''Dancing With the Stars'' recap: Down to three
Farewells, congrats, and bushels full of sparkly confetti to Marissa Jaret Winokur, the bubbly contestant nobody ever expected to make it to the final four. The Broadway star's unrelenting enthusiasm for all things Dancing With the Stars kind of unnerved me at first, but overall she's been a positive force on the show and the chief conspirator behind the Triumphant Return of Tony (and Tony's Teeth). Bottom line: Marissa's nice, and it's cute that dancing made her feel sexy, but the final four is much better off without her. Remember when Marissa promised that she and Tony would show up in the audience next week if they got eliminated? She said it like a threat, followed by a resounding ''Ha ha ha!'' But really, most of the people watching (except the thousands of Lucy Lawless/Xena fans who kept voting for Marissa) were thinking, ''No, it's not funny! Please be in the audience next week. Thanks.'' You know Marissa will have a ball in the audience — just being involved with the show in any way still seems like a dream to her, which is pretty endearing.
DANCMSTR chose Kristi and Mark's tango for this week's encore. I liked it a lot better this time because she (obviously) seemed more relaxed, and Mark limited his mouth-pop count to an extremely respectable 1.5. My little guppy's made so much progress this season! When he finished on the floor, red socks a-blazin' and with a completely closed mouth, I got almost as choked up as Tom did after Sam asked Jason and Cristián about their ''budding bromance'' backstage. The host with the most also called Kristi and Mark out on their adorably random nose bump at the end of the encore.
God, I love Tom. Sometimes, like right now, he deserves his own one-line paragraph...
...and then continued adoration in the next! One of my favorite parts in the Ballroom Kids segments this season has been Tom's kneeling interviews at the end of the wee ones' dances. Last night he even waddled backstage on his knees. Aaron and Rashell's cha-cha segment was very sharp, the only negative being Aaron's innocent but disarming desire to be on television and DANCMSTR's lingering visual of the children: ''Your little bums were flying everywhere.'' Jaryd and Cara danced a cheeky samba, before which I let out a delighted gasp at the same time as those two little ''gremlins'' when Maks strode into their practice room. (Maks is all about the fashion hats in 2008, huh?)
NEXT: The ''Phantom'' menace