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'Dancing With the Stars' results: Fight to the finish

October 14, 2009 | 12:41 am
117790_5655_pre In a week where the women soared and many of the men fell by the wayside, it was gentle giant Chuck Liddell who ended up with the short end of the voting stick and was two-stepped out of the competition. And while mixed martial arts fighter Chuck had a couple more judges’ votes than Michael Irvin and Louie Vito, it was pretty clear the Ultimate Fighting champ had reached his plateau, dance-wise. I mean, where else can you go after ruffled sleeves?

It was another Tuesday-night episode that was lite on the filler. The encore performance was not Joanna Krupa and Derek’s raunchy lambada, as Len so cheekily asserted on Monday, but Melissa Joan Hart and Mark’s star-making Charleston, complete with mustache and black-and-white grain film (and a wayward lock of Melissa’s hair that flapped distractingly a half-beat behind her). Pros Cheryl, Edyta, Karina, Dmitry, Alec and Louis performed a snappy Argentine tango/paso doble medley as a preview of what’s to come next week. And while it’s always a pleasure to see the pros perform, particularly when the capes are turned into skirts, couldn’t they have done this last week with the unfamiliar bolero, two-step, lambada and the Charleston?

Grammy-winner Shakira performed twice. First up was “Did It Again,” a single from her latest album that featured awesome traditional Korean drums and allowed the Colombian singer to flex her limber back muscles. She then performed her crowd-pleasing hit “Hips Don’t Lie,” complete with belly dancers, and didn’t even do a costume change in between!

Keeping the stars grounded and down to earth are their kids, who got highlighted in a pre-taped clip. And while they were super-cute and served their intended awww purpose, did anyone else think it was weird that a whole clip was devoted to offspring, when only four of the contestants -- Melissa Joan Hart, Chuck Liddell, Michael Irvin and Mark Dacascos -- had them? 

The next clip, about the stress of competition and impending elimination, was at least more all-inclusive. But man, was it fraught with tension. All the frustrated stares, bickering and stony silence during rehearsals left me feeling that maybe this wasn’t such a fun show to be on, after all. Sure, the producers tried to liven it up with shots of Nerf guns, but ultimately, it left me knotted in one big ball of nerves.

Which brought us to the impending elimination. Which seemed to be drawn out to the point of torture. Aaron Carter and Karina were singled out as one of the bottom two couples early on in the program and had to endure the rest of the hour marked for death in an unflattering red light, only to be joined much, much later by Chuck and Anna. Aaron appeared as though he was about to toss his cookies by hour's end. Anna, however, looked like she was over it every time the camera panned her way (which was only slightly better than Lacey’s oddly-pursed fish lips), so maybe it was good that she and Chuck were put of their misery.

What did you think? Did the right person go home this week? Was Louie’s backstage comment of “At least I’m not crying” a direct dig at Aaron? Which is a better nickname for Chuck: Bear or hippo?

-- Allyssa Lee

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Photo: Anna Trebunskaya and Chuck Liddell. Credit: ABC / Adam Larkey

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