In a truly surprising elimination, Lil' Kim is sent home and former DWTS stars (Lisa Rinna, Cody Linley, and Maurice Greene) return to dance with potential new pros

By Annie Barrett
Updated January 14, 2020 at 08:06 PM EST
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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

Here lies Lil’ Kim’s patented Bionic Booty — beloved punchline, shaker of salt, wonder of world. Felt most comfortable when encased in full-length bodysuits. R.I.P. For future reference, DANCMSTRs, when the Dancing With the Stars Tuesday night verdict is exactly what you’d expect (see: Chuck and Julianne last week), Tom will tease it throughout the episode as the most shocking elimination of the season. But when the results are legitimately bewildering? Not a peep from the devilish man who’s hosting as fast as he can. Very sneaky, Mr. Bergeron.

Last night’s ouster of Lil’ Kim and Derek was truly the WTF? moment of season 8. The rapper, baby seal impersonator, and proud owner of 800 wigs did not deserve to go home, talent-wise, but her fan base couldn’t pull her through once she’d fallen from the top according to the judges. Cowboy cutie Ty Murray, the more obvious choice for elimination (and you could tell he felt horrible after the announcement) stays another week thanks to his endearing aw-shucks personality and serious work ethic. Actually, the real reason he stays — as Dance Center informed us — is that Ty is a robot sent to destroy mankind.

I love me some Dance Center, even if this season’s segment didn’t pack the bedazzling punch it usually does. (”Cul-de-sac’s another word for dead end…and that’s where this conversation is going.” Really, that’s the best you got?) In Tuesday’s most memorable moment, Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice, and Len Goodman ripped off their shirts to imitate Gilles, who ”will get naked at the drop of a hat.” You had to look at Jerry or the freshly spray-tanned DANCMSTR in Chains and his not-so-hidden gem of a chest tattoo to avoid being blinded by Mayne’s torso, but we’re used to being challenged on Tuesday nights. (Who among us hasn’t played the ”Take a shot every time Samantha puts her hand in her expensive evening gown’s inexplicable pocket” drinking game? I’m so wasted right now, you guys.) I loved the use of white pen to point out Tony’s maniacal laughter as Melissa wriggled in pain in his arms during rehearsal. ”This one man, this fool, treated her so badly.” Ha! Of course, Mayne treated DANCMSTR much worse by cutting off everything he said because his opinion doesn’t matter. I still find this brilliant.

Potential new pro time: Afton DelGrosso and Cody Linley attempted to play up a headmistress/naughty schoolboy vibe. Actually, only Cody did that. Afton wasn’t havin’ it much like I wasn’t havin’ the horrid rendition of Shakira’s ”Hips Don’t Lie/Dance Like That” that accompanied their samba. The dance was competent enough, but nothing wowed me except for what I thought was an alarming distance between the two dancers at one point when Afton did a sad roundhouse kick all by herself. But then all three judges gave Afton gushing critiques. If you say so, guys. Unless it’s Dance Center, DANCMSTR knows best.

NEXT: Hidden Gem

Lisa Rinna is such a hot mess. The burnt sienna rubber band and her partner Mayo Alanen (”ooh, the tall one”) performed a quickstep Bruno claimed ”really took advantage of Lisa’s startling assets,” but which Carrie Ann said was a little out of control. Duh, it’s Lisa Rinna. Midway through the dance, Mayo got rid of the pesky long, yellow train of Lisa’s garish ”Walking on Sunshine”-personified costume and tossed it into the crowd so that her husband Harry Hamlin could wear it as a priest might. It’s always better to keep one’s skirt at or around 11 inches in length for those elegant ballroom standards.

Anna Demidova, who seems to be the clear frontrunner at this point especially if frontrunner-dom is measured in enormous faux gems on one’s bra and butt, guided Maurice Greene through his first-ever tango. Maurice looked great and seemed to have a ball, but I wonder if Cheryl felt slighted when Bruno told him ”you have never danced better.” Hey, maybe it was true. Maurice had certainly never executed DWTS crowd-pleasing move #37 — the slowwwww clavicle-to-abs finger trace — with such intensity.

British invasion! Jamie Cullum sang ”I Get a Kick Out of You” as ballroom champs Agnieszka Kazmierczak and Urs Geisenhainer performed possibly the fastest quickstep the ballroom has ever seen. But the three of them — despite Cullum’s piano-leaping skills and the mesmerizing feathers of Agnieszka’s dress — were no match for THE BIGGEST STAR TO EVER GRACE THE BALLROOM. No! It wasn’t Coldplay performing ”Viva la Vida” live. Fakeout! The biggest star ever was literally the biggest, lamest, reddest, Macy’s-est Star of Dance in the whole wide world. I loved seeing some of my So You Think You Can Dance faves in the number, but my heart sank as I realized there’s no use in fighting destiny: I will be impersonating the eerily serene contortionist girl — who remained ”trapped” in the giant star — in an upcoming and ever-recurring nightmare.

Hidden Gem of the Week: ”I vote for the look Len gave Carrie Ann after she praised Gilles’ dance after Len had given it some harsh criticism. He looked like an insane rabbit. Or maybe he was going for constipated woodchuck, I’m not sure.” —Submitted by Orville

Why not both?

UPDATE: Carrie Ann Inaba’s week 9 blog is now live on PopWatch!

Okay, DANCMSTRs who surely do not resemble afflicted wildlife as you surf the net with proper amounts of rise and fall: Are you outraged or encouraged by the results of last night’s show?

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