A former leader heads home, Adele and Michael Bolton perform, and a Tuesday night group dance from Our Pros is forever

Sorry, all kids. Rapper and movie star (have you heard?) Romeo, who was doin’ it for you, was brutally booted from the mean old ballroom on Dancing With the Stars‘ season 12, week 8 results show. After his fiery red-pleather tango with Chelsie on Monday, Romeo’s ouster was definitely a shock. Even Tom’s exit language was harsher than usual: “The couple denied their shot in the semifinals is….”

It certainly isn’t Ralph Macchio’s fault that he has acute knee pain and couldn’t practice much this week, but I’m guessing a lot of fans will think Our Leg Sweeper should have been the one to go. Watching him vacillate between an “I don’t deserve it” air (like when he tried to quiet the boos about him being “in jeopardy” with cute hand gestures) and a “No, no, keep me in, I’ll totally heal” attitude was somewhat intriguing, but I’m mostly interested to see if he’ll really be okay to dance FULL-ON, as Len would say, leading up to next week’s semifinals. Anything less and Romeo’s exit will seem like an even bigger loss. It’s too bad for both of them. Tough situation, but what did we expect? The theme of the week was “stress”!

Before the mystery meat and potatoes of the results show proper, we got to sample some bonus morsels: the best Tuesday night performances throughout the series. Some choices seemed hand-picked for “current relevance” — J. Lo? Chris Brown? Really? — but the odd mix did produce one of my favorite moments of the hour: As soon as the J. Lo clip ended, Tom’s entire transition was “Here’s another performance!” and then it cut to Miley Cyrus. Ha.

The real gems, of course, were the group numbers from Our Pros (previously known as “The DWTS Pros”; how awful). “Let Me Entertain You” was life-affirming to watch, even so many seasons later, and “Hard to Handle,” too, played out like a cracked-open, cracked-out time capsule. The costumes seemed shiner than ever — dangling, golden giant sequins on O.P. will do that — and, more importantly, Maks and Karina were totally an item.

It still hurts.

NEXT: Adele and Tom Bergeron share a stage. Have I died and gone to disco heaven? I loved revisiting some classics I hadn’t even considered classics before. Mark Ballas vs. Val Chmerkovskiy on the Battle of Strings was even more epic than I’d remembered, and watching a monotone-haired Lacey melt a White Russian using only her fingers and face is always a treat. (Here was my recap.) I barely recalled Vittorio Grigolo’s performance with many of Our Pros from season 3 and got some serious goosebumps during Tony and Edyta’s solo. I’m not sure which was more to blame: the shock of seeing Lady Legwarmer again, or remembering that one time she had bangs.

Suddenly, a blink-and-you’d-miss-it gem surfaced in the first hour: A jaunty lecture of British medical terms like knackered and gutted, delivered by two of my favorite entertainers in the world — Adele and Tom Bergeron! Had I died and gone to disco heaven? No, it was just the Dancing With the Stars results show! Of course. Adele was so sweet about Delta Goodrem filling in last-minute on “Natural Woman,” and even though her upper register had a boo-boo, she was able to appropriately belt out “Rolling in the Deep” as if she hadn’t a care in the world. Watch out for the yellow guitar-string lasers! Big week for lasers. Gotta say yes to the stress.

Wait a minute…are commercials more insane than ever this week, or am I? Is this a rhetorical question? Between the “I’m a PC, and I’m gonna kill him” spot and the unbearably sultry “My diaper is full….of FASHION” Huggies ad, my Tuesday night feeling of “Help! I’m in an alternate universe” extended well beyond the ballroom.

GOOD LUCK to anyone who tries to convince me that this company isn’t trying to sell us Nationwide Mirrorball Insurance. I’ll take it, by the way. Sold! To the fringe fairy up s— creek without a ’10’ ping pong paddle.

Nothing against Kirstie and Maks’ Argentine tango at all, but I suspect that because I’ve heard the song around seven times now (thanks to hidden gem hunting, the encore, and other Tuesday playbacks), that ominous tango music will probably lull me into a dark and twisted ballroom nightmare whenever I finally manage to fall asleep next. Duh-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-duh…. You’re dead, Barrett! In your dreams.

Late-gleaming gem: The microphone on Kym’s décolletage definitely looked like a third nipple.


NEXT: Dance Center, Michael Bolton, and Hidden Gems of the Week Dance Center! Always a treasure. Season 2’s anti-hero Kenny Mayne and second-runner-up Jerry Rice were back with DANCMSTR Len Goodman to give each other tremendous side-eyes and dose the ballroom with a hearty dose of irreverence. I was laughing so hard I had to press pause (whoa) when Kenny finished his colleagues’ sentence about how Romeo was dancing for the kids, and the troops, “and his father’s record company.” DYING. Second-best: The insertion of scary-red-lipped Kirstie into Maks’ promo for Ukrainian Bachelor. Other favorite gems: “part-time floor inspector” (Kirstie), “one chassé away from a wheelchair” (Ralph), “enjoys pillow talk” (Hines), “still believes in the Tooth Fairy” (Chelsea), and the giant question mark drawn onto costume shop employee Mark’s modern dance choreography.

Nothing — except maybe a simple Google search or a routine perusal of this very website — could have prepared me for Tom to announce that Delta Goodrem and Michael Bolton were about to perform “I’m Not Ready” from his forthcoming album Gems: The Duets collection. I was not ready to handle that! Needless to say, I completely lost it here — GEMS! — and frankly have no idea how Tom was able to say that with a straight face. We know how committed he is to EW.com’s H.G. Wells foundation. He was practically cross-promoting us, I just know it. Anyway, Anna Tre-BUN-skaya and Dmitry (yay!) joined Australian singer-songwriter Delta and viral video sensation Michael Bolton for a gravity-defying routine. Thanks to Saturday Night Live, it was easier than ever to imagine renowned cinephile and former doghouse resident Michael Bolton at the tippy top of a huge ship instead of a mere three-step ballroom platform.

“Kirstie and Ralph on the couch looked like Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra back in the day….” –JessicaH, endorsed by gigi, SocialAndrea, ugh

“When Kirstie and Maks were practicing in front of the yellow wall, Maks was sitting in the chair and Kirstie was standing as if both were posing for Calvin Klein ads.” —Marshal

Look for my weekly chat with Tom Bergeron later today.

Press the “play” triangle to hear my imaginary friend in all his alternate-universe glory!

‘Til next week, DANCMSTRs. Look for me in the ballroom!


EW.com’s Fringe Fairy

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