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‘Dancing With the Stars’: Marissa Jaret Winokur’s time runs out

May 13, 2008 | 10:01 pm

Dwts_9_2_20080514The results show this week got me a little misty-eyed, most notably during the “Thriller” tribute, which made me think of how productive Michael Jackson could have been if he hadn’t gotten so weird.  But I also got a little choked up when, at the end, we took a “video trip down memory lane” with Marissa Jaret Winokur and Tony, who had just (or finally, depending upon your perspective) been eliminated.  Oh, Marissa, I will miss your ebullient personality, which gave me so many opportunities to use the word “ebullient.”

The bulk of this week’s filler was particularly enjoyable because it actually involved dancing.  The dancing kids who had been chosen in weeks past all came together tonight to compete; co-host Tom Bergeron made sure to note that we were to vote for the “most entertaining” pair, which is a key qualifier since the eldest couple, Brandon and Brittany, were clearly the best.  They performed an extremely fast, sharp and difficult-looking paso doble to “Phantom of the Opera.”  I don’t know what you’d call them, but the moves were elaborate and impressive, and Tom pointed out that all three of the judges’ jaws dropped.  Judge Bruno called it a “paso incredible,” judge Carrie Ann was “seriously impressed” and judge Len called it the “real deal,” in contrast to the other two couples, who were merely, if persuasively, cute.  Okay, that’s selling them short –- they were also good, just not quite as good.  Jaryd and Cara remained strong competitors by being extremely little during their samba to “Istanbul, Not Constantinople,” and Aaron and Rashell, while less little, did come across as very charming during their cha-cha to “Please Mr. Postman.”  We’ll find out the winner of that competition next week, but co-host Samantha Harris did reveal that all six kids and their families will get a trip to Disneyland!

The Macy’s Stars of Dance performance tonight was a tribute to “Thriller” on its 25th anniversary.  This involved a dance choreographed by Travis Payne, a medley sung by Omarion and many, many dancers.  I found it highly entertaining, and I’ll give Omarion credit for his dance moves as well.  One of the dancers –- a woman with a brown bob -– did seem to be phoning it in, but the rest of them were very sharp. 

The final bit of filler was a sequence in which the semifinalists vogued around a deserted warehouse that looked like the sort of place where Jack Bauer might torture somebody to find out where the device that will set off the briefcase nuke is hidden.  Each semifinalist described what made the others formidable competitors.  Here’s the quick rundown.  Jason Taylor: Kristi Yamaguchi thinks he’s macho, Cristián de la Fuente thinks he’s competitive because he plays football and Marissa calls him Goliath.  Marissa: Cristián calls her a performer, Kristi says she has the public on her side and Jason calls her a fierce competitor.  Kristi: Marissa says she hasn’t buckled under the weight of high expectations, Cristián says competitiveness runs through her veins and Jason calls her flawless.  Cristián: Kristi says he brings the heat, Marissa points out he’s come so far and Jason says he’s tough.  Also that he loves him.  Okay, he didn’t say that, but you could totally tell. 

After her elimination, Marissa said the experience was incredible and she complimented Tony profusely.  We then watched the aforementioned video, and when it cut back to the live show, Marissa was hugging Samantha tightly.  Tony said he couldn’t be prouder of Marissa.  Actually, he said “more proud,” but I corrected him.  Goodbye, Marissa!  We’ll miss your enthusiasm and, of course, your ebullience.

Next week, Usher will perform during the results show.  Any predictions as to who will take home the mirrored-ball trophy?

-- Sarah Rogers