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Dancing with the Stars recap: Dancing Queen

Queen Latifah performs on a night that has only one elimination, but two stars go home

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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 3 results show of Dancing With the Stars season 9, Debi Mazar and Maks (sniff!) weren’t popular enough to continue on in the hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Muggers. Neither of them seemed too surprised or upset about the news, so I’m cool. Whoever was in charge of rushing over the smelling salts to me (nobody) should consider bringing them to Aaron Carter instead. He was on the verge of a kimono-wrapped meltdown just because he and Karina were announced, along with Joanna Krupa and Derek, as ”in jeopardy.” (Michael Irvin joined Debi in the Bottom Two.) Get a grip, Aaron! A tip for that: Avoid touching your own hair.

It’s worth pointing out that Tom Bergeron must have seen the debut of EW.com’s Réalité (Michael Slezak’s new reality TV video series), because he asked Debi to clarify a very important ballroom dancing issue: how to pronounce her last name. Tom, Samantha, and the jazzy announcer guy had been pronouncing it differently. It turns out Debi doesn’t really care! Her grandmother said it ”Mah-zar” as it was part of a longer original name, but Debi goes around saying ”May-zar” just because it’s easier. Have you heard any talk show host attempt the horror that is saying ”Chmerkovskiy”’ for the first/only time? I think I remember Wendy Williams seeing three consecutive consonants on her teleprompter and just going with a non-commital ”Heeeeeeyyyy” instead.

As EW reported Tuesday afternoon, Tom DeLay bowed out of the competition due to stress fractures in his feet, so we now have 11 couples to barely remember next Monday night instead of 12. DeLay would have danced the Texas Two Step next week (of course), so Bergeron extended the former Republican congressman an invitation to further corrupt his hooves while needlessly training to perform that dance during the season 9 finale. This may have seemed like a consolation prize for DeLay, but it was really a wake-up call to the show’s set designers, who will need to hit the dollar store bright and early to gather enough tacky red, white and blue crap to reiterate to the DWTS audience that they live in the U.S.A. during DeLay’s finale performance.

Chuck Liddell and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya got the DANCMSTR encore and danced their ridiculous samba again. Such a weird choice — I was 50 percent sure they were going home after that. Nope! It was probably just a courtesy to let the Tuesday audience see those whirling pink-and-yellow clown sleeves in ”action.” If Chuck’s sleeves and Debi’s boa skirt mated, what type of wondrous new life would spring forth? I’m picturing something along the lines of a baby Bruno.

Queen Latifah sang twice, but my favorite performance of hers was the moment at which she ”presented the cast” backstage. If, like me, you’re obsessed with how awkward the backstage shots of the musical guest who really doesn’t want to stand in front of a camera and mug for seven seconds can be, you know what a big deal Queen’s easy-breezy-beautiful one was. It should maybe turn into an official DWTS promo, à la her Cover Girl mascara commercial. The line: ”That’s not volume. That’s just one big mess!” would apply to so many DWTS situations. Anyway, Maks and Cheryl sexed it up for Queen’s first song, ”Fast Car.” I loved the move at the end with him whipping her around, tightly attached to his side like a voluminous red leech. ”Ease On Down The Road” had the audience (not to mention DANCMSTR) standing and clapping — a rare feat — and I admired the newly casual Queen and her backup dancers’ commitment to the black/red/silver color scheme.

NEXT: The Hidden Gem of the Week: Look out behind you, Bruno!