The Dance Duel rears its ugly head; fringe fairy Sheila E. and Train perform

By Annie Barrett
April 18, 2012 at 04:41 AM EDT
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We may never know who really earned the least amount of viewer votes this week, and the judges would like it to stay that way! Following the first-ever Dance Duel of the series, Week 5’s row-row-row-your-boater Gavin DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff were shown the sparkly trapdoor at the bottom of the simulated ocean on the ballroom floor. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, they’d be deposited back into this sad, cruel reality — and away from the happy Planet Mirrorballus reality show.

Gavin could not have been cuter or more hilarious about his exit. Truly, he had been playfully begging for it all week — admitting his own technical difficulties to the judges after Monday‘s samba-at-sea, teasing the camera almost joyfully “This could be the end of my dancing career!” after his late-night Dance Duel rehearsal, and telling Tom moments before the big showdown, “We have a couple of the steps down, but Jaleel’s more talented than I am.” Ugh, as if!

Of course, Jaleel White, Gavin’s fellow bottom-two dweller and Dance Duel deathmatch opponent, was the better dancer. But to me, Gavin is the better star. The problem with this show is that it isn’t a singing competition!

“What we are TRYING to SAFEGUARD is the INTEGRITY of the DANCE!” roared head judge Len Goodman. Okay, okay, okay. This isn’t the Titanic; you don’t have to shout.

Is the Dance Duel really worth it or is it an unnecessary split-screen nightmare? (Take today’s EW poll and tell us what you think of the new Dance Duel.) When you think about all nine of these couples waking up early or staying up late somewhere in the most hectic 12 hours of the week only to rehearse a dance they’ll never even perform, the whole thing kind of seems like torture. Is that the point of Dancing With the Stars? Maybe I’ve been playing this all wrong!

Spoiler alert, you guys:

Did Karina forget about DWTS Radio (WMBT) last night or did she want this stellar explosion of gas to be transmitted across the glitter galaxy? I found myself even more perplexed than I had been moments earlier as I wondered what the heck was going on with Selena Gomez’ shoes (and whether she is a living doll).

NEXT: The Top 7 (seh-vehhhhhn!) moments of the results show This whole week was a fringe fairy’s delight, and I got to revel in my love for the wardrobe embellishment during the sensational Sheila E.’s percussion extravaganza for the Macy’s Stars of Dance. SO much was happening onstage — feathered lady gyrating atop the judges! pink and yellow feathers that resemble fire when manipulated! — but mostly I was fixated on the drummer’s red fringed dress and how drumming is perhaps the perfect exercise through which to COMPLETELY EXALT fringe. Like, maybe even more than Latin dancing? Blasphemy!

There was also abundant fringe during the Dance Duel and a fringed handbag and fringed heels during Carlos Santana’s somewhat bizarre “Find my collection at Macy’s” commercial. (During any other show I might have been horrified. During Dancing With the Stars, it only made sense.)

Annie’s Top 7 (Seh-vehhhhn!) Results Show Moments for Tuesday, April 17, 2012

7. The aerial shot of Louis Van Intensité’s endless straight-legged pirouette (not a real term, I’m sure) during his endlessly hot exhibition with Cheryl

6. The Train band member on the right (Scott Underwood) shimmying towards his bandmates even though they weren’t havin’ it as Tom teased their appearance

5. Brooke accidentally telling viewers “we’ve combined your ‘jotes’ with the judges’ scores”

4. Bruno’s justification for awarding Gavin a 7 Monday night: “I liiiiiiiiike him.”

3. Tristan leaning in to bite Gladys’ ear as if it were a Superquinn sausage

2. Gavin disobeying the “no lifts” rule for the last time as he whirled Donald Driver of all people around post-show

1. “You want this? Take it. It’s all yours, ma’am. I don’t care.” –Chief costume distributor Tom Bergeron re: Derek’s discarded yellow shirt.

As for Derek and Carrie Ann’s makeout sesh,

HIDDEN GEM CITY (also the name of my wireless network)

“Did Gavin borrow the canoe from Pocahontas in ‘Just Around the Riverbend?'” —Colleen

“Carrie Ann brought it.” —Fridgedancer, endorsed by SpeechTeacher89LAG Award WinnerWiltedYouth

Hidden Gem mascot Ross Gellar encourages you to appraise this week’s heap of gems!

Did the right couple go home this week?

Follow @EWAnnieBarrett

Read more:

Tristan MacManus blogs Week 5, raves about Superquinn sausages

Was Len Goodman the original inspiration for Flashdance?!

‘DWTS’: Your Hidden Gems of Rock Week!

All of Annie’s ‘DWTS’ episode recaps

Ask Annie anything about ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (or whatever) in the video player below. To see her answers to previous questions, click on the text links below the picture. This is *not* liiiiiiive! and she is not really sitting there right now. She updates a few times per week.

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