It’s the 200th show week of “DWTS,” which sounds fairly dramatic until you realize that just means the show’s been on the air for five years. And eleven seasons. Remember when seasons were roughly the same as calendar years? This is starting to hurt my head, but let’s just say, “Dancing,” big hit, yay.

 

[Full recap of Monday's (Nov. 1) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]
 
Oh, I love this. Tom asks all the former contestants in the audience to stand up, and I’m realizing that I can’t remember who about thirty percent of them are. And I’m not sure if I remembered who they were even when those particular seasons were underway. But come on, there are always a few weird, random D-listers plopped into each season, so it’s not like I’m brain damaged or anything.
 
For tonight’s episodes, everyone is divided into teams. Or, I should say, every couple. And the team captains are returning champs Kristi Yamaguchi and Apolo Ohno. Who are both gold medalists. Kristi gets Rick & Cheryl, Bristol & Mark and Kyle & Lacey. Apolo gets everyone else. Seriously, who cares? Why are we dividing people into teams anyway? Can’t we just see some dancing?
 
Anyway, Kristi’s team is working on the cha-cha. Lots of fake, canned drama here as they rehearse. Anyway, they finally dance, although by this point I’m praying for a commercial. Thankfully, it’s a good routine.
 
Rick and Cheryl – Rick actually looks pretty smooth dancing the cha-cha (or, I should say, cha-cha-cha, but that’s one cha too many, if you ask me).
 
Bristol and Mark – Bristol does not look pretty smooth dancing the cha-cha. The beginning works, then the middle falls apart, then she recovers slightly, and finally the whole thing gets messy. It’s been fun with Bristol, but really, time to go back to Alaska.
 
Kyle and Lacey – Gotta say, Kyle has ended up in the bottom far more than he has deserved to. He’s having fun and he’s a bit of a ham, but that works on this show.
 
Len tells the team they’re underdogs, but have put up quite a fight. Bruno thought Bristol kept up, but muffed some steps. Carrie Ann thinks the group dance was well-choreographed and Rick delivered. Basically, they’re trying to say everyone did fairly well except for Bristol.
 
Scores: 8, 8 and 8. Kristi is very proud of her team. Like she cares about a fake contest on a reality TV show. The girl’s got Olympic medals, I mean, come on.
 
So, on to team Apolo. Jennifer tells everyone she has to take a break every two hours on doctor’s orders. Because she’s 50. She tells Apolo she feels like crap, and he tells her to work harder. Apolo is not 50, so he isn’t exactly compassionate. But I do feel like Jennifer is playing that old lady card a little hard. I mean, Florence didn’t whine and she had more than twenty years on Jennifer. Anyway, Jennifer and the rest of her team hits the dance floor.
 
Kurt and Anna – Kurt can, actually, bust a move, but then he gets into dorky middle-aged white man territory and there’s no digging him out. But really, the cha-cha stuff was not bad.
 
Brandy and Maks – Brandy is looking like the frontrunner these days because, while Jennifer is complaining about her 50-year-old bones, Brandy looks like one of the pros on the show.
 
Jennifer and Derek – Jennifer, as usual, looks good, but she blows a few steps. Which she’ll probably blame on being 50.
 
Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann notes that everyone worked in unison. Len thought everyone upped their games. They’re
 
Scores: 9, 9 and 9. Well, team Apolo won. Big whoop. I mean, Kristi got stuck with Bristol. She never had a chance.
 
 
Kyle and Lacey
 
Mel B. is the guest judge for Kyle and Lacey’s paso doble. And Mel B. is a little curvier than she was when she was on the show, though she still looks good. And we learn that she was the firs person to squeeze Tom’s butt on the show.
 
Lacey is worried that the paso doble is everything Kyle is not, which is a nice way of saying Kyle is not the sexiest guy around. Which is confirmed when he starts making farting noises during rehearsal and has fake muscle lines drawn on his chubby chest.
 
And yeah, she’s not wrong. He’s dancing up a storm, but sexy this is not. But I guess you can’t really judge the kid for looking like a happy, semi-obese cartoon character, so really, good job.
 
Len, though, says this is Kyle’s best dance. Mel B. says he was sexy and blew her away, and she is very kind. Bruno says he was an untamed young bull but needed to keep his shoulders down. Carrie Ann thought he performed the hell out of it. Um, okay.

Scores: 10, 9, 8 and 8. Wow, not bad for a very unsexy sexy dance.
 
 
Kurt and Anna
 
Emmitt Smith will be judging Kurt and Anna’s take on the tango. He hopes Kurt can improve on his “awful” tango, but really, Emmit shouldn’t get his hopes up. I like Kurt, but Emmitt won the whole shebang, and I kind of doubt Kurt’s going that far.
 
Maybe it’s because we’ve just seen Emmitt’s tango, which wasn’t very good but was very intense, but this is not my favorite dance from Kurt. Where Emmitt looked intense, Kurt just looks irritated, like he’s stuck in traffic and has to use the bathroom. His posture, which is always a problem, isn’t so great, either. But his footwork seems pretty solid. Eh, it could be worse.
 
Bruno thinks he was stronger and more confident than last week, but thinks his posture was iffy. Carrie thought he brought his own character to it. Emmit says he thought the technique was perfect and if Kurt stuck his neck out, it was because of football. Oh, Emmitt, you softy. Len thought it was sharp and had drama.
 
Scores: 10, 8, 8 and 8. Not bad. Brooke asks Kurt if he feels pressure to perform given that NFL players have done well on “DWTS.” Kurt says he’s just a slow, old white guy, but he’s doing his best. I know he doesn’t mean it, but Kurt, that’s dangerously close to saying black people have rhythm, so maybe don’t say that again.
 
 
Bristol and Mark
 
Next, it’s Kelly Osbourne’s turn, and we get to see how much weight she’s lost. Kelly says she’s impressed by Bristol, because she’s working her ass off and isn’t a performer. Kind of like, um, her.
 
Mark and Bristol think about how they could make it to the finals. Oh lord, really? How many votes is this girl getting? Mark informs Bristol she needs to emote instead of looking like a brain-eating zombie.
 
It’s the Viennese waltz and it’s not horrible, but it’s not that great, either. It’s true, she is dancing her ass off, but Kelly’s other comment that Bristol is not a performer also holds true. Zombie face still intact.
 
Carrie says Bristol is still detached and compares her to a pigeon and a swan or something aviary. Kelly tells Bristol she had big shoes to fill, and she’s not trying to be funny so it’s just pure solipsism, but finally she gets back to Bristol and says that she did a fantastic job. Len thought the footwork was good. Bruno thought she was pretty in pink. Great, Bruno.
 
Scores: 9, 8, 8 and 8. Brooke asks Bristol if she thinks she can go as far as Kelly. Bristol says she’d be happy to go half as far, which is the appropriate response, as that would be a whole lotta lucky.
 
 
Rick and Cheryl
 
Helio Castroneves makes it all about him by noting that he wasn’t happy about Len calling him the Bananaman. But he’s looking for fast footwork and fun from Rick.
 
Rick is inspired by Helio’s sense of fun. So his girlfriend Eliza Dushku drops by to make him feel the fun. Wow, I didn’t even know they were dating, but cute couple. All this time I thought she was either sitting in the audience to plug her new show or because she’s a dance freak.
 
Instead of being the Bananaman, Rick channels the Jolly Green Giant in a green zoot suit. His quickstep is not at Helio’s level, and I’m guessing that’s because Rick is about a foot taller than Helios, but it’s good. Rick really does seem to be having fun, so letting Eliza Dushku wrap her legs around his waist in rehearsal was probably useful.
 
Len thought it was good. Bruno thought it was Rick’s best performance. Helio thought it was incredible and thought Cheryl was smart to steal some of the choreography from his dance. Carrie thought it was his best dance by far. Lotsa love.
 
Scores: 10, 9, 9 and 9. Didn’t see straight nines coming, but good for him.
 
Helio apparently has taken off before Tom can thank him. Awkward!
 
 
Brandy and Maks
 
Gilles Marini is back, looking dapper. Which gets Carrie all kinds of excited. Gilles wants to see if Brandy can take charge in her foxtrot. I want to see more of Gilles, really, which means I have to start watching “Brothers and Sisters,” I guess. Though maybe he’s not that hot.
 
Brandy tells Maks she want to win more than anyone else. She feels like there’s been so much failure in her life, she wants some sunshine. Maks tells her if she wants that sunshine she has to bring some fire to this dance. Brandy tells him not to make fun of her. And really, he shouldn’t, because girl seems a little unhinged. She does realize no one remembers who won “DWTS” after about two seasons, right?
 
But if being a little unhinged inspires her to dance phenomenally well, then, I guess it’s okay, because this is a great performance.
 
Bruno thought it was driven by relentless eroticism. But there was a mistake, and I can’t really understand what he’s saying – was it a lift? It must have been pretty minor, because this dance looked great. Gilles thought it was unreal. Carrie thought it was great, but said Brandy shouldn’t wince when she makes a mistake. Len chastises Bruno and Carrie for carping about the mistake when they’d just seen the best foxtrot ever on the show. Whoa, what’s gotten into Len?
 
Scores: 9, 9, 10 and 9. Brandy looks like she’s going to cry or pass out. She’s shocked Len gave her a ten. Brooke asks Brandy if she wants to win now more than ever. Stupid question.
 
 
Jennifer and Derek
 
Drew Lachey returns to share a faux gay lovey dovey moment with Tom. And to show us Cheryl’s old hair, which I really do like better.
 
Jennifer’s segment involves her going to the doctor, who tells her to pace herself. Derek admits he forgets she’s 50. I do, too, because really, she looks 35. And then she cries because her body can’t do what she’s asking it to do. And she’s beginning to doubt she can get through the entire series. Okay, this may win the sympathy of the judges and/or voters, but if Jennifer was hoping to parlay “DWTS” into another gig, she’s shooting herself in the foot big time. If you’re going to go through all the trouble to look amazing at 50 (and let’s face it, that’s work, people; no one has genes that are that good), don’t let on that you’re feeling like a little old lady, even if you are.
 
This looks pretty flawless, but she actually does seem tired. But, even if she does feel old and worn out, she really is neck and neck with Brandy for top dancer in this competition. May we all dance this well at her age.
 
Carrie Ann thought she blew the doors off. Len thought there was tension, passion and attack. Drew thought the musicality was amazing and her lines were beautiful. Bruno calls her a phoenix rising from the ashes. So, safe to guess no sixes this week.
 
Scores: 10, 9, 9 and 9. Jennifer says the relentlessness of the show is exhausting, but she says the fun outweighs it all. And someone else can feed her kid dinner. I’m not even making that up. Jennifer may be on painkillers, just saying.
 
 
Brandy and Jennifer are at the top of the board, while Bristol is at the bottom. I know, it’s been cute watching Bristol make goofy faces and showing brief glimmers of talent before muffing her steps and staring vacantly into space like a broken doll. But come on, it’s time for her to go. And, unfortunately, Kurt, Rick and Kyle may not be far behind. This show is really about Brandy and Jennifer facing off in the finale, isn’t it?
 
Who do you think should go home? Who do you think will? Do you think Jennifer is whining about her old bones or really suffering?