Another couple exits the ballroom on a high note, while Maks and Carrie Ann continue their patented brand of bickering

By Annie Barrett
Updated August 03, 2020 at 06:16 PM EDT
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Credit: Adam Larkey/ABC (2)

“M-V-P! M-V-P!” Come on, ‘fess up: Who cried? On week 8 of season 11, former NFL star Kurt Warner was banished from Planet Mirrorballus one night after wearing fringed pants to deliver his best performance to date. Kurt heads home to his seven children, who can award him 7s to their little hearts’ content as he completes mundane tasks around the house. (Tea party table setting: Seh-vehhhhhhn!)

Within just a few seconds, Kurt managed to teach a life lesson about how it’s not about winning or losing, thank his wife, and call his partner Anna Tre-BUN-skaya “this wonderful woman.” He certainly ended on a high note, and so did my DVR recording: the absolute last frame showed Kurt turning back to look for Anna — ever his tiny dancer and ballroom BFF (BBFF?) — while being swarmed by the rest of the sparkaliens. There she was, smiling back at him. Oh, Anna! I think I’ll miss her most of all.

TRAGEDY! I’m watching Kurt and Anna on Jimmy Kimmel Live right this second. (Also tragic: this recap is turning into a live blog of ABC’s all-night slate. I just had to delete an unnecessary paragraph about the ridiculous dialogue on Detroit 1-8-7. Stay tuned for my live blog of the 1:06-2:05 a.m. Oprah rerun!) Anyway, Anna’s refusing to answer whether Kurt was a better dancer than Jerry Rice (because he’s sitting right next to her) and whether Bristol Palin deserves to be in the semifinals. Well-deflected, Ms. BUN! Anna’s wearing the most intriguing electric blue heels with tiny gems dangling from the ankle straps. I gotta stop and turn off the TV. It hurts too much. Oh, the pain!

Back to past-tense. Brandy and Maksim Chmerkovskiy stood under the red light of faux-jeopardy last night, so that Maks could continue to bicker with Carrie Ann out in the open instead of from within the confines of the Brooke Burke Red Velvet Sanitarium. “Maks, I just wanna say something,” said Carrie Ann, after being asked to explain why Brandy should stick around. “To all of the dancers: I have always respected all of you.” She proceeded to list as many of Our Pros as she could think of, enunciating like an elementary school speech therapist to show extra respect. “So, I hope you will let it go,” she concluded. It was pretty bizarre, as is everything that ever happens on a Tuesday. Or a Monday. Luckily, Brandy covered Maks’ mouth before he could lose his cool within the next 12 seconds.

Dance Center! It’s truly the most wonderful time of the year, without exception. Listing all of the jokes would take hours — even the contestants’ statistics cards were chock full o’ gems. My favorite was on Kyle’s: “Straight Out of Magic Kingdom, Yo.” Best, Worst Dancer Kenny Mayne and season 2 runner-up Jerry Rice cut everyone down to size from their bejeweled perch within the vague realm of “above it all.”

NEXT: Dance Center takes a wonderfully sinister turn.

Jennifer must be lying about her injuries, Mark’s side-tattoo is really a grocery list, and Kurt throws footballs to make his competitors explode in the parking lot. Len even pretended he liked Lacey. It was a riot! I loved the sinister turn Dance Center took this time with the intervention for Len’s obsession with Brandy. I still can’t decide which is the creepier prop: The brandy bottle featuring Brandy’s photo, or the balloon-like hand Len used to console Kenny about his hand-envy. I think I’ll go with prop hand because it reminds me of Len’s tendency to resemble Statler the Muppet. Remember this creepy-hand-centric hidden gem from season 9?

The musical-guest exhibition dances were nearly purebred this week! Now that Damian Whitewood’s girlfriend Peta has danced in the DWTS Rectagon with nary a Damian in sight (along with Kym, Chelsie, Tony, Dmitry, and Louis for Taio Cruz’ “Dynamite”), I suspect she may be joining the cast of Our Pros next season. They still need someone to fill the gaping Looks Like Edyta void, and she’s got the hair. Meanwhile, my favorite pro dance was from Tony, Maks, Chelsie, and Cheryl, for John Legend and The Roots’ rendition of “Wake Up Everybody.” My most lasting memory of this is, rather pathetically, that Tony’s shirt had unsightly sleeves while Maks’ did not. At least both shirts had ultimate-deep-dish V’s. I also remember thinking that the way the two men kept grandstanding at such a rapid pace made the dance itself seem like an inverse of Brandy’s Grammy-winning single called “The Girls Are Mine.” Later on, Tom had a huge frog in his throat as he sputtered out that Jeanine Mason (winner of So You Think You Can Dance, season 5) was the barefoot wonder partnering Mark on Legend’s “Ordinary People.”

NEXT: Maks’ buns, hot from the oven, kick off a smattering of Hidden Gems.

Some children dropped by to make us sofa-dwelling viewers feel even fatter, older, and less-accomplished than we do already from watching the adults. How cute were they with their tutti-frutti jive? Even tiny prodigy Emily Bear’s piano keys looked like different-hued fruits, thanks to what Tom would call “an able assist” from the technicolor staircase! This is the way to go with the kiddie stuff, instead of pitting them against each other in a season-long fight no one ever remembers from week to week.

Heads up! Tom Bergeron is up against The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper in EW.com’s Under-appreciated Entertainer of the Year bracket game. (I’d also like to see these two go head-to-head in a yoga pose-off.) Vote for him over on PopWatch!

I’ll leave you DNCMSTRs with a sprinkling of EW.com’s ‘DWTS’ Hidden Gems of the Week Tom Bergeron’s favorite collection of reader-submitted ridiculata in all the virtual land! (He just left a comment. I s— you not.)

MVG (MOST VALUABLE GEM): FRESH-BAKED AND BORN TO RIDE

Maks’ buns ***and possible thong*** —avab, silentj, yummy, dzzld, Mindy, duranmom, omg.., Becky, maximum maks, kai, Karikata, Stephanie M., Addison, Raychel, Kelli

“Three lonely (shag???) pillows on the black couch in the Celebriquarium during Derek’s & Jennifer’s Instant Dance scores. No one’s hugging them!” –LAG Award Winner

“Jerry Rice wearing Tony’s rumba shirt from season 8.” —Manda

(EW.com’s Fringe Fairy also loves the ESPN-esque DWTS logo!)

“Anna’s blink-and-you-missed-it sticking out the tongue at the camera after she and Kurt stood there all serious before their first dance. I just want to hang out with her.” —Ms. Dipesto

“Anna ‘shushing’ Brooke after her and Kurt’s instant dance so they could get their scores. I’ve wanted to shush Brooke for weeks!” —Susan

“Could this be my first HIDDEN GEM sighting?? Every so often during Kurt & Anna’s InstaDance, the red spotlights would hit Anna’s face just right and it would look like her whole head had gone supernova.” –one tiny mirror, endorsed by A, Jamie0415, Karen, Hez, MLM, Tay

Well, as Brooke would say, “I’m not gonna take any more of your precious time,” DNCMSTRs. See you next week — discuss the Week 8 results below!

Read more:

“This isn’t really a competition,” Kurt told EW post-show.

All Hidden Gems of the Week

Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett

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