Queen Latifah performs on a night that has only one elimination, but two stars go home
Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

On the week 3 results show of Dancing With the Stars season 9, Debi Mazar and Maks (sniff!) weren’t popular enough to continue on in the hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Muggers. Neither of them seemed too surprised or upset about the news, so I’m cool. Whoever was in charge of rushing over the smelling salts to me (nobody) should consider bringing them to Aaron Carter instead. He was on the verge of a kimono-wrapped meltdown just because he and Karina were announced, along with Joanna Krupa and Derek, as ”in jeopardy.” (Michael Irvin joined Debi in the Bottom Two.) Get a grip, Aaron! A tip for that: Avoid touching your own hair.

It’s worth pointing out that Tom Bergeron must have seen the debut of EW.com’s Réalité (Michael Slezak’s new reality TV video series), because he asked Debi to clarify a very important ballroom dancing issue: how to pronounce her last name. Tom, Samantha, and the jazzy announcer guy had been pronouncing it differently. It turns out Debi doesn’t really care! Her grandmother said it ”Mah-zar” as it was part of a longer original name, but Debi goes around saying ”May-zar” just because it’s easier. Have you heard any talk show host attempt the horror that is saying ”Chmerkovskiy”’ for the first/only time? I think I remember Wendy Williams seeing three consecutive consonants on her teleprompter and just going with a non-commital ”Heeeeeeyyyy” instead.

As EW reported Tuesday afternoon, Tom DeLay bowed out of the competition due to stress fractures in his feet, so we now have 11 couples to barely remember next Monday night instead of 12. DeLay would have danced the Texas Two Step next week (of course), so Bergeron extended the former Republican congressman an invitation to further corrupt his hooves while needlessly training to perform that dance during the season 9 finale. This may have seemed like a consolation prize for DeLay, but it was really a wake-up call to the show’s set designers, who will need to hit the dollar store bright and early to gather enough tacky red, white and blue crap to reiterate to the DWTS audience that they live in the U.S.A. during DeLay’s finale performance.

Chuck Liddell and Anna Tre-BUN-skaya got the DANCMSTR encore and danced their ridiculous samba again. Such a weird choice — I was 50 percent sure they were going home after that. Nope! It was probably just a courtesy to let the Tuesday audience see those whirling pink-and-yellow clown sleeves in ”action.” If Chuck’s sleeves and Debi’s boa skirt mated, what type of wondrous new life would spring forth? I’m picturing something along the lines of a baby Bruno.

Queen Latifah sang twice, but my favorite performance of hers was the moment at which she ”presented the cast” backstage. If, like me, you’re obsessed with how awkward the backstage shots of the musical guest who really doesn’t want to stand in front of a camera and mug for seven seconds can be, you know what a big deal Queen’s easy-breezy-beautiful one was. It should maybe turn into an official DWTS promo, à la her Cover Girl mascara commercial. The line: ”That’s not volume. That’s just one big mess!” would apply to so many DWTS situations. Anyway, Maks and Cheryl sexed it up for Queen’s first song, ”Fast Car.” I loved the move at the end with him whipping her around, tightly attached to his side like a voluminous red leech. ”Ease On Down The Road” had the audience (not to mention DANCMSTR) standing and clapping — a rare feat — and I admired the newly casual Queen and her backup dancers’ commitment to the black/red/silver color scheme.

NEXT: The Hidden Gem of the Week: Look out behind you, Bruno!

For the Macy’s Stars of Dance segment, the JabbaWockeeZ performed an updated version of ”Singing in the Rain” that made excellent use of the Rectagon’s LCD screens (perfect for waterfalls) and suspension cords (perfect for lowering four more masked men carrying umbrellas). The last section of the dance featured two highly touted ”surprise guest dancers” who turned out to be Our Pros Lacey and Mark. I’m glad these two had this chance to relieve the extra stress that their partners, Mark Dacascos and Melissa Joan Hart, have heaped onto them by not measuring up to their expectations. (Shouldn’t it be that the Pros give their Stars the pep talks, and not the other way around?)

Sabrina Bryan will do the Macy’s Design-a-Dance thing later in the season because a record number of people voted for her. Do we believe that? Sure, whatever. I mostly mention this because my sister, DANCMSTR Meg, helpfully pointed out a rare Tuesday-night Gem: The lovely Iron Chef Cat Cora was sitting to Tom’s left as he interviewed Sabrina. I hadn’t noticed as I was too busy counting Sabrina’s belts. And in not-so-hidden Tuesday Gem news: Holy impromptu Samantha Harris nipple darts!

For the random filler segment of the week, math genius Steve Wozniak and ESPN senior Fantasy analyst Matthew Berry attempted to calculate a season 9 winner via an arbitrary coding system of letters and numbers that was part A Beautiful Mind, part Sesame Street. I’m guessing that the not-so-discerning toddler was carted in at the last minute to make this segment air-able instead of simply terrible. I do want Woz to continue in his quest to make a decent filler segment, because it’s kind of the only thing he has left to accomplish in this lifetime. Take your time!

Hidden Gem of the Week: Readers April, old john, Jen, and glenn all voted for the yawning lady behind Bruno just before Natalie and Alec’s rehearsal package on Monday. Glenn astutely points out that ”It looked like she was going to swallow Bruno’s head.”

He’d never see it coming. Thanks to Little One, Karen, Ceballos, Potato Bug, Mary, Amy, Ellie, and Katica for your nominations!

Next week, the couples will perform one of four new dances: Bolero, Charleston, Texas Two Step, or (gasp!) the forbidden Lambada. Does the show need new dances? Does the Hidden Gem just about summarize your reaction to week 3? Which couples are you looking forward to and/or dreading the most for Monday? Leave your thoughts in the comments and I’ll see you Tuesday morning….[cue toned-down Bergeron voice] liiiiiiiiiiiiive.

Follow Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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