The elimination for “Dancing with the Stars” week five looked like a no-brainer, as Gavin DeGraw stood alone with the lowest score. Judge Len Goodman called Gavin’s Monday night samba a “sham-ba,” and despite his canoe being one of the coolest props in “DWTS” history, the singer only rated a 19 for the dance with partner Karina Smirnoff. But it wouldn’t be a huge shocker to see Melissa Gilbert leave the ballroom either, as her post-ambulance salsa failed to create much heat.
At any rate, Tuesday was going to be the first time “DWTS” tried a “dance duel,” in which the bottom two would dance simultaneously for the judges, who would then decide which couple was done for the season.
Here was what happened on red light Tuesday:
Judge Len Goodman said they’d chosen Maria Menounos and Derek Hough’s salsa as the encore dance. We held our breath as it came time for the kiss that caused so much commotion last night—but in the reprise, the pro dancer left Maria’s lips alone and kissed Carrie Ann Inaba at the judges’ table instead. Derek got even with the judge for her negative attitude towards the kiss!
We saw the backstage footage from Monday night, with Melissa telling partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy, “I didn’t get freaked out at all” during the dance. “I’m proud of you, baby,” Derek told Maria backstage, not seeming to care that he acts like they’re a real life couple. They need to tone down the showmance-style flirting or, as Bruno Tonioli said, get a room!
Tuesday, Melissa and Maks were declared safe early on, so there went my theory she could be in danger. The former “Little House on the Prairie” star has a passel of fans who call themselves the Bonnet Heads, so apparently they voted in full force this week. And Gladys Knight would make it to next week’s Motown-themed shows, too! Backstage, William said his ankle was sore, but he was otherwise okay.
Selena Gomez performed her song “Hit the Lights” as part of the Tuesday entertainment and my only comment about that is she looked distressingly like a Kardashian girl. Oh, no!
Donald Driver’s behind-the-scenes footage from Monday showed a football star who was angry about the sub-par scores. “C’mon, Len!” he shouted after getting an 8 from the old grouch. After William Levy and Cheryl Burke’s hot dance on Monday night, Chelsie Hightower was shown telling her young partner Roshon Fegan, “That was a lot of sex!” Kym Johnson’s Monday instruction for her celebrity Jaleel White was, “be a tiger!” and the “Family Matters” star shook his butt for the camera backstage for no apparent reason.
Enough of the recaps and on to the dance duel! Gavin and Karina and Jaleel and Kym were in the bottom two and ready to rumble. Before the dancing, more interviews by Tom Bergeron–Jaleel sang a bar of “I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” while Gavin displayed his self-deprecating wit. He looked ready to go home.
Incredibly, they had backstage footage of the dance duel rehearsals and the journalists grumbled because we were ready for them to stop talking and just dance for their lives!
Finally, the moment of truth. They were performing the cha cha. Right off the bat, Jaleel and Kym looked much more in control while Gavin was awkward. The side-by-side comparison was devastating for the singer, I thought.
Judge Carrie Ann said they were both good in different ways, which was wishy washy. Were the judges not going to give clear critiques? The other judges also waffled, telling both couples what they did right. Carrie Ann and Len voted for Jaleel and Kym, making it a moot point, even though Bruno picked the actor, too!
Gavin was sent packing. He was funny and we would all miss him. Always a great attitude!