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Dancing with the Stars recap: And Then There Were Three...

A shocking, controversial elimination becomes the most dramatic thing any ballroom has ever seen

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Bristol Palin Kyle Stars
Adam Larkey/ABC(2)

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

Well, well, well. On week 9 of season 11 of Dancing With the Stars, Bristol Palin edged out a fallen American pop treasure in a shocking, controversial elimination that was the most dramatic and powerful thing any ballroom has ever seen. Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were banished. She was at least the second-best dancer left, so obviously this made no sense. But name one thing on Planet Mirrorballus that ever has. That’s right. You can’t!

As you tilt your depressed noggin closer and closer to the computer screen to test your tragic theory that when you breathe, the selected area on your monitor will no longer shimmer because you have lost faith in the series, I beg of you, fight the urge! The show must go on, even though we may never get to spot Maks’ leather-clad ass again…. unless we stalk him on Twitter and he regularly uploads pics of himself wearing DWTS costumes as street clothes. Fat chance! (Also, oh no, what if he loses that delectable derriere?) Nonutilitarian garter belts and man thongs only work in two places: The bedroom and the ballroom.

Bristol still doesn’t seem to be trying, and I think she’s uncomfortable with the whole idea of the show. It doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. If she’s not having a good time, I’m glad for her sake that it’ll all be over in a week. Brandy wanted this so badly, and we at the EW TV Insiders podcast like our Dancing With the Stars contestants to be as desperate as possible. It’s a devastating loss for everyone. But whatever, it’s up to the voters, and Bristol’s getting the votes. Let’s get on with it! (I can barely wrap my feather-fringed brain around the idea of a possible online Tea Party “conspiracy” responsible for this….or why anyone would vote for Dancing With the Stars having not even watched the show. That’d be soooooo much lamer than watching the show and not voting, like I do.)

It’s not a conspiracy, people! Ridiculous pet campaigns for reality show contestants are what the internet is all about. The bottom line is that we never know how many votes anyone is getting. The ominous RED LIGHT may as well be purple, or not a light. ABC will always guard that dirty little viewer-vote tally like Mark Ballas protects the secret meaning of his side tattoo.

After Tuesday’s results show, DWTS executive producer Conrad Green told EW that the audience is still the great equalizer of the series. He compared Bristol’s final-three run to Marie Osmond’s in season 5. “[Marie] was almost the opposite of who Bristol is, who is technically a strong dancer but as a performer she is a bit weak. But when Marie got all the way to the finals, people weren’t screaming blue murder then,” said Green. EW.com’s interviews with Green, Brandy, and Maks are all here.

I loved that even though my DVR brutally cut off the episode at 10:01 as usual, the last line uttered was this two-parter from Tom: “They’re gonna be on Jimmy Kimmel later; I need a hug.” Better that than Bruno tossing Brandy and Maks the raggedy bone of “Please come back and dance next Tuesday. Will you?” As Michelle Tanner would say, “How rude!”

NEXT: Annie Lennox and Her Pros, Enrique Iglesias and Our Pros, and Hidden Gems of the Week!