I started the penultimate Dancing With the Stars wondering how they were going to pull off a 90-minute show with only four dancers left. Now I know: special guest stars like Jamie Lee Curtis, two dances apiece, and plenty o' emotional back stories.
In short, the producers are master space fillers. I guess we're just lucky they didn't stretch it to two hours!
I jest, though. The second to last show was, indeed, highly entertaining and, dare I say it, almost emotional.
Jennifer Grey and Derek's first dance, a cha-cha set to "Mercy," earned a standing ovation and some pelvic thrusting from Bruno, to boot (score!). It also earned perfect scores. Looks like Jennifer may just take home the mirror ball after all ...
Jennifer's emotional back story also made me feel guilty for mocking her. Kind of. Not really. I am, however, consistently amazed that she is 50. She is just amazing looking. Beautiful skin, perfect body. If I look anywhere near like her in 20 years, I will be thrilled. And she does a beautiful waltz. A "gem of a waltz" as Bruno told her after her second dance.
But then we knew that already.
Meanwhile Bristol Palin ... oh Bristol. "People connect with me because they think I'm real and I'm not typical Hollywood," Bristol told us. Really, Bristol? Seriously? Maybe it's because your mom fascinates our country for some reason that eludes me personally. But I digress. Her paso doble was decent (the judges agreed -- three nines!). She has noticeably improved. She is still a bit wooden, but her improvement is likely the reason she stays. It was an intense dance -- "all guns blazing," as Len said. Indeed.
Her second dance, a waltz, was intense and interesting but ultimately disappointed Carrie Ann, but not Bruno and Len. Still, she has had a good showing, a good "journey" as it were, but it's time to go home, Bristol. The other three are just better. Period.
Kyle Massey's first dance was really, really good. A samba set to "She's Got Me Dancing" that was worth watching twice. He had great energy and great musicality. Unlike Bristol, I have finally come around to the "bounce" that is Kyle. His tango was also believable and strong, which couldn't have been easy for a kind of roly-poly young guy more known for being funny than being intense. But there he was. Impressive. Kyle is a good dancer and he deserves to be in the final three. I hope he will stay.
Brandy's first dance -- a paso doble -- was pretty good, but it was her second dance -- a tango -- that really blew us away. "That was truly a moment," said Carrie Ann who may have been on something last night. She is always effusive, but last night ... wow. Anyway, she received three 10s for her dance.
As great as last night's dances were, I'm struggling with the same thing I always wonder on this show: why are the last couple nights so full of high scores? Have they really improved that much? Or do the judges get nicer?
It's a mystery.
My predictions: Despite her good dance, Bristol is going home. She has to be. She is the least natural on the floor, the most wooden. Or maybe it will be Kyle. But Bristol is the person who should go home.
Who do you think needs to go home?
Image via ABC