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Dancing with the Stars recap: Ocho-sunko

The hard-trying NFL star falls a few yards short, leaving The Dancer, The Olympian, and Maks’ Abs to compete for the Mirrorball Trophy

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Chad Burke Stars
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Tom Bergeron, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman, Erin Andrews, Julianne Hough
Current Status:
In Season

On the week 9 elimination episode of Dancing With the Stars, Chad Ochocinco made a classy exit. ”Chad is the most humble guy you’ll ever meet. The most amazing, soft, gentle man in the world,” said Cheryl. ”I’ll be here next year, as a professional,” said Chad. Hear that, football fans? We have a convert on our hands. Chad had definitely improved over the season, and I thought the combo of Monday’s solo from Chad’s pecs and his rabid fan base might have forced Erin Andrews out of the finals instead. I found it interesting that DANCMSTR insisted twice last night that in any other season, Chad would have easily made the finals. Nice gesture; not necessarily true. I like to imagine that if pressed for further comment, Len would add ”Why? Because you’re the NFL star, and it’s tradition. I’m a ballroom traditionalist, you know…”

Evan and Anna got the encore, and Evan was even better in this paso than in Monday night’s. It seems like something about the pavement-pounding nature of the paso doble clicked with Evan and he realized how much more he could do as a dancer when not limited by that silly, slippery ice. He looks like he’s having a blast, and I love how he keeps mentioning his partner first during every interview. Anna might be my pro MVP of the season, especially because she always ranks so highly in the Hidden Gem count. Don’t get me wrong; Hidden Gems are not a contest. I am the least competitive person in the world, which is why I feel so at home as sole curator of a landscape twinkling with magical yet ultimately meaningless moments. Still, you DANCMSTRs all enthusiastically chime in on the gems, like appraisers, and while I do not record any numbers in my special mining notebook, I can confirm that Anna is consistently GemVP.

Thanks to those four mini biopics of Our Pros, my recent Anna-centricity was able to thrive. We learned so much in these impressive ”packages” — Maks’ father is also an attractive man, young Cheryl was so quiet her parents thought she was deaf, and Derek’s parents had figured out human cloning over 20 years ago when they quadrupled ”the Julianne.” But most touching were Anna and Jonathan discussing their relationship and eventual marriage. ”When I first met Anna, she was really cold and standoffish,” said Jonathan before immediately remarking on her underlying warmth. ”He helped me become a better professional, a better person,” Anna said. I felt like there could be more to the story, like Anna’s transition from cold-hearted snake to warm-blooded mambo mermaid could be its own Lifetime movie if they’d just flesh it out a little. Jonathan, how exactly did she become Part of Your World? But I suppose J and A were simply being honest and cute and not everything needs to be made into a movie.

EXCEPT! I could definitely watch a feature-length film of Jonathan and Anna dancing to romantic and/or emotionally draining songs that may or may not have been used in commercials with desperate/dying animals that NEED YOUR HELP. (”Angel.”) If there was a movie of Jonathan/Anna and Edyta/Alec trading off routines while Sarah McLachlan presented a two-hour-long medley, I would go to the sad little theater that carried it every Sunday afternoon just to chill out. I was happy to see Damian/Lacey and especially Dmitry/Kym, but the power threesome of Jonathan/Anna/Sarah made me sprout a tear, and not just because there’s always one reason to feel not good enough and it’s hard at the end of the day. Here it comes…

NEXT: In the aaaaarms oooooof an angel…