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Dancing with the Stars recap: Dance-Off!

One contestant waltzes away after enduring a bizarre ”relive the worst two dances” exercise that nobody needed to see

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DWTS Roberts Carlisle
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

BREAKING NEWS from The Curious Case of Sparklier Paddles: The judges have gone back to paddle version 1.0! I am elated, DANCMSTRs, but also befuddled. Why the recall? Was there a giant backlash against the short, squat font? I’ll get to the bottom of this, I promise. The DWTS set designers can expect a call from me tomorrow. I know it’s rude to interrupt their regularly scheduled agenda of trippin’ out all day — but we need answers!

On the first elimination night of Dancing with the Stars season 8, Belinda Carlisle endured an agonizingly pointless ”dance-off” with Steve Wozniak, only to be politely asked to Go-Go moments later. Despite the annoying photo caption to your right, I’m not necessarily jazzed that Belinda’s out first. But I think she might be. Heaven is apparently not a place on Earth. Worldview = shattered. (Cue visual effect of Lawrence Taylor’s bedazzled gold football breaking through a nonexistent pane of glass.) How will Belinda ever live this down in France? Facilement.

I can definitely see season 8’s new institution, the results night bottom-two dance-off, becoming slightly interesting down the line, but last night’s was such a buzzkill. Neither Woz nor Belinda wanted to dance again, and why would any viewer want to relive, almost verbatim, the worst two segments Monday night had to offer? How humiliating for the contestants, too. Sorry, not enough of America liked you guys. Show us again how awful you were! Has this crazy dance-off seriously replaced the ”judges’ choice” encore performance? Boooooooo.

Both pro dances dazzled last night, even though I fully expected a splashy technicolor routine from all of the pros that incorporated leather whips, staircase tricks, and maybe even our singer lady with the bejeweled face — you know, some big welcome-to-the-season event. The Big Bad Voodoo Daddy number did win me over thanks to Mark’s pink suspenders and the third (?!) use of that orange and pink polka-dot galaxy jive dress, but I still hope to see everyone in one dance within the next few weeks. Dmitry and Chelsie finally received one iota of the spotlight enjoyed by last season’s newcomer pro Lacey, with their rumba set to Jewel’s version of ”Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I loved how Chelsie literally became the rainbow after leaping off the stairs to dangle atop Dmitry’s open-shirted torso. He’s not gonna even bother with buttons all season, huh? I have no idea what was going on in the last third of that song — take a breath, lady! — but it was cute to see Jewel lookin’ hot in dark orange, enjoying the company of both her former pro and the teenager who, if he keeps improving, will soon awkwardly simulate ”love” (or something like it) with her husband on national TV.

NEXT: The triumphant return of the Hidden Gem of the Week!