Credit: WENN.com Photo: Bristol and Mark Week 9
As tonight's Dancing with the Stars results show opened, we steeled ourselves for what we expected would be the inevitable (and, we daresay, so did Tom Bergeron): that last nights performances — and the effects of Operation Bristol — would take out either Jennifer, Brandy, or Kyle. Brandy looked brutally nervous, Jennifer looked calm and collected, Kyle looked decent and Bristol actually looked comfortable, which probably didn't help Brandy's nerves.

For the encore, the judges asked to see Brandy & Maks' Argentine Tango. Dare we say: it was more sultry and more amazing than last night? We do. It was tremendous: tight, hot, well performed, and it certainly upped our heart rate for the second time — especially, we should add, the cheek kiss at the end.

Then it was time to — despite it being too early — listen to Annie Lennox's "Universal Child" from her Christmas album. Sigh. At least it wasn't that Christmas-y? The dancing — which we're pretty sure wasn't put together by the producers — was far more traditional modern dance than anything really resembling ballroom, which was okay.

However, having not made us hate the first musical act, it was time to waste some time talking about how hard the the competition for the stars. Bristol felt she came out of her shell; Kyle didn't love working out; Jennifer learned to accept her limitations; and Brandy had to get through the emotional roller coaster.

Finally, it was time to talk some results, but only for Jennifer & Derek. First, a look back at last night; then a commercial break; and finally, the news that they received the most votes ever last night for this stage of the competition ever. But after more than the customary pause, Tom Bergeron told them they were going to the finals.

The backstage banter that followed was pretty terrible, but Derek & Cheryl's Jive to Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock And Roll To Me" was super-adorable and didn't make us hate waiting. (Producers, please take note: more of that, less of the boring filler!) Then it was time to bring back Annie Lennox and dancers to perform "Little Bird," in yet another performance that was beautifully more modern than ballroom (if still a little literal but, hey, it was network television).

Then it was time for the pros to critiques the dancers: all the pros thought Kyle was an amazing performer. Lacey thought Bristol was peaking but Derek said she needed to connect to the dance emotionally from the inside out. Maks was a big Jennifer fan, but Mark thought Jennifer's injuries could hurt her in the final. Derek said Brandy's performance background was clear, and Lacey thought she worked really hard for her performances — but Mark said "it comes across sometimes that she wants it too bad," because that was not underminery at all.

Then it was time to give Kyle & Lacey some results, and to watch them be so cute backstage: Lacey being all encouraging first backstage and then just before the Tango when she said, "You're a sexy man in your sexy pants and you're going to do a sexy dance." We completely loved Lacey after that. We're also stealing that line. Kyle & Lacey, too, were told they were safe.

Then it was time for my mom's favorite Latin singer (Ricky Martin, eat your heart out!): Enrique Iglesias, performing "I Like It" with the world's craziest Autotuning whammy pedal.  Louis, Damian, Kim, and Cheryl took to the floor with two pros to do Louis' choreography, which has been pretty spectacular this season.

It was then time to review Bristol & Mark: they did great for the Paso, but despite Mark telling Bristol that he loved her and to enjoy the waltz, she didn't. Backstage, they slagged on the judges for not liking their waltz and Bristol expressed a desire for a 10. Brandy & Maks seemed to enjoy their performance, and expressed that they trusted each other backstage. But before anyone could fulfill their dreams it was, of course, time to fulfill the advertisers' fantasies.

Len said that Brandy had impressed him every week and that no one had the journey Bristol has experienced in 11 seasons. Then, they revealed who was headed home: Brandy and Maks.

The audience didn't stop booing until well into their goodbye package. Bruno expressed shock and disappointment, and asked Brandy to nonetheless perform her freestyle next Tuesday. Their package made Brandy cry, leaving them without a final dance together.

More on Bristol's Surprise Success:
How Operation Bristol Could Hurt DWTS AND Sarah Palin
Are Conservatives Cheating the DWTS Voting System?
Why Bristol Palin Will Win DWTS Season 11