Film and TV

Dancing With the Stars: Bidding Dazzle (and Debi) Adieu

News broke yesterday afternoon that the unthinkable had happened: Tom "Dazzle Me Dreamy" DeLay -- former House Majority Leader, money launderer, and friend to the working man -- would be quitting Dancing With the Stars because of those pesky stress fractures he'd acquired from his rockin' moves. All day I hoped the news wouldn't be true, but alas, my hopes were for naught. That old man quit on us. I thought I'd already lost my innocence before last night, but I was wrong.

But on to the pointless waiting! First up was a performance by Queen Latifah, with her new single, "Fast Car," which is not in fact a cover of the Tracy Chapman song but an all-new ode to awfulness. It sounds like every other bad dance pop song out there right now. This is what's billed as her "return to hip-hop"?

Safe for now: Dazzle and Chuck, but Michael Irvin's "in jeopardy." Huh? Like five minutes later, Dazzle tells Tom Bergeron and Lady Co-Host that his feet are killing him and he won't continue. It's not like they didn't know he was gonna quit. They read blogs. Why not rank him as "in jeopardy"? Also: Next week is apparently the two-step, and John said that if Dazzle feels better in a few weeks, he can come back and do the dance. So hang onto that hope, kids.

After that, Tom and Lady reminded viewers that Dazzle's decision to punk out doesn't affect the judges votes or those from the audience, so they'll still be cutting another couple tonight. What does this mean for you? The season's one week shorter, hopefully. Listed as safe for now: Mya, Natalie (swimmer), Snowboarder, Donny, and Mark. Joanna (model) and Aaron Carter are in jeopardy.

Tom then spent some time chatting up Sabrina Bryan, who was there because she's the star that's been picked by viewers like you to return for that garish design-a-dance contest. I was forced to turn to Wikipedia because I have no idea who this woman is; turns out she's a member of the Disney Channel group The Cheetah Girls and co-star of three (!) telefilms featuring the group. There you have it, America: Your star! P.S. I hate you, America.

Next up was a performance from a dance troupe called JabbaWockeeZ (spelling and capitalization sic). They apparently won the first season of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew. They wore masks and danced to classics remixed with hip-hop beats and were generally disturbing to watch; it's basically MTV's version of Mummenschanz. Two of the dancers removed their masks and revealed themselves to be ... famous? I swear to you that I do not know who the man and woman were aside from the fact that they were probably former contestants. I didn't recognize them at all. Can anyone help me out?

This week's vertical integration plug: Christian Slater and Michelle Borth from ABC's The Forgotten! Catch it Tuesdays at 9 p.m. CT, right after Dancing With the Stars!

Queen Latifah's second number: "Ease on Down the Road" from The Wiz. Too soon! MICHAEL4EVA

In jeopardy: Debi Mazar. Safe: Kelly Osbourne (good) and Melissa Joan Hart. So come on already! Okay, now Joanna's safe, as is Aaron. Man, this show really milks it. The bottom two at this point: Debi and Michael. And the ultimate loser for the week: Debi. Finally! Man, that was an amazingly stretched hour.

Debi gave her little speech about having fun and enjoying the process, then went and hugged Dazzle as the credits rolled and the final song of the night played them off. I'm completely neutral on Debi, watching Dazzle fumble his way through the steps was the best part of the show. Now it's just gonna be Donny Osmond grinning at me for the next however many weeks. Buckle up, kids.

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Daniel Carlson
Contact: Daniel Carlson