'Dancing With the Stars' Recap: A Brand-New Erin Andrews

It's almost over … the penultimate night of Dancing With the Stars, and we're down to three celebs. Tonight, they dance; tomorrow, we see all this season's celebs dance and find out who wins. So without further ado, let's meet the finalists … loser, loser, and Nicole Scherzinger!

Okay, so I have a favorite. I'm not a damn judge! If I were, I'd judge Brooke Burke. Because while ballroom dancers are known for wearing crazy, frou-frou outfits, on this show, the dancers look styled and poised, and Brooke looks like an '80s prom nightmare. Is there any Aqua Net left at Walgreens? Is that a Bumpit in her hair?


First, the challenge dance: The judges choose the dance each couple did worst this season. Zoinks!

In the lead-up to the first dance, Bruno goes to talk to Erin and Maks, and the first thing she does is say, "I think so." After the cute interview with her dad, I expected more … this is the ol' can't-do attitude I'm used to. But it's fun to see Bruno shake his tush and hear him say, "Look at that ass! I love it, darling!" I just don't have much faith in her insistence that she's going to be a big girl, now.

Erin Andrews and Maksim Chmerkovskiy -- Samba
Hang on, who is this? It looks like Erin, but she's enjoying herself and showing self-confidence. Who the heck is this? She's amazing! Where has she been the rest of the season? The dance itself kind of reminds me of the Manuel Ortiz sketches on SNL, but that's not not a compliment. I'm amazed at how great this is! Bruno calls it "hotter den noon in da tropics," and the other judges agree.
Score: 29

Then Len visits Evan and Anna and shows them how to connect to one another emotionally in the dance. "This is a moment," he tells them and shows them his stuff. He's awfully graceful!

Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya -- Viennese Waltz
He looks like David Copperfield. Anna's horizontal stripes make her look thick through the middle. See, I shouldn't even be able to make these snarky comments; I'm totally underwhelmed. And what's with the hair-ography, Anna? Just no. But again, what do I know? The judges love it, calling it beautiful and emotional.
Score: 28

Carrie Ann comes to talk to Nicole and Derek. We don't get to see her do her stuff, but she stresses emotions over perfect footwork.

Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough -- Rumba
Omg this is sexy, when he lets her hair loose! I don't care if he's some kind of Osmond-looking Utah-dweller and she's holding prayer meetings with Britney Spears and has a boyfriend, I want them to have sex right now! This dance makes me cry! I'm the gayest, by the way. Next to me, Bruno looks like General Patton. They end the dance with a crazy cross-looking lift. Weirdly, Carrie Ann starts screeching about … something with the lift. I have no idea what her issue is, but Derek looks ashamed. Len is also more critical than I thought he would be. I apparently know nothing.
Score: 28

Next up, the freestyle dances. This is tough, because there's almost too much choice -- what will they do? With fewer rules there's more room to screw up. Gaagh.

Erin and Maks work with a choreographer named Mandy Moore. Their rehearsals look really, really athletic, and she's sporting some insane bruises on her legs. And now, the dance: She's barefoot! They're bed-dancing! Okay, again, I don't know who this person is, but she has not been in the competition until this week. They're doing crazy lifts, and Maks almost looks like he's levitating. Hi, I'm officially hormonal because that made me cry, too. Bruno calls it "pa-sycho da-rama!" Carrie Ann cheers the riskiness. Len likes it, but doesn't love it. They make a silly joke about what bed they used in rehearsal.
Score: 26 (yikes!) Total: 55

Evan and Anna are in disagreement. She comes up with choreography he finds "cheeky" and "Broadway." She's pouting; he does an imitation of someone storming out to "go to the rink." She's crying! That's weird, like seeing your mom cry! They call in a choreographer too, Bobby Newberry. He's both mohawked and queeny, like if Puck and Kurt had a baby, and they seem to work things out. Finally, they dance to Footloose and it's exactly what Evan didn't want. I hate it. So do the judges. Anna gets the hot vote from my husband, but it's not enough to make up for Len calling it "demented," Carrie Ann calling it "odd," and Len just hating it. All their overexcitement made them lose precision.
Score: 24 (double yikes!) Total: 52

Nicole and Derek are planning to go all-out. Derek says that because she's such a great dancer, he's doing stuff that's new to him, too. There's popping, locking, enmeshing of different styles -- it reminds me of those vintage videos of the Lindy Hop on YouTube. My husband jinxes it by saying, "Wow, as long as she doesn't fall, this is pretty much over." Then she slips in the lift! Augh! Len ticks off the dances they use: Lindy, salsa, quick-step, jive. Carrie Ann mourns the lift. Bruno deems it, "Ah! May! Zeeng!"
Score: 27 (phew!) Total: 55

Everyone gets hustled off the stage so the stupid Bachelorette can start on time-ish. Tomorrow, everyone tangos, and then one final dance to make it official. I'm thinking it's going to be down to Erin and Nicole in a surprise Evan-upset. But still Nicole FTW.

What do you think? Tell us in the comments!

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