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Dancing with the Stars Episode Recap: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Date April 17, 2012

Dancing with the Stars cuts another couple — with the help of the first Dance Duel of the season. Which two couples had to perform for their lives?

Ah, the Dance Duel, aka the judges' arbitrary way to keep their favorites! You know they're kicking themselves over not introducing it last week to save Sherri.

Maria and Derek get the encore. Len says they could've chosen any couple for it, which is a lie.  But twist! Derek kisses Carrie Ann instead and Maria macks with Bruno, which means his wish to join in has been granted. Sycophants!

First three safe couples:
Maria and Derek
Melissa and Maks
Gladys and Tristan — she obviously can't miss Motown Night next week!

That means two of the three lowest-scoring couples are safe, and my night would be made if Gavin makes another great escape because how hilarious would it be if they are actually forced to pick between two front-runners?

Train performs and all I can think about is Pat Monahan's nauseating explanation of how he named his son Rock. Warning: May cause severe eye-rolling. This kicks off, like, 20 minutes of performances (Macy's Stars of Dance, Selena Gomez) and commercials. Are we even gonna have enough time for a dance duel?

Next safe couples:
William and Cheryl
Katherine and Mark.
Donald and Peta

Gavin, good sport that he is, predicted last night that he will be in the bottom two. I'm gonna miss this dude.

Next safe couple:
Roshon and Chelsie

That means Gavin and Karina, and Jaleel and Kym will be in the Dance Duel. Here's how it works: Both couples will perform the same dance, the cha-cha — which they've practiced all night — side by side to the same music, and the judges will select who goes and who stays. Jaleel starts singing when Tom questions him, which is basically insult to injury to Gavin at this point. Let the pro handle it.

"We've got a couple steps down. ... Jaleel's more talented than I am," Gavin quips. Seriously, gonna miss you, Gavin.

Also: Is anyone surprised Jaleel's in the bottom two? Yay? Nay? I'm the latter. I'm sure he lost a few votes or hundreds after his blow-up at Kym and weird Urkel/Urquelle meltdown two weeks ago. Plus, he had an average performance last night and went first, which basically means "pack your bags."

Dance Duel
Split screen! I have no idea where to look. It helps when Gavin nearly twirls Karina into Kym. Jaleel is clearly the better, smoother dancer, but Gavin holds his own in his quirkily endearing way, though it's mostly maypole dancing. The judges shower both couples with praise, which is just a waste of time since they're gonna pick Jaleel and Kym. And they do.

So that means Gavin and Karina are gone.

"It's been amazing being part of the show," Gavin says.  

Bye, Gavin! It's been real! And you're awesome. And you should totally come back and do packages or even better, co-host. The show could use more awesome weirdness like yours. And thanks for letting us see what's underneath the hats.

What did you think? Did you like the Dance Duel or did it give you a headache? Did Gavin deserve the boot? Were you surprised Jaleel was in the bottom two? Will Maria and Derek not be stopped until they make out with the whole cast? Who's your current pick to win?

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Dancing with the Stars cuts another couple — with the help of the first Dance Duel of the season. Which two couples had to perform for their lives?

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