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Dancing With the Stars: The Michael Irvin Conspiracy

Last night's Dancing With the Stars results show kicked off in an even more insanely dramatic fashion than normal. The montage of clips from the competition ep featured fireball cuts and blood and heavy metal! It's like Stephen Colbert without the irony. It was all because this week saw the elimination of two of the "stars," as will next week. Bring on the filler!

Tom Bergeron and Lady Co-Host wasted no time talking about the dance-off that was moments away, but before they'd even gotten out like two sentences, they turned things over to the earnestly mediocre pop-country singer Taylor Swift, whose name sounds way too porny for me not to worry about her future. Why was she there? Good ol' vertical integration! She's up for entertainer of the year at the Country Music Association Awards, airing sometime soon (I didn't bother to note when) on, yes, ABC.

Blah blah, let's do some cutting. Safe for now: Joanna and Mark. Unrelated: Donny Osmond wore a green sequined jacket that threatened to melt my eyes.

The night's second network plug went to Eastwick, whose stars were assembled on the front row for a brief shout-out from Tom. I didn't even know Sara Rue was on that show, or that she was still alive. And there's poor old Rebecca Romijn Stamos Carlson O'Connell, still kicking as well. Good grief, does anyone even watch that show?

After another dumb, bombastic montage of the stars talking about the double elimination, Tom grinned and said, "Boy, they pulled out all the scary music this week." I like this guy more all the time. He clearly knows he's hosting crap, but hey, it's work, so he might as well try and have some fun.

Also safe for now, and exempt from the dance-off: Donny and Aaron. Generations of boy banders rejoiced.

After that it was time for a performance by Tiempo Libre, a Cuban band that fuses Bach and Latin music. I don't think the director knew what to do with the bit, because the camera kept cutting and zooming in either genuine confusion or an off-color stylistic nod to Sabado Gigante. Still, cute number.

Then it was time to make more cuts, albeit slightly confusing ones: Tom and Lady revealed the three lowest scorers, eliminated one right away, and said that the other two would have to do the dance-off to see who would stay in the game. Anyway: Mya was safe, as was Kelly (sweet). That left Melissa, Michael, and Snowboarder.

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Second Taylor Swift performance of the night. If you weren't told she was a country artist, you wouldn't know it by listening to her. It's bland CW Network pop. Too bad, too, because she seems nice.

Back to the cuts: Melissa's gone! She had the lowest combined score and had to go right away, leaving Michael and Snowboarder (and their partners, duh) to battle in the dance-off. I was hoping that the heads-up competition would have quasi-Saw overtones, like Michael and Snowboarder would have to dance barefoot on broken glass or something, but so such luck. But the weird part is that before it started, there was rehearsal footage of Michael talking about how the dance-off is his last chance to stay on the show. So he knew going in that he'd be in the bottom three but not instantly eliminated. Does every contestant know? How much of their reaction to being cut/saved is manufactured?

So Michael and his partner did a samba, and Snowboarder and his girl did a jive to a life-suckingly bad cover of The Clash's version of "I Fought the Law." Both dances looked exactly like every other one they'd done. Bruno voted to save Snowboarder, Len voted to save Michael, and Carrie Ann saved Michael (HOW THE HELL DOES HE DO THIS). That meant it was finally time for Snowboarder to go home, while Michael sat back and loosed an evil cackle that shook the earth and loosed demons to roam the night. This guy is unstoppable.

Next week: Another two get cut, and Donny Osmond converts someone. Tune in!

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