Dancing with the Stars recap: Splitsville
Pamela Anderson waltzes home, and Train whizzes by in Week 7's elimination episode
On the week 7 elimination episode of Dancing With the Stars, Pamela Anderson, the magically babelicious pop culture icon who reduced Tom Bergeron to a 12-year-old boy, said farewell to sequins, fringe, and the daily execution of splits. Her poise, ability to assume characters, and sweet nature will be missed. Honestly, it seemed like she knew she’d be gone. She was calm and cracking jokes, as if she’d already had a decent cry before the liiiiiive taping. Due to a vague-sounding injury, Pam got to close out her DWTS experience in a lovely pastel princess gown and perfect makeup instead of a black pleather raincoat and streaks of sweat. Hey, you gotta keep it classy, even on reality TV.
Your votes had set the stage for a shocking elimination! I wouldn’t call Pam’s oust that shocking, but it did provide the graphics department with a great excuse to splatter sliver lightning bolts all over the contestants’ headshots. I have to say, when Tom said ”One of these couples will be in the bottom two” and the audience gasped, I thought it would be Nicole and Derek. Alas, the ”fast, furious, and fabulous” Erin and ”her Russian” could not survive the unflattering bloodbath (of light) of the dreaded bottom two.
My favorite part of Tuesday’s show was Niecy’s previously taped outburst backstage. ”Why do people keep asking me that? Did I think I would be this far? Yes, because I’m going to win the mirrorball trophy!” She was quite matter-of-fact about it. My mom (DANCMSTR Dee) and I both love how Niecy often refers to the trophy specifically as ”the mirrorball trophy.” No one mentions it more than she does. I think I like this because it takes a true DWTS fan to have picked up on Tom’s subtle repetition of the term and the air of ultimate importance with which he’s delivered it for the past 50 years.
DANCMSTR Dee also points out that May is National Hamburger Month. So it does make sense that Niecy the Hamburglar should get to stick around and play with her friends Grimace (Erin), Mayor McCheese (Evan), Ronald McDonald (Chad), and Captain Crook (Nicole) in season 10’s top 5. Congrats to all!
Team Gaga performed their Cha Cha Challenge routine as the encore, with Chelsie filling in for Pam. Imagine my delight upon realizing that Chelsie’s last-minute top was fashioned not of sparkly silver fringe, but of sparkly silver fringed sequins. The difference is vast. Still, I wonder, as a few of you did yesterday, if the costumes for Team Gaga shouldn’t have been even more ridiculous than usual considering the sartorial circus associated with its musical inspiration. The least they could have done is revived Aaron and Karina’s Muppets from season 9. (For all we know, DANCMSTR impersonator Waldorf is hiding out below the judges’ table to this day.) Even combining the traditional DWTS pleather/fringe fare with some of the brightly hued geometric designs from last night’s Cirque du Soleil ”Viva Elvis” crew might have done the trick. That’s the magic of Macy’s. Oh, god, no. I did not just write that.
Train stopped by to redeem their single ”Hey, Soul Sister” from Planet Mirrorballus purgatory. When I made the mistake of relaxing my eyes a little, I decided Peter Gallagher was singing, Howie Mandel was on the mandolin and Billy Ray Cyrus had made his triumphant return to the ballroom to play guitar. Chelsie/Mark, Dmitry/Lacey, and Cheryl/Tony provided the whirling accompaniment. I loved that their dresses were so different, like they were just three civilian women out for a spring picnic ‘n’ romp in the park. On that note, I couldn’t believe Lacey was wearing shoes, let alone heels. After this number, lead singer Pat Monahan (I assume) let out a pretty intense scream as Brooke attempted to introduce yet another digital representation of the judges’ leaderboard.
NEXT: Karina returns, DWTS introduces the antidepressant Askapro, and obviously your Hidden Gems of the Week
Later, Our Pro Karina Smirnoff actually did make her triumphant return to the ballroom — her ”Drops of Jupiter” rumba with Louis was her first appearance all season. Swathed in a slightly whiter shade of pale salmon than Maks and Erin, Karina was the perfect match for Mr. Van Intensité, especially at the end of their dance for that delicious double splits. Train singer couldn’t contain his excitement, first gaping in disbelief with a ”wow!” and then delivering a ”whoa!” directly to their faces as they all engaged in an ecstatic triangle of high fives.
Our Pros swooped in with their beautiful lines and elegant ”pos-tcha” to sit up straight, have spotlights blasted against their faces, and tell us about the pressures involved in reaching the last few weeks of any DWTS season. ”No time for a social life,” said Cheryl. ”You have to search for ‘where is my boundary?’ and push that boundary,” said Anna. ”You gotta be strong,” said a few hundred of Damian’s pores. Intercut with Our Pros’ nuggets of doom were shots of the remaining Stars lolling around, stretching, and freaking out pre-dance. There was a ”sad clown” shot of Evan in slo-mo that was particularly miserable. Reader Staci commented after last night’s show, ”Any clue who the pros were talking to when they were giving advice to those making it to the last two weeks? Don’t you wish it were you, Annie?!” I hadn’t thought of that at the time, but yes! I totally wish I had been the producer/director of this stunning commercial for DWTS-branded antidepressants. Having trouble coping with the Rise and Fall of Mirrorballus Nervosa? Askapro can help. Take 2. And… action!
Melissa Rycroft showed up for the clunkiest and dumbest filler segment to ever make it on-air. Trust me. I have seen them all! It was just awful. Forget letting her direct. Keep that elementary school student away from the set!
Ugh, I don’t want to lend any more words to that horror, but the 48-hour-long series of beautiful chimes in my head every Monday through Wednesday is compelling me to mention that Enthusiastic Chimes Lady was GLARINGLY MISSING from the Harold Wheeler Ensemble setup during Melissa’s tenure as ”conductor.” She certainly had the right idea, but I hope she’s okay. Who knows what sort of chimes-related injury could have befallen her? By the way, thanks to those of you who have grown to cherish and continue to seek out ECL, light of my life, bell(e) of my ball. It means a lot.
”Hidden gem: Evan getting thwacked in the face with Erin’s spinning ponytail during Team Madonna’s cha cha rehearsal” — jen, seconded by jen 2
Little Derek has a friend! ”We had an appearance from Little Maks, just before he started doing calisthenics.” — Bookbird, seconded by Pat, Ceballos, EagleEye, Anna, and Allison
”When Niecy mentioned her getting to move her ‘jiggly bits,’ Evan immediately glanced down at her boobs.” — Amy in Pittsburgh, seconded by Skippy, JH, Melissa, and L
”Pam’s secret little zebra tail freed itself from her pants and started shimmying its wares when she was practicing for the group dance.” — Gemologist
See this week’s complete gem collection over at PopWatch!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett