Details after the jump ...
(Marie is the first one declared safe, Mel the second, Helio third. Jennie's gone. Live blog below.)
Following the show as it unfolds. My guess is that it will be structured for maximum suspense, with the end of the hour having a really good couple (Mel or Helio) paired with a less-good (Marie or Jennie) before the elimination is announced. And any final three that does not include Helio and Mel B will be a travesty.
Padding the first: Recap and scoreboard.
Padding the second: Encore dance. Jennie's cha cha! Len talks about what a breakthrough it was. And shows like this love the journey -- the dancers who aren't great and then get better. Helio was good out of the box, Marie and Mel have previous experience, so Jennie's the best journey story. Not sure if it means anything in the results; could be she's a sensation, could be that they wanted her to have a last big showcase before she goes home.
Good thing they're not voting after tonight's show; she and Derek were much better at this last night.
Padding the third: Avril Lavigne sings "Hot." How desperate must she be? I don't see the "DWTS" imprimatur as helping her youthcult image. Song's kind of catchy, though, especially when I don't look at her glammed-up but not very expressive face during the tune. Here's the music video:
Bergeron promises she will be back later in the show. So very Ed Sullivan-with-the-Beatles. And yet, not.
Padding the fourth: Samantha chats with the contestants. Jennie says "I love everyone here and I'll miss everybody." Mel says they're like a family. I think that makes Marie the cousin who can't stop cracking jokes even though they're never funny and the rest of the family wishes would shut up.
Padding the fifth: Those crowd reactions that I never find spontaneous or believable.
First safe dancer: Marie. Ick-a-mundo. Then Jennie better be the one going home. I have a bad feeling. I should have stopped watching when they booted Sabrina.
After a commercial, Samantha chats with Marie and Jonathan. Zzzzzzzz.
Padding the sixth: Kenny Mayne intros an alleged comedy bit about "dance rehab." With Lisa Rinna, Harry Hamlin, Laila Ali, Tucker Carlson. More zzzzzzz. Lisa Rinna just looks gross.
Padding the seventh: Michael Flatley and associates. Close-order step-dancing in uniforms. Much laudatory crowd noise which I find about as convincing as those crowd reactions mentioned above. I suspect Flatley, or Riverdance, had a routine much like this a decade ago, only done in different costumes.
Padding the eighth: Media types (meaning for the most part stars of entertainment-magazine shows) talking about how fabulous the show has been this season.
Padding the ninth: More Avril Lavigne. "Complicated." Remember those bygone days of 2002, Avril? With a dance by Sabrina and Mark. Remember when you weren't background music for a Cheetah Girl, Avril?
Consider this the extended argument for the sheer insanity of the people who didn't think Sabrina should have gone to the finals. My goodness.
Padding the double-digited: Remaining contestants talk about how fabulously suspenseful this is, and why people love them. Jennie mentions the journey! Marie brings wisdom, Mel brings fun (Maks says "she has the most natural ability to dance." Hmmm?), Helio brings energy.
Next one safe: Mel. OK. And, as I suspected, one great and one not-great remain in jeopardy. And we'll see if the audience prefers the journey to the ability after the commercial ...
Padding the 11th: The judges talk before the final result is announced. Carrie Ann says she wants to see more of Jennie, Bruno calls Helio a natural performer, Len says he wants the best dancers in the finals so neither should leave -- but if only one stays, it's Helio.
Final result: Jennie's out. OK.
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