With Maurice's elimination, Cody and Julianne are left to compete against Warren, Lance, Brooke, and their partners as the season races to the end

By Annie Barrett
Updated November 12, 2008 at 05:00 PM EST
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Dancing With the Stars

S7 E17
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‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: It was a fait accompli

On week 8 of Dancing With the Stars, it was farewell to Maurice Greene, purportedly the hardest-working partner Cheryl Burke has ever had and the man who will ”always be the winner winner, chicken dinner” in her heart. Awww! Now I’m hungry.

Maurice’s ouster was probably the least climactic elimination of the season, since we knew either he or Cody Linley would go home. And when practically the entire hour of filler revolved around Cody’s partner Julianne having valiantly returned from an agonizing two-week absence (seemed like three!), wasn’t the writing pretty much on the rhinestone-encrusted wall? Even Mo and Cheryl gave off a sense that they’d made peace with their fate all night. Or were they just relieved that they wouldn’t have to suffer the to-be-determined worst of season 7’s endless list of injuries. There could be a coma with Cody’s name on it, y’all!

Last night also saw the return of what Samantha called the judges’ ”coffee chat,” but I suspect it was fueled by potent potables other than coffee based on the way Carrie Ann and Bruno rather amusingly competed with each other to see who could do the best impersonation of the contestants. Or the worst, actually. Those entire segments are basically excuses for Carrie Ann to say ”blagggggh!” and for Bruno to bounce around in his chair. I could only sit through 20 minutes of Bruno vs. Carrie Ann: Dance War last summer, but please tell me more happened than just that.

Samantha’s clueless comment about how she sure is glad the judges don’t do a coffee chat dissecting her and Tom’s hosting skills could have been the most delicious moment of the evening, with nary a ”chicken dinner” mention in sight! A close second: Lacey backstage, lifting up her leg à la Molly Shannon’s Sally O’Malley character on Saturday Night Live: ”Fifty, and llllllllllovin’ it!” (Wondering what the hell I’m talking about? Watch it over on PopWatch.)

Oh no, who let the audience-reactions filler segment out of the Awful Things We Never Want to See Again on DWTS box? It and Corky were getting along so well in there. Put it back this instant!

Derek and the seemingly good-as-new, or at least good-enough-to-carry-a-manchild-on-her-shoulders, Julianne performed in adorable piano-themed costumes for a piano-themed Stars of Dance segment set to ”Great Balls of Fire.” Viewers had chosen the dance, music, and people involved, so she had to emerge from the hospital, dressed in white, like an angel. I doubt DANCMSTR would have had any sautéed Stratfordshire beef with the Hough’s outstanding use of the piano as a prop — in fact, the way Julianne danced atop its keys and the way Derek slid backwards under its entire length both screamed, ”Suck it, Schwimmers!” So did the pair’s implementation of Lacey and Benji’s trademark double-assisted-cartwheel move. Okay, not really. Neither of these things suggested a ”Suck it!” vibe. It’s just more fun to create fictional sibling rivalries, because…

NEXT: Dr. Drew gets in Cody’s head

For musical guest Brad Paisley’s first number, Lacey’s brother and So You Think You Can Dance‘s season 2 winner, Benji Schwimmer, joined her onstage for a lil’ country-tinged dance. I liked this — particularly all of the ridiculously fast underarm twirling and Lacey’s too-quick-to-be-that-cheesy ”No Strings Attached” homage to her partner, Lance. Could have lived without the very unnecessary homage to Benji’s crotch, though I did smirk a bit when Benji did one of those ”heel slide” moves most often employed by Derek. It was also nice to see that Benji hasn’t been away from the reality TV dance competition world for so long that he’s forgotten how to activate the intense magnetic attraction between his face and any nearby camera at all times. It’s a prerequisite skill for any sibling who desires to be on DWTS, so Benji has passed the first test. Next one: Literally checking your sibling for ticks in an effort to get all of her clothes off. What? That’s what the Brad Paisley song is about. Have another listen. Ew, no, don’t.

The sibling streak continued during Paisley’s second go, as Genya Mazo joined brother Alec, plus Maks-and-his-new-lover-Karina, Kym, and Edyta for a sneak preview of what you’ll see if you feel like attending… (don’t worry, it pains me to type this as much as it hurts to read) Samsung Eternity Presents Dancing With the Stars the Tour — or the easily pronounced SEPDWTSTT, for short. EW.com fave Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who is just as good at faking sheepishness when his hair looks markedly less like a sheep’s, will be choreographing the show, and I’m psyched to hear that Toni Braxton will be singing (!) as well as dancing on the tour. Hmmm…anyone wanna go? Maks should probably give me a sky box. Hear that? Maks? Sky box? Awesome.

The Dr. Drew and Anatomy of a Dancer segments were pretty much a waste of time, once I realized Adam Carolla wouldn’t be dropping by to haze Drew and the cast, and it was really going to be 10 minutes of them working out their ”serious” issues and two very uncomfortable minutes of Cody crying. I felt bad for the kid, because not only is he soooo young, but I’m guessing there’s a vast disconnect between what it’s really like for some of these people to compete on the show and the scripted crap we’re presented with each week in glossy snippets. So while Cody’s emotional flare-up might have seemed overkill to someone used to seeing only canned clips of Cody reading cue cards about how he thinks his partners are hot and is nervous about his next dance, at that time, in the room with Dr. Drew, I guess he thought he was in a safe place and just let it out. Cody! Pretend you have a sibling on this show, and INSTANTLY FIND THE CAMERA!

Did I seriously just discuss Cody’s tears for that long? I think I need some of my own therapy now, so I’m off to re-watch the slow-motion figures of Alec and Edyta from the Anatomy of a Dancer segment in even slower motion on my DVR. They were basically the only redeeming few seconds of that mess, so I’ve gotta make them last. I applauded when the figures went from ”human” to ”glass statue” in transparency. They made me think of commercials in which things are ”body heat activated” for our benefit. Also, it was just really hot.

What do you think, dance masters? Will you miss Maurice? Can I check you for ticks? And are you truly rooting for any of the final four, or are you ready for the season to be over?

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