Well, we had Melissa popping out of her costume Monday night, Ty indicating that a little hip-swaying leads to benefits at home, a Gilles/Cheryl performance that was very hot, an awesome turn from Shawn -- and I speed-watched the whole thing this morning -- and still, at the end I was ticked off.
As I have said before, the show seems to be in the bag for Melissa -- for example, giving her 7's for a walk-through when she was injured -- and tonight's exultant perfect-30 finish was undeserved unless you're determined to keep her not only on the show but in first place. (That 30 ensured that she outpointed the 56's for Gilles and Shawn.) I just don't see her performance as being better than Shawn's second dance (which got a 29) or either of Gilles' (29, 27). The problem with Melissa is that, even when she does the steps, she lacks charisma; compare the intense sexiness of Gilles' second dance to the grin-and-move of Melissa on her second dance. Speaking as a confident heterosexual*, I think that Gilles and Cheryl were the hottest couple on "DWTS" since ... well, since Gilles and Cheryl a few weeks ago.
Of course, the major purpose of last night's show was to send Ty home, since nothing short of a viewer-vote tsunami is going to make him win this thing. The judges tried not to overdog him, making a lot of comments about how likable he is, but still tagged him with a 46 total, and achieving that by hitting him with a 21 on his second dance -- the lowest single score of the night, as we learned once Channel 5 came back late from a local commercial insert; that put him 6 total points behind fourth-place Lil' Kim (25, 27).
I have no argument about Ty going home. He deserves to. Any of the other four has demonstrated an ability to win the championship, and the next couple of weeks could be a dramatic confrontation. But I always worry about fan bases, and he may have a strong one. (Since we never get viewer-vote percentages, there's no clear way of knowing.) I wouldn't be surprised to see him somehow survive at the expense of Lil' Kim, since she doesn't seem to have generated the same enthusiasm as Shawn, Melissa and Gilles. That would be awful, of course, since he is a much worse dancer, and I expect that Ty is done. But weird things can happen when the audience has a say.
*See the classic "Rustlers' Rhapsody." And thank you, Hugh Wilson.
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