Cheryl Burke and D.L. Hughley -- seen here with, at right, Chelsie Hightower… (Adam Taylor / ABC )
The ballroom was a little less jokey at the end of “Dancing With the Stars” on Tuesday night, as D.L. Hughley and his pro partner Cheryl Burke were eliminated in the fifth week of competition.
And while his stint on this show may have been a bit marred with low scores and harsh comments (would he have done better on “Splash”?), in the end, “I had a ball,” the Original King of Comedy said. “I’ve already gone further than I imagined I would.”
There were also no hard feelings between D.L. and the judges: D.L. left with a little bit of good-natured criticism for Len Goodman to “work on your hip action” after his PSA video, and graciously willed the head judge “the hip replacement Bruno said I should have.”
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Well, Andy Dick said it was unusual for a comedian to make it this far in a “DWTS” competition. And now Andy has to hold the stand-up torch on his own. Lindsay Arnold, Victor Ortiz and Victor’s vicious bladder narrowly escaped the squeeze of elimination and were in the bottom two once again. Ingo Rademacher and Kym Johnson simmered under the red lights of jeopardy (perhaps as punishment for the soap opera star’s comment on Monday that he hoped he and Kym would just “skate by” with a less-than-stellar routine and scores) but were ultimately deemed safe.
Lest you think the glitterverse is a harsh realm where jokes are squashed and star wattage faded, “DWTS” also proved to be a place where dreams come true. Case in point: when Len announced that Jacoby Jones and Karina Smirnoff’s jumping jive with Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Anna Trebunskaya was chosen as the encore dance. And those high-octane kicks and flicks (though not pointed) were most welcome the second time around. Those knee-knocks! That body bump between Maks and Jacoby! That chest! Those suspenders! That split leap! That fringe! Great show.
The pros are really earning their paychecks this season -- that techno-fabulous space-invasion disco dance and light show from a glitterverse far, far away was all out and hard-hitting, an out-of-this-world treat choreographed by Mark Ballas and Derek Hough. Not to mention the treat of seeing the pros dance their hearts out before and after commercials (Val and Oksana particularly this time around).
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Sibling trio The Band Perry performed their country single “Better Dig Two.” And while Kimberly wore a “DWTS”-friendly gold lamé dress for their song, the band was nearly eclipsed by the burning flame of passion ignited when Witney Carson and Tristan MacManus just about made love to each other on the dance floor. Selena Gomez trotted out her latest single “Come & Get It” on the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday night and did it again, in the same Bollywood style, in this network TV debut performance.
The Macy’s Stars of Dance packed in a lot of emotion in a tight compact space, as “So You Think You Can Dance” mainstay Stacey Tookey choreographed an intimate contemporary routine between Tyne Stecklein and Jeremy Hudson that was performed on and around the piano of singer-songwriter Kerli as she crooned her single “Love Me or Leave Me.”
Lest people think he’s only a cranky curmudgeon, Len took off his judges’ jacket and put on a cozier sweater for a “Dance Your Dance: A Pep Talk” PSA. The segment was along the lines of an “It Gets Better” video and featured the head judge turning that frown upside down and talking about dancing as a metaphor for life (“about overcoming adversities”), noting that the ballroom is a magical place, and commenting how in a world of lattés, we should all “dare to be a cup of tea.” Aw.
Lots of bromance going on during this results hour. There was the Chmerkovskiy Brother banter, which involved Maks in a striped tank top and straw hat stretching out his little brother Val on the rehearsal floor. Which would be a visual treat in and of itself, except that Maks was also explaining to Zendaya that he would get in trouble if anything went wrong with Val. But not the other way around. “I don’t let anything go wrong with me,” Maks said. “You’re one big wrong!” Val shot back to Maks. Plus: “You look like a gondola rider.”