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'Dancing With the Stars' results recap: Adios, Gavin DeGraw

April 18, 2012 |  4:00 am

Kym Johnson and Jaleel White
We all knew it was coming, didn’t we “Dancing With the Stars” fans? The day when singer, songwriter and part-time psychic Gavin DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff would have to walk the ballroom plank, be loosed from the ballroom and into the shining sea. We knew it. The judges knew it. Heck, even he knew it.

Though no doubt the producers were hoping for something more dramatic for their much-touted, first-ever Dance Duel. In it, the bottom two couples would dance side by side to the same tune, and the judges would ultimately decide who they wanted to keep in the competition, and who they wanted to leave this “spray tan love fest.” It would be a surefire way to prevent any of the higher-scored stars from being sent home too early.

This week’s Dance Duel, however, was not that suspenseful.

Perhaps because anyone who watched any part of this season knows that Gavin was one of the lower-scoring contestants throughout the competition. And the fact that judges gave him that death sentence score of 19 for his wayward samba on Monday night already put him on the plank.

Hats off, though, to Gavin for gamely going through with the Dance Duel cha cha to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” alongside fellow bottom-dwellers Jaleel White and Kym Johnson, even though he knew he was swimming in Alcatraz-like shark-infested waters. And for handling himself admirably. Obviously, Gavin’s dance skills weren’t up to snuff. And obviously, Jaleel’s the better dancer (which is why the erstwhile Urkel received the judges’ unanimous vote). But Gavin seemed so much more likable than his brooding Dance Duel competitor. And it was clear that he and his many-layered hat collection would be missed: Did you catch that great big bear hug that Gavin shared with Donald Driver after his final dance? So sweet! If only it had it been a singing competition, after all.

Karina Smirnoff and Gavin DeGrawBut the show must go on. The results hour kicked off with Len introducing Maria and Derek’s canary-yellow salsa as the Latin Week encore performance. Though if he was hoping to see that kiss again between the two, he was in for some disappointment. In fact, Len was the only one of the three judges that didn’t get any love during the performance (which felt smoother this second time around), when instead of pecking one another, Derek and Maria planted a big one on Carrie Ann and Bruno, respectively, instead.

Grammy-winning Train came to the stage, singing their upbeat “Drive By” while Louis Van Amstel and Cheryl Burke killed it on the dance floor. Fellow “DWTS” perennial Selena Gomez and the Scene appeared as well, with a performance of her fizzy pop single “Hit the Lights” (boyfriend Justin Bieber, meanwhile, appeared on “The Voice”).

The Macy’s Stars of Dance performance kept with the Latin theme, with a “hot celebration of Latin dances” choreographed by Liz Imperio featuring stellar drumming by percussionist Sheila E. It was a fiesta that started with great big flying capoeira leaps and had ladies in bright dresses with lots of fringe and bounce and one dancer in particular with a red feather headdress so massive it later threatened to consume her.

What did you think, ballroom fans? Did the right star go home? Do you like the Dance Duel? How excited are you to hear some Motown next week?

—Allyssa Lee 

Related:

‘Dancing With the Stars’ recap: Latin Night turns up the heat

Complete ‘Dancing With the Stars’ coverage on Show Tracker

‘Dancing With the Stars’ results recap: Sherri Shepherd eliminated

Top photo of Kym Johnson and Jaleel White. Credit: Adam Taylor / ABC

Photo of Karina Smirnoff and Gavin DeGraw. Credit: Adam Taylor / ABC

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