Dancing With the Stars: Things Ain't The Same Without Delay

I'll be honest: I didn't know if I'd be able to find the strength to soldier on now that Tom "Dazzle Me Dreamy" DeLay had left Dancing With the Stars. What light be light if Tommy be not seen? Now I finally knew what Jesse and Slater meant when they sang "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You."

Tom Bergeron tried to make me forget my pain when he breathlessly informed viewers last night that four new dances were being introduced in a first for the show: the two-step, bolero, Charleston, and lambada. (Sadly, no clips were shown from either The Forbidden Dance OR Lambada. I know!) The episode promised to be as chock full of crappy and embarrassing moments as any other, and now with four times the shame.

Hypothesis: I have never been on a cruise, but I imagine it would feel like being trapped inside Dancing With the Stars.

First up to dance was Chuck Liddell, dressed like a bouncer at Oilcan Harry's, with a two-step set to "Boot Scootin' Boogie" that made me ashamed to be a Texan, and alive. Melissa Joan Hart did the Charleston, and the beginning was broadcast in a choppy black and white like she was in an old movie, but don't worry, she's still here in good old 2009!

What the: Joey Lawrence is in the audience! That guy really needs a hobby.

Natalie performed the bolero, and it was perfectly competent, which makes for boring viewing. The best part of the show is when crazy old people like Dazzle drop their partners. Aaron Carter was next with the lambada. It turns out he has some low-level gymnastic ability, which of course just makes sense to use in a Brazilian dance. After that, the dance cycle repeated, starting back at the two-step. But honestly, watching this show is exhausting. It's a 120-minute barrage of cheesy jokes and dull-eyed "family entertainment" without a trace of genuine heart, and I can't imagine anyone actually liking it.

But Kelly Osbourne's Charleston was the cat's pajamas, I tell you! That's one dolled-up dame who can get you plum spifflicated! I'm saying zozzled, old man! Joanna the stripper model humped her way through the lambada, all while the audience shrieked for her shirtless partner. Donny Osmond's cornball bit was just godawful and a pain to watch, and after it was over, he ran over to hug his family and make out with Marie. Michael Irvin was once again a low scorer, and I'd be surprised if he makes it another week.

Snowboarder also did a terrible two-step, best summed up by judge Len Goodman: "It was just a series of walks, and then you stopped and Chelsie did something, and then you walked on again." Mya's lambada wrapped up the evening with a 28 of 30 from the judges, tying dark horse Melissa Joan Hart for the night.

And that was the whole thing. If you ask me, things just aren't the same without Dazzle. The show was always terrible, but it was kind of awesomely terrible early on, before the clearly inept contestants are eliminated. The tighter the competition becomes, the less interesting it becomes; the show is inherently about watching the awkward fumblings of the non-pro dancers, and once the amateurs get a little better, it becomes a different kind of train wreck. The unintentionally hilarious becomes merely depressing and dull.

So tune in tomorrow for the results!

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