosing next week’s dances for their opponents – and to even things up a bit, the weakest dancer in the scoring so far (Bristol) got to choose for the top dancer (Gilles Marini), and so on down the line. To make the scenario even more interesting, most of the dances will be novel to DWTS, even to the pros. For example, Gilles and Peta Murgatroyd have been saddled with Bollywood, Apolo Ohno will be doing hip-hop, and (hilariously) 61-year-old Kirstie Alley, who can barely manage the jive, will have to somehow nail the Charleston.
When it came time for Sabrina Bryan to choose for Kirstie – either the Charleston or “rock,” she asked partner Louis Van Amstel for advice, saying she wanted to help Kirstie out. For some reason (sabotage?), Louis suggested the Charleston and the oblivious Sabrina went along, as Kirstie fell the floor in mock agony. It might be real agony for her next Monday.
Are you indifferent to this week’s results, or upset? And how long might Bristol hang around?