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'Dancing With the Stars': Shannon Elizabeth eliminated

April 29, 2008 | 10:01 pm

Dwts_7_20080429Well, despite their best efforts to show that they’d undergone a complete attitude revolution, Shannon Elizabeth and partner Derek got the ax this week.  If you’re a celebrity on, let’s say, the D through B-minus lists, and you’re considering signing up to be a "Dancing With the Stars" contestant in the future, let this be a lesson to you: Do not violate the sacred "DWTS" ethos of peppy persistence.  You might want to start practicing the following lines now: (1) "We’re just having such a blast," (2) " 'DWTS' has changed my life" and (3) "You just have to go out there and give it your best shot."  Granted, these are necessary but not sufficient –- otherwise, Steve Guttenberg would still be with us.

I’ll hand it to the "DWTS" people this week: They really made the most of Cristián de la Fuente’s injury.  Instead of engineered and flimsy suspense, there was engineered and palpable suspense.  Would Cristián wait to find out his fate, or would he drop out?  First, we learned more about the injury itself.  Partner Cheryl said she’d heard a pop, which she initially thought was her dress (and, hey, kudos to her for not freaking out that she had been inadvertently denuded), but it turned out to be Cristián’s arm.  Eventually, we found out from Cristián that his injury was not a “severe muscle cramp,” as the emergency medical technician had (perhaps condescendingly) called it, but rather a ruptured tendon in his bicep that would require surgery.  Co-host Tom Bergeron asked whether Cristián wanted to continue competing (if fate would permit it), and I found that I was actually a little on the edge of my seat.  Maybe this was because Tom had already tantalizingly told us that some new information had come in just before the show.  It turned out that the new information was that the doctor could delay the surgery if Cristián wanted to continue, which he did.  Now, you already know that he was spared this week –- he wasn’t even in the bottom two –- so I can’t re-create that moment here.  It will be interesting to see a couple of things going forward: First, how long the sympathy card will keep him in competition, and second, how well he can dance without using his left bicep.  I find I use my bicep for numerous actions each day, including lifting my child, drinking coffee and/or cocktails, and clocking anyone who dares insinuate that "DWTS" is for sissies.  It strikes me that you really need your biceps in ballroom dancing, particularly when you’re the man.

The other couple in the bottom two was Marissa Jaret Winokur and partner Tony, despite their strong scores from the judges this week.  I wonder whether all of those fans keeping Marissa in the game shifted their support to Cristián this week.  I also wonder whether the fact that Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark finished second this week wasn’t actually a good thing for them in that it may have forced people to vote for them instead of assuming they’d easily go through to next week.  Discuss.

The musical guest this week was Def Leppard, which performed the classic “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” as well as a song from their new album.  All I can say about Def Leppard is that I remember their videos from early MTV, which is the last era in which I regularly watched MTV.  Oh, JJ Jackson, where are you now?  Oops.

We also had an installment of DanceCenter, starring Kenny Mayne, Jerry Rice and Len Goodman.  They analyzed each contestant, and I’ll hit the high points, which mostly came in the outtakes we saw.  First, we see Mario singing a ballad to judge Carrie Ann.  Second, we see Shannon swatting Derek in the crotch (spitefully, not as part of foreplay).  Third, we see/hear Jason Taylor farting during rehearsals.  The other interesting part of this bit was that Kenny remarked that Kristi looked like a “China doll” and Jerry referred to her as “Kristi Yamahoochie.”  Seriously, can they get away with this?  For one thing, I’m sure Yamaguchi is a Japanese name.  This confidence comes from having taken two years of college Japanese.  I can also analyze "Mr. Roboto."

The other filler was about how every day of the week is stressful for the stars for different reasons.  No shockers there.  Next Tuesday, in the 100th episode celebration, we get an extra hour of filler, but this one sounds good: The judges will name the top 10 dances from the first five seasons. 

So we’re down to five contenders.  Would anyone like to make any predictions about the order they go out in?