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Dancing with the Stars recap: Hanging On

Two stars go home, and Annie Barrett explores this week’s Hidden Gem options

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Michael Irvin
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

Last night’s double elimination on Dancing With the Stars provided the perfect opportunity for Weepy, Grumpy, and Dopey to use their special ”name of couple” sparkly paddles for the second night in a row…and also to revive their faux-dramatic ULTIMATE DECIDERS roles from the Ballroom Kids competition of seasons past. Ballroom kid Melissa Joan Hart was eliminated first, to zero fanfare. I think her crazy two-toned eye shadow last night and Mark’s perma-pissed facial expression for the past few weeks are what I’ll remember most about this couple, though Mark would prefer we remember their Charleston. That left Louie Vito and Michael Irvin to compete in a dance-off with 30-second routines they’d learned the same morning, then get chastised for not putting more preparation into the dances. Shut up, judges! I was actually surprised that the Paddles of Pre-Determinism ended up stacked in Michael Irvin’s favor considering the air of overwhelming indifference with which they’ve treated him this season, but maybe they just feared for Chelsie’s life after Louie dropped her twice Monday night. So it’s bye-bye to Louie, then, and bye-bye to his final aerial trick about a split second too soon. The harsh cut away from the full-twisting back flip off the technicolor platform is always the deepest.

Can I just pause and ask everyone to give a resounding Bruno Tonioli ”Tehhhhhhhhnnnnn!” to the constant presence of ultimate married ballroom couple Jonathan and Anna in the pro exhibitions this season? The pair choreographed a beautiful routine to Taylor Swift’s ”Love Story,” and in doing so provided a much better visual (stretching away from each other from within the audience) to that song’s line, ”I was crying on the staircase, begging you please don’t go,” than I could ever come up with in my head or with the help of a Taylor Swift music video. Maks & Edyta and Tony & Cheryl helped complete the autumnal fantasy scene. When the three ladies in their dark, rich gowns convened in the center, I thought it looked like the perfectly twirling harvest of my dreams, while my mom DANCMSTR Dee, mesmerized by Edyta’s gorgeous garland of flowers and ribbons, likened the sight to the Mad Men Maypole Dance via email. I win; I’m in the correct season. Oh, how we love Our Pros!

Next week, the Stars will design costumes for their pros (no! OUR pros!), so we got a behind-the-scenes glimpse of that process — and of what heaven looks like: rainbows upon rainbows of shiny fabric, sequins lining the work tables, fringe everywhere. DWTS costume guru Randall Christensen delivered some gems in ”Ya think?” (to Aaron, after he suggested to Randall that they show off Karina’s nice body) and his simple, polite giggles after Louie Vito asked what chiffon was. Only on Dancing With the Stars is the man who cannot distinguish chiffon from organza in a police lineup considered the outcast. Check out my interview earlier this year with the hilarious costume designer, in which he named — and described in great detail — Randall Christensen’s 10 Favorite Costumes of Season 8.

NEXT: Hidden Gem