Credit: WENN.com Photo: A Look of Disgust
The producers and Tom Bergeron are finally ready to admit that, as much as they bring ratings, The Situation and Bristol Palin are just not going to go that much further in the competition, six-pack abs and famous mother notwithstanding. But everyone loves Jennifer Grey, Audrina’s pretty good, and Brandy’s looking better and better when she doesn’t dislike Maks as much. So, now it’s just time to figure out which of the remaining bottom tier candidates is headed for his or her final dance.

The stars gathered back on the round for yet another uncharacteristically classy dress from Brooke Burke and the initial round of eliminations starring Jennifer & Derek, Audrina & Tony and Jennifer & Derek. Audrina was nervous, Brandy was excited, and Jennifer was in pain last night, but everyone danced well. Duh: they were all safe.

Then it was time for the encore dance — and time for the judges to stop faking. Jennifer & Derek danced again — with a slightly different and sexier opener than last night. If Jennifer was still in pain, it was hard to tell (except that she seemed, perhaps, slightly less enthused after tonight’s performance than last night’s), because it was still sharp, it was still sexy, and it still made us want to Tango.

Then it was time for a medley of the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” and “Not Broken” — really, a medley? Is this American Idol now? At least they mixed up the harmonies from the album version, and Chelsie’s dancing wasn’t too distracting? But, boy, was the second, non-competing couple distractingly terrible — go Chelsie, you kicked the anonymous dancer’s butt.

Backstage, Kyle seemed pretty secure that he was coming back next week to do yet another slow dance, while Bristol whined that the scores were unfair because she was improving and Mark backed her up. When Brooke Burke is not the person we roll our eyes at during these interviews, Bristol, it’s time to zip it. You’re no Michael Bolton.

In order to prove that Len was, indeed, unfair when he complained about Mark’s shirt-removal last night — he said, “You don’t see me up there taking my shirt off,” — Tom rolled tape of the late and definitely unlamented Dance Center parody in which Len, indeed, removed his shirt. Way to sully the image of Mark sans shirt for the audience, Tom Bergeron.

In recapping last night’s performances, Bristol, at least, acknowledged the dichotomy between being a paid abstinence educator and getting on the stage in her underwear to perform a dance “about sex and stuff.” Kyle & Lacey, at least, were still joking around backstage and off-camera, though she dinged him for getting too much adrenaline going and not being smooth enough. And, finally, it was time for their results: Kyle & Lacey were safe, but Bristol & Mark were in jeopardy.

And then it was time to check on Rick & Cheryl and Kurt & Anna. Kurt said he just wanted to perform better — and find some way to get over his hands. Rick had been feeling the machismo before his performance that he sadly didn’t actually bring to the dance. Rick shaved his ‘stache in order to find out that he and Cheryl were safe, but Kurt & Anna were in jeopardy.

In a sign that they need to make the results show shorter, it was time for the second long-form “comedy” sketch — this time, starring Len on How To Get a Ten. He explained that he gives a point for showing up, 2 points for moving one’s right foot, and 3 points for moving one’s left, thereby explaining why he was so upset with Bruno’s 3-pointer earlier this season. He gives 4 points just for getting through the dance, and 5 for some level of musicality. He’’ll give a 6 for potential — which, in his mind, is showing any improvement. A 7 requires chemistry and improvement; and getting an 8 requires confidence, no props and a real dance. Nine is the point where “we split the pretenders from the contenders” — and added that a 9 from him is usually a 10 from Bruno and Carrie Ann. A 10 requires technique, personality, chemistry, and performance.

Then, it was time for a profession group to Tango — introduced by Brooke who had to talk over Tom telling one of the assembled contestants behind him, “Stop squeezing my a**.” From the laughs, we’re pretty certain it was Florence. Then some people we don’t care about from a Broadway show we’ve never heard of Tangoed. And, after a commercial, Florence + the Machine sang “Dog Day Are Over” while people danced weirdly on mini-round stages — probably the most song-appropriate choreography of the season.

Backstage with Florence & Corky and The Situation & Karina, Florence said she’d gotten nothing but positive feedback, while The Situation laughed at the mere thought that the judges had been fair to his dance last night. Then there was a recap of Florence’s sexiness and The Situation’s crap-tastic “performance.” The Situation was pretty pissed about the scoring. Florence & Corky were, obviously, safe. And The Situation & Karina were, even more obviously, in jeopardy.

After another segment designed to waste even more time, they brought the three couples who remain in jeopardy on stage: Kurt & Anna, Bristol & Mark and The Situation & Karina. While Tom explained to each couple why they were there, The Situation flexed his pecs for everyone to see. It was quite the situation. But, Kurt & Anna were safe — and so were Bristol & Mark.

That, then, left The Situation to say his goodbyes. Tom asked him why he seemed different on the show than on Jersey Shore and he admitted that it was pretty highly edited. His final package made him seem goofy and sweet... and then they played him off before anyone even came out to hug him goodbye.