''Dancing With the Stars'': Elimination shocker
At 9:42 p.m. last night, world-renowned prognosticator Samantha Harris declared, ''You won't want to miss a second of tonight's surprising elimination.'' It was an exercise in verbal coherence for the ages, something we likely won't witness again all season. Moments later, Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan, the onetime season 5 front-runner, was eliminated. Not even her ''baby'' Mark Ballas' warm embrace could diminish the total shock in the studio. Carrie Ann whimpered, Bruno had ''WTF'' outstretched hands, and DANCMSTR just stood there, imagining himself in his underwear. it was a mess!
Cheers to the very talented Sabrina for posing the biggest threat to the rest of the dancers each week. Even though sometimes we liked to roll our eyes at her, complain that she dances professionally for a living, and then call her orange, she was the most technically proficient star out there and, in an ideal competition, shouldn't have gone home before the final 4.
But let's be honest: This has never been an ideal competition. It's a ridiculous popularity contest governed by rules no one really gets and (maybe only until now) no one has seriously questioned. I'm shocked at last night's outcome, but not that upset. Every week I've felt the same way about Sabrina: She's the best dancer out there, but she's simply not my favorite contestant. I never vote, but I'm guessing this is the chief reason people didn't vote for her. Look at the last two DWTS winners — Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno both exhibited an increasing amount of ''aw shucks, maybe I can dance after all'' attitude throughout the competition, and it charmed the hell out of voters. Sabrina displayed none of that attitude because duh, how could she? As DANCMSTR pointed out last week, her strength was that she had no weaknesses. What? No discernible weakness? Off with her head!
Anyway, not enough people voted for her. Big deal. The show must go on. They give the people what they want!
Speaking of that, assuming the whole point of putting Sabrina on the show was to cross-promote the Disney Channel and ABC for as long as possible, is anyone else shocked not necessarily at the Cheetah Girl's ouster but at the fact that the vote tabulation on this show isn't fixed? I know I'm not the only one who's wondered if at the end of each Tuesday's show, some old guy wearing a suit submits a competitor's name according to his whim and that's that. (I think the same thing about Idol. I know — I'm too cynical. It's a job requirement.)
Ooh, or, the tabulations really are fixed, and ABC employees are currently laughing all the way to the vending machines, where everybody is talking about this show. Yes, I refuse to use the term w-a-t-e-r-c-o-o-l-e-r; besides, it's Halloween and w-a-t-e-r-c-o-o-l-e-r-s don't contain candy.
Whether you dug Sabrina or not, you have to admit that her technical prowess (I almost just wrote ''prowl-ness'' — also appropriate) would have made the rest of the season more exciting. She was always the flashy one, the dancer to beat. Now what? Will our stars fight to the death to grin more widely than Helio, or out-''elegant'' Jane? In case I fall asleep, can one of you wake me up when the season's over? Just replace my pillow with a family-size bag of Cheetos, and I'll be all set to recap the finale.
Nah, just kidding. I'm confident in the final 6's ability to keep me entertained and Bruno turned on. Cameron in a thong should help. In fact, expect the show to be 85 percent gimmick instead of its usual 70 percent from here on out.
NEXT: There's something about Barry Manilow