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'Dancing With the Stars': Out with the new

October 31, 2007 |  8:52 am

Sabrinaryan_300 “Dancing With the Stars” decided to kick it old school last night, meaning, of course, that the episode was completely devoid of any reference to current pop culture. Who more appropriate to have as special guest musical performer than Barry Manilow singing “The Greatest Songs of the Seventies”? Which dance better to have reprised than the “rock ’n’ roll” Sharks and Jets routine? And who best to have eliminated from the show than its youngest contestant, Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan? It was as if the voters of the show said, “This is what we think of hip-hop-infused ballroom!” The episode did feature a bit of break dancing during a preview for Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba’s upcoming show, “Dance Wars,” but the routine, leg warmers and all, seemed more from “Fame” than actual b-boys and girls.

Mel B., as the new youngest contestant on the show, you'd better watch your back.

If one were to watch the episode all the way through knowing that Sabrina was going to be eliminated, something spooky seemed afoot. Why did Samantha Harris keep mentioning how “surprising” the elimination was going to be? While it was a given that somebody was going to be eliminated who had never been in the bottom two before, would it really have been that shocking were it, say, Jane Seymour? Then it just seemed cruel for Sabrina to joke about how Marie Osmond and Cameron Mathison enjoyed teasing her about how she was sure to be eliminated. But between Bryan’s elimination and these (probably intentional?) instances of foreshadowing and Seymour continuing the DWTS curse (her bout of food poisoning was only the latest in a rash of illnesses and family sicknesses to hit the cast and guests), it was as close to a Halloween trick of an episode of the show as you can get.

-- Claire Zulkey

(Photo courtesy ABC)