Though I’ve never actually read The Agony and the Ecstasy — I was too busy watching reality TV — this classic literary title perfectly encapsulated tonight’s Dancing With The Stars results show. It was as if DWTS‘ producers spent too much time watching Survivor and decided to create a quasi in-house immunity challenge that asked: How much pain and pleasure can we inflict on our viewers within two bloated hours of primetime TV?
Let us count the ways! Here goes:
* Filler alert! The DWTS Troupe’s utterly unnecessary opening number to a medley of past winning freestyle songs. Inexplicably, they were back for a second round later on. Enough already!
* Double filler alert! Season 7 runner-up Warren Sapp, Season 9 champ Donny (“this is the greatest show on television!”) Osmond, and season 8 champ Apolo Anton Ohno’s expert analysis on the freestyle; Even Season 7 champ Robo Brooke Burke shared her strategies! A forced, painful trip down memory lane — at least Tom came up with the memorable ‘Brooke Burke Booty Booby’ line — with split screen commentary, no less.
* Tom’s game but painful efforts to make those memory-lane interviews remotely amusing, or entertaining. Thanks for trying, Tom!
* Last week Adele, this week Stevie Nicks (DWTS knows its divas!)! The legendary and eternally youthful Ms. Nicks stepped out of her 1970s time machine to perform a brand new song, “Secret Love,” and then tug my sentimental heart with a stirring version of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide.” All that was missing was a twirl, Stevie!
* 13-year-old Tayla Kelly of Rochester, NY — who was born with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease — living out her DWTS dream as she shared the famous stage with pros Lacey Schwimmer and Chelsie Hightower in a zippy routine set to La Roux’s “Bulletproof.” “This is her night to get on that stage and show the world that she can do anything,” said her mom, Jill. Did she ever! You rock, Tayla!
* Pitbull’s sizzling performance (featuring Ne-Yo and Nayer) of “Give Me Everything” was epic, energetic, and most definitely en fuego.
* DWTS Season 2 winner Drew Lachey returned to team with former partner Cheryl Burke to recreate the all-time fan favorite freestyle dance to “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.”
* Reliving Hines’ highly emotional post-dance tears of utter relief and gratitude from Monday night. Real men most definitely do cry!
With that, let’s leave our categories for the ultimate moment of truth — tonight’s results:
FINAL TWO COUPLES TO HAVE THEIR FATES REVEALED
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff
Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Ralph Macchio and Karina Smirnoff
“The memories I take with me are Day One, when we came out here with the Foxtrot, and this place erupted,” said a gracious Macchio, who joins Romeo, Kendra Wilkinson, Chris Jericho, Mike Catherwood, Wendy Williams, Sugar Ray Leonard and Petra Nemcova on the DWTS sidelines. “I will never forget how the fans have driven us through every week,” added Macchio, before a shout out to his partner. “Karina, you have inspired me in so many ways, with your heart, your talent, your class, your integrity as an artist and even more so as a human being. I am proud to have been your dance partner, and more proud to be your friend.”
And with that, it’s your turn. Did seeing Stevie Nicks drag your heart around, too? How big was the lump in your throat watching the inspiring Tayla Kelly fulfill her DWTS dream? And lastly, which couple is your pick to claim the glittery Mirror Ball trophy? Sound off in the comments, and let us know in our poll if the right couple went home! –-Mitch Rustad