It's time to narrow the field to the final three. I think these episodes are really more about selling brand names and iTunes downloads than eliminating a couple (which takes all of about thirty seconds), but hey, who said commercials have to stay in the commercials? In a world of DVRs, you have to get creative. Bring on that AT&T Spotlight Performance!
Rob and Cheryl
Tom promises exclusive behind-the-scenes footage so that we'll ignore the fact we've mostly They got great scores. They were happy. What's so new and exclusive here?
They are… in the finals. Yay.
Next, we get a performance of "You Make Me Feel" by Cobra Starship, which is not a cover of the disco song by Sylvester. But, more importantly, it's a dance song, which results in a good dance routine by our pros, and who could ask for anything more than that?
Hope and Maks
More super secret footage which isn't all that insightful or new. Maks gave Hope some encouragement, she was trying her best, she didn't like getting straight sevens, blah blah blah.
Hope and Maks are… in jeopardy. Yeah, we're all pretty sure Hope and Maks are going home.
A timewaster segment titled Queer Eye for the Dance Guy (and Girl) -- Carson Kressley's back! There's no real advice to give here, as he's just showing up to be funny (and really, dance costumes are, in large part, a fashion don't. Carson buys fabric, he puts bronzer on Rob, it's all silly and a little pointless but it's good to see Carson back. Although I would have liked to see him put to better use than this, hey, at least it's not a clip segments during which the final couples tell us how HARD it is to be on the show, dancing for hours a day and only being able to squeeze in the occasional Swedish massage and fake tan! The horror!
Time for Derek and Anna to dance the Macy's Design a Dance, and I have to say that America picked well. The costumes are a little bondage-y, but they're better than plenty of the stuff we've seen on the stars this season, plus hey, Derek and Anna are dancing to "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. It's all good.
Next we get the AT&T Spotlight Performance (AT&T, plug, plug, plug). Kenny Wormald stars in "Footloose," but as a kid he was bullied for being a male dancer. He now offers encouraging advice to Kyle Scanlan, David Guzman, Matt Gilmore and Jacob Guzman, male dancers who were also were bullied. And now they get to dance on "DWTS" with hot professional female dancers. So suck it, bullies!
Muppets! Tom and Gonzo introduce the number, which I'm curious to see, since Tom did say something about dancing. Ah, the dancing is from a fleet of humans. But hey, you can't go wrong with Muppets (plugging their movie, but hey, Muppets).
Ricki and Derek
More not-really-new-and-exclusive behind-the-scenes footage. They danced. The judges loved it. Ricki was surprised to get a perfect score.
But wait, we have to watch J.R.'s package next...
J.R. and Karina
He kept is ankle elevated when he could. Maks tried to hypnotize J.R. with a mini mirror ball. J.R. was pissed when he couldn't do the last lift in his second dance, so he swore out of pain AND frustration.
J.R. and Karina are… still in jeopardy. Yeah, yeah, Hope's going home, we all know it. Ricki and Derek are going to the finals.
Hope and Maks are on stage with J.R. and Karina. Yeah, yeah, let's just cut to the chase, Tom!
The couple being eliminated one week shy of the finals is… Hope and Maks. She does not seem surprised. Really, who's sending J.R. home, injured or not? War hero, people, war hero.
Hope is grateful, it was an amazing opportunity. She's going to go try to win a gold medal this summer. That's a good goal. Maks thanks Hope for being determined and apologizes for not being better for her. Aw, shucks. Hope and Maks goof around on the dance floor, and I'm glad to see them getting along so well. I do think Hope improved quite a bit after Maks changed his approach with her, so all's well that ends well. Now we just have to wait until next week to see who wins the mirror ball -- J.R. or Ricki.