Credit: WENN.com Photo: Kurt & Anna Week 8
Bristol, having a limited number of regrets about participating in this show given how far she came despite her middling skills, can have one: her mom telling the producers and Tom Bergeron that her nickname was “Bristol The Pistol.” Because, of course, tonight marked the second show this week that they opened with a joke about her nickname and its deadly implications for the front-runners. Really, Tom Bergeron?

Then it was time for the encore dance, for which the judges chose Kyle & Lacey’s “instant dance” jive. They definitely polished it up a bunch since last night in terms of the transitions and the end and, although Kyle let a little looser with his arms than Len would have liked in a judged performance, it was still high-energy, his footwork was still excellent, and the whole thing remained very, very watchable. As they made the transition back to Tom and Brooke, you could see Kyle panting after the dance and Lacey looking proud. So cute! Then they showed that, last night backstage, Kyle dedicated his performance — except for the butt-slap he gave Lacey — to his mom. And we thought we liked him before!

Finally, it was time to tell the duo of cuteness their fate: Kyle & Lacey were, of course, safe.

Time for the first installment of Dance Center, with Len, Kenny Mayne, and Jerry Rice. Kenny took the center position in a sparkly black top, while Jerry — as is his wont — went with a more flamboyant yellow-and-pink chest-baring number with a pink bindi on his right cheek as an accessory. Len wore a boring suit. On closer inspection, as they mocked Kurt, it appeared Kenny, too, had a small, clear bindi on his right cheek, making it hard for them to tell a joke worse than that. There were lot of terrible jokes about Kyle and Bristol that don’t bear repeating, but just so’s you know, they did tell them. We just focused on the bindis and tried to get through it.

Taio Cruz had the misfortune to follow that, but at least he was singing “Dynomite,” which Dance Center was not. Cheslie, Tony, Louis, and Kim danced with two unnamed professionals to Louis’ choreography, and it was soon over and time for John Legend and The Roots to perform “Wake Up.” They, too, made the fatal mistake of not bringing their own dancers, leading Maks and Tony to take the floor with Chelsie and Cheryl.

Then it was time to hear about the fates of Jennifer & Derek and Kurt & Anna. Jennifer & Derek (and their first perfect score of season) were safe. But Kurt & Anna, of course, were told they remained in jeopardy.

Backstage, Brooke Burke decided to talk to Maks about his fight with Carrie Ann over their instant dance last night: he apologized to the fans for distracting from the performances last night, but he did not apologize to Carrie Ann. Helpful! To make up for the bitterness, the producers brought in two tween couples and a tween piano virtuoso to perform Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti.” Whatevs: there are Mama Grizzlies watching.

John Legend and The Roots came back to perform “Ordinary People” and Mark decided to remind people how good he looks dancing with a good partner he doesn’t have to perform around. But just to ruin that moment, they brought Dance Center back for a second round. Kenny and Jerry held a fake intervention for Len over his love of Brandy (get it? her name is a kind of liquor! Har-har), then made fun of Jennifer Grey badly before finally managing to make a funny by revealing they were wearing big skirts under the desk.

Onstage, Brandy & Maks and Bristol & Mark learned their fates — and we learned that Maks was cursing backstage and mad that Brandy was marked down for his choreography, as though that doesn’t happen every season. Bristol & Mark were, of course, safe — and Brandy & Maks were told they were in jeopardy.

When they returned from commercial, Brandy & Maks and Kurt & Anna waited to hear who was going home. They had to wait to hear from the judges: Bruno said that the competition would lose a gentleman if Kurt went home. Carrie Ann repeated that she expected to see Brandy in the finals — and then told Maks and the other professionals that she’s always respected all of them and hoped Maks “would let it go.” He said he had let it go while making the face that meant he totally hadn’t, and Brandy tried to cover his mouth to shut him up. Go Brandy!

Kurt & Anna were obviously the ones let go because the competition isn’t that messed up (yet — just wait until next week). Brandy looked like she was about to puke as she hugged them goodbye. Kurt thanked his wife, his “seven wonderful kids,” and Anna, and said he’d appreciated the fans and the ability to participate, and went out as classy as he came in. The remaining contestants, and the audience, chanted “MVP!” as he and Anna shared a last dance, and it was clear as he competitors took the floor to wish him well that he was beloved by dancers and contestants alike. Goodbye, Kurt. We noticed that Bristol was the last person to hug you, too.