It’s the semi-finals of “DWTS” and everyone is competing as they’ve NEVER COMPETED BEFORE. Unless you count last week, and maybe the week before, and maybe that one time when they were on the track team in high school, and, well, never mind. Anyway, it’s the semi-finals and for some reason Bristol is still in the game, go figure. Since tonight’s show is just an hour and a half, we’d better hop to it, as we don’t want to miss a single minute of trumped-up backstage drama, lame scripted humor or, you know, dancing.

[Full recap of Monday's (Nov. 15) "Dancing with the Stars" after the break...]

 
Brandy and Maks
 
Brandy’s worried she won’t make it to the finals because Kyle is so loved and Jennifer is Baby and Bristol is so nice and zzzzz…I seriously doubt Brandy isn’t going to make it to the finals, unless voters hold this kind of fake pandering for votes against her.
 
This is a clever, emotional routine that gives Brandy a chance to work out any issues she has with Maks. But it isn’t as fiery at the end as I hoped it would be, which may have more to do with the lackluster music choice and less to do with Brandy. I’ve got to say, she looks polished on the dance floor and acts her little heart out, which works particularly well for this paso doble, even if it sags by the end.
 
Len loved the attack. Bruno thought Brandy danced like a fury. Carrie Ann thought Brandy was connected to her character. They liked it, but I don’t sense they loved it.
 
Brandy tells Brooke that the dance is dedicated to anyone who’s been bullied. Wow, anti-bullying is so trendy!
 
Scores: 9, 9 and 9. Brandy says this feels great, but you know she’s secretly thinking, dammit, I wanted straight TENS.
 
 
Jennifer and Derek
 
Jennifer is so excited to do a cha-cha-cha she seems to have completely forgotten that she’s FIFTY and her knees are screwed up and she feels like hell. While her perkiness makes me think she might have been able to man up a little earlier in the competition, it’s nice to see she’s no longer grimacing and clutching injured body parts.
 
And it’s also nice to see a performance like this. It’s fun, it’s saucy, and Jennifer nails it. Really, you’d never think she was not only fifty, but dancing injured. She really may win this thing.
 
Bruno thought it was vibrant and flawless. Carrie Ann was not disappointed. Len thought it was an achievement. The judges are all kinds of excited.
 
Scores: straight 10s. Yup, Jennifer is looking good for the finals.
 
 
Bristol and Mark
 
Mark tells Bristol people aren’t voting for her because of her mom, but because she’s just a regular girl. Because that’s what I look for in performers and celebrities – not just the girl next door, but the shy, somewhat boring girl next door who isn’t particularly talented but makes a decent effort. Really, I’d love to see my middle-aged next door neighbor schlumping around the dance floor, because that’s my definition of entertainment.
 
That being said, Bristol does a nice job with this dance. Not amazing, not professional level, not stunning, but nice. I don’t dislike Bristol at all and I think she’s done a great job for someone who has no performing experience and is a reluctant public figure at best, but I do think she’s several rungs below Brandy and Jennifer, and while she’s closer to Kyle, he wipes the floor with her as a performer.  
 
But the judges are just giddy with excitement over Bristol’s performance. Carrie Ann hugs her. Len points out Bristol has been in the bottom two six weeks, but says it was her best dance. Bruno says she did the beautiful flamenco Spanish lines the judges had been waiting for.
 
Scores: 9, 9 and 9. This was good, yes, but was it really as good as Brandy’s performance? Just saying.
 
 
Kyle and Lacey
 
Man-child Kyle (Lacey’s words, not mine) is a kidtender! Kyle always seems to be in such a good mood. Even if he tends to act like Lacey’s dorky little brother who still likes fart jokes.
 
Even for someone who still seems to be such an oversized kid, Kyle has really brought it. He shakes what his mama gave him and then some, and he seems to love every minute. I’m not sure if technically he’s better than Bristol, but he’s  much more enjoyable to watch.
 
Len says he loves that there are no backstage histrionics (was that a dig at Brandy and Jennifer?) and likes his bionic bum. Bruno thought he was irresistible. Carrie Ann has never seen so much pelvic action. I didn’t want to know this about Carrie Ann, but apparently this is a good thing.
 
Scores: 10, 9 and 10.
 
 
Brandy and Maks
 
Hey, Whitney Houston! Oh, wait, let’s get back to Brandy’s bio segment. She was an overnight success, and then she wasn’t, and then she got into a bad car accident, though it was proven not to be her fault. And she looks to “DWTS” as her rebirth, which makes me think she’s putting a little too much faith in the power of “DWTS.”
 
Yet again, Brandy puts her heart and soul into another killer performance. Yes, her yapping about wanting to WIN does get to be a bit much, but the results are pretty darn impressive.
 
Len thought her extensions were fantastic, as was her acting. Bruno thought it was full of flavor, which sounds like she’s a piece of chewing gum. Carrie Ann said it was gorgeous.
 
Scores: 10, 10 and 10.
 
 
Jennifer and Derek
 
Brandy was in a horrible car accident, but so was Jennifer, except Jennifer wasn’t behind the wheel and Matthew Broderick was, so a little different. Unfortunately, the accident left Jennifer with a bad neck, but she wanted to do “DWTS” so badly that, after many decades of living with a creaky neck, she finally has surgery to prop it up so that she can get through a season of dancing. Jeez, Jennifer, glad you did it but it really took “DWTS” to get you to the doctor?
 
But hey, it all pays off. This is a gorgeous, fluid, graceful waltz. I really don’t know who should win at this point, as I think it could easily go to either Jennifer, Brandy or Kyle depending on what their final routines are. This is going to be some finale.
 
Bruno says it was stunning. Carrie Ann says she saw Jennifer’s soul. Len thought it was fabulous. And Jamie Lee Curtis cries in the audience, so you know it was good.
 
Scores: straight 10s! Well, maybe Jennifer is the one to beat next week after all.  
 
 
Bristol and Tony
 
Now, a closer look at Bristol. She wanted to play football as a teenager! She was a golden child! Then, Levi Johnston showed up and ruined everything. Damn that Levi Johnston! I’m not saying it wasn’t hard for her to be a pregnant teenager when her mom was running for office, but I do find it a little amusing that she’s now preaching abstinence to teenagers in a “do as I say, not as I did” kind of way. Which, really, proves she’s already a pro at parenting, when you think about it.
 
This is yet another pretty decent performance from Bristol, but she looks a bit glazed over, almost doll-like. But then, I’d be bored dancing the waltz, too.
 
Carrie Ann says she was expressionless. Len thought it was haunting. Bruno thought she was a woman of mystery. So, the next time I stare blankly into space trying to remember my grocery list, I hope people look at me and think I’m enticingly enigmatic.
 
Scores: 8. 9 and 9
 
 
Kyle and Lacey
 
As a kid, Kyle liked to dress up like a pimp, if we’re to judge by old pictures. And he’s pals with Louis Gossett Jr. And his mom sacrificed everything to get him into Hollywood, which either means she’s a great mom or a stage mom, and there’s just no way of knowing unless Kyle ends up in rehab.
 
Kyle should wear black military jackets all the time, because he looks twenty pounds thinner in this outfit. This is a pretty sharp tango, and Kyle is tearing up the floor. For such a cuddly guy, he’s got plenty of attitude. Some of his flicks look a little awkward, but hey, he moves extremely well for a sorta chubby guy.
 
Len thinks he’s a star. Bruno says he’s the season’s Mr. Charisma. Carrie Ann says he reminds her of Emmitt Smith.
 
Scores: 10. 9 and 10. Alright, Kyle!
 
So, it’s down to the final three next week, and I’m guessing the final two will be those old favorites Brandy and Jennifer with Kyle right behind them, but there’s really no way of knowing with Bulletproof Bristol still in the running. The only thing we can guess is that everyone will be rehearsing far too hard to win a stupid mirror ball trophy, but at least they get free dance lessons and a paycheck.
 
Who do you think will make the final three? Do you think Brandy and Jennifer’s emotional bio segments will win them votes or hurt them? Do you think Bristol will survive?