Wayne Newton makes a most excellent exit; meanwhile, Drew Lachey ends his co-hosting duties, and we learn the secrets of the show's music

By Annie Barrett
Updated October 10, 2007 at 04:00 PM EDT
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”Dancing With the Stars”: The shoe drops

Welcome, friends, to the TV Watch on the results show of Oct. 9, 2007, a.k.a. the greatest night of Cheryl Burke’s life! Just kidding. But not really. After we were spoon-fed the supersize combo meal of Wayne Newton’s general lack of talent, his poor hairstyling, and Cheryl’s pained facial expressions, all signs pointed to the inevitable: Wayne had to go. I’m just sad that now there will no longer be both a Wayne and a Garth in the same fake ballroom. ”Denied!”

Onto bigger news: If you didn’t get the doomsday memo, Samantha will be back next week from maternity leave, replacing Drew Lachey as cohost. Yesterday, I noticed a comment on the message board from Cardsgal: ”Annie, seriously, give us some suggestions on how to beg the producers not to bring back Samantha Harris.” Gal, I am on your side. But I’m sure if I argued too strongly against Samantha and her vapid quips and generically pageant-like presence, I’d get condemned for being an anti-breeder or something ridiculous like that. Plus — and this is extremely sad — the only person I know in show business is the mild-mannered (yet feisty) host of EW.com’s Idolatry, Michael Slezak. So instead, I’ll just make my case in favor of Drew:

Dudes, you have to keep Drew on in some capacity! He’s really improved since week 1, when we had to deal with his totally weird insistence on repeating the phrase ”Get on the horn.” We got on that horn. I’m still on that horn. [Cue tears.] And I’m not ready to hang up!

Drew’s breakout dance of the season was last week, when his schoolgirl crush on soap star Cameron Mathison’s hip action made Drew blush an even deeper shade of orange than his mandatory spray tan. Another high point came on Monday, when he basically called Cheetah Girl obnoxious after she screeched something directly into his ear. And last night, he said funny, unscripted things like ”The natives are restless,” regarding the cast backstage. Then he called Tom Bergeron ”Father Time.” True, these are not the funniest things to ever occur on television. But these things never happen with Samantha! Banter is a great thing. Drew makes Tom seem funnier than he already is. Bonus! Teamwork!

Solution: Maybe Samantha can show up on performance nights and just take a well-deserved nap on some sort of motherhood throne. Feet up, mocktail in hand, far far away from the contestants. She could rerun those multi-colored, billowing, satin-y gowns from last season that cinched at the boob with some bejeweled brooch or another and we wouldn’t even notice. (Actually, based on that last sentence, apparently I would notice. So creepy.) Anyway, she’d be snoozin’. Snow White-esque glass coffin is optional. This plan is foolproof and will work out great for everyone!

Anyway.

My favorite cringe-inducing-in-an-awesome-way moment of the hour came about 12 minutes in, when musical guest Seal had to wave to the camera backstage for wayyyyy longer than any human should be forced to wave, alone. It’s one thing when there’s a pair of ill-matched clowns like Joey Fatone and Clyde Drexler pretending to have a single thing in common for a few seconds before commercial break — at least our eyes can dart between two supremely awkward separate parties. It’s another thing when it’s just Seal. Poor guy. So he sang twice, and Billy Ray Cyrus and his spawn Miley performed a duet while Karina danced with an oversize sweater hiding Maks underneath. Mysterious!

NEXT: Dancing‘s musical secrets revealed!

That segment gushing over Harold Wheeler, his orchestra, and their, shall we say, polarizing singers was a little bizarre. I had no idea the couples rehearsed to the original recordings of their chosen-for-them songs. That means the cast must be even more shocked than we are when some of the poorly chosen live songs end up sounding like crap on performance day. Yikes. I did enjoy the segment about how all the celebrities freak out right before they perform. The close-up of Maks spinning in slow motion right after Jennie said, ”The dancing part is all a blur,” was classic. ”It’s like a high-speed light show,” Jennie said. (I think that’s where key audience member Anne Heche, looking slightly dazed if not stoned, must have thought she was.)

Comment of the Week!

From: WTF?

When I do a dance in honor of my dead mom it will be a beer-soaked polka.

Great choice! Mine would probably be a dark-chocolate-covered Running Man around the house. (Hi, Dee! I love you!) What about you, Cheeto- (but not Cheetah-) loving readers? Was anyone sad to see Wayne shuffle off stage? If I hold a funeral for Drew’s short-lived hosting career, will you show up? And which couple is in the best shape to perform either the waltz or the paso doble next week?

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Dancing With the Stars

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