The second elimination episode of this seasons's Dancing With The Stars did not, thanks to the Presidential Address - have the usual liberty of being preceded by a whole hour of recapping (which, even f or reality television, is pushing it).  So it began with a much more conservative ten minute rehash - from Steve-O's stumble to Denise's pathetic performance to Bruno calling Steve Wozniak's performance "the worst ever" (and you need more, head to ABC.com!)

Tom & Samantha remind us that - in an attempt to tear a few viewers away from American Idol - the elimination episode now comes complete with a "dance off," in which the bottom two re-dance the previous night's performance in an attempt to win higher marks from the judges (the home voters' tallies don't change, however).

[Full recap after the break...]

The first four couples not put to that task? Melissa & Tony, Gilles & Cheryl, Shawn & Mark.. and here comes a bit of a shock: Steve Wozniak & Karina Smirnoff.  Karina squeals as we learn that the home voters obviously are eating up Wozniak's charming inability to dance. The lowest score since season two (a 10!) somehow put him in the ranks of the top three couples.  He admits the only time he's been more shocked was "when he was served with divorce papers."

There's no surprises with the next four: Lawrence & Edyta, David & Kim, Chuck & Julianne (ugh), and Lil' Kim & Derek (yay!), leaving the three lowest non-Wozniak scorers - Steve-O & Lacey, Holly & Dmitry, and Denise & Maksim - to face the potential of a "dance off" alongside Ty & Chelsey, who I assume received very few home votes due to Ty's non-celebrity and ridiculous dullness.  My guess is that it's gonna be a battle of the sluts: Denise vs. Holly. Who home-votes for a slut? People are bound to feel sorry for injured, fresh-outta-rehab Steve-O and Ty's at least got the cowboy vote... but Denise and Holly?

But before we find out, it's filler time:

First, we have Cloris Leachman's "guest appearance" in some bizarre parody of a vintage dancing how-to commercial, complete with fake grainy film reel.  I can only hope Ms. Leachman received some 

Then.. Hall & Oates, which I can at least say are a huge step up from last week's first act Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. 

And finally... wait, am I gonna have to actually glance up from my computer? It's Adele, doing a lovely rendition of "Chasing Pavements." However, it feels significantly wrong watching this being "interpreted" via two barely dressed dancers (the woman doing the splits in her sparkly bikini). Adele... I know this is good exposure, but...

Wait, it's not "finally" after all: We're getting an explanation of the concept of the "dance off" by various contestants! 

35 minutes into the damn show, we finally learn the bottom two. Steve-O & Lacey: Safe!  Holly & Dmitry: Bottom two!  Ty & Chelsie: Safe!!

Yes! It's a skank-off! I totally called it. Except now I'm kind of concerned I'm losing one of my best shots at half-decent jokes next week. Either way, here we go:

Holly & Dmitry

After ANOTHER recap, they take the floor to repeat their samba (and Holly repeats her intensely busty red bikini number).  I'm not seeing a huge improvement. Holly still seems incredibly unaware of what she should be doing, nervously watching Dmitry's every move to see what she should be up to. Len and Carrie Ann both seem to totally disagree me, while Bruno just goes on about hot she is without really giving any positive or negative.

Score:  18 (that's one up from last night)

 

Denise & Maksim

In the prep video, Denise takes charge: "I think we should definitely rehearse before tomorrow." Ya think, Denise? I hate to give Ms. Richards a compliment, but it seems like it pays off.  It's nothing amazing, but her & Maksim's samba is so much better than Holly & Dmitry's. Denise seems to be actually TRYING, unlike any performance she's given so far on the show. All three of the judges overwhelmingly agree, and tell her she deserves to stay. 

Score:  20 (that's FOUR up from last night

So it's down to this. The home votes are added to the judge's new scores, and joining Belinda Carlise back in obscurity is... Denise & Max! Wow, America hates Denise Richards even more than I thought. She doesn't appear to really care (all contestants that don't make the top 3 make the same $200,000, so she must be just happy with this easy money).

See ya next week..