"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Season 11, Week 2 Elimination

Last night’s elimination wasn’t surprising, but it was a tense show nonetheless. After judge Bruno Tonioli gave Michael Bolton the smack down Monday night—he gave the smooth crooner and partner Chelsie Hightower a 3 (!) and said, amongst other things, ”It was probably the worse jive we’ve seen in 11 seasons”—last night resumed with Bruno vs. Bolton round two and special guest fighter Len Goodman.

Despite a lot of barely-concealed aggression, last night still offered some lighter, more enjoyable moments. Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer danced an encore of their high-energy quick step. You’ve got to give it to Kyle: He’s giving this competition his all and he’s got the ballroom attitude (cocked-eyebrow-and-all) down pat.

Janelle Monáe performed her single “Tightrope.” If you just experienced déja vu, that’s because Monáe sang this same song this summer on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Much to my dismay, she performed an abbreviated version of this catchy soul-pop tune last night. But at least she brought along her dancers, a dapper bunch who slip and slide around any dance floor. (If you haven’t watched the “Tightrope” video, do it. Now.)

Seal, aka Mr. Heidi Klum, also performed his new single “Weight of My Mistakes.” It was, um, drowsy. Sorry, Seal.

Hey, ya’ know what? Someone at “DWTS” reads Dance Spirit! Or, at least, that’s my guess. In the October issue, we talked to dancers about their pre-performance rituals (check out our story here). And last night, “DWTS” did the same thing, talking to all the pros about how they prepare for performance night. Here’s what we learned: Derek stashes his socks in the fridge to keep them cool, Cheryl Burke slathers hand sanitizer on her armpits and Corky Ballas smells the dance floor.

Apparently, “the press” reported that the crowd booed Sarah Palin Monday night, who was in the audience to watch Bristol perform. But no, that’s not what happened. The crowd was responding to Jennifer Grey’s score, which they felt should have been higher than triple 8s. To clear things up, they showed some footage which didn’t really clear things up at all. Whatever. Leave it to Sarah Palin to steal Bristol’s spotlight.

Okay, now onto the Bruno/Bolton battle. Tom Bergeron ignited the first sparks when he asked the judges about Bruno’s comments. Bruno vehemently defended himself, Len disagreed, arguing that Bruno wasn’t encouraging enough. Len and Bruno went back and forth, and I thought (hoped?) the guys were going to roll up their sleeves and throw some punches. Carrie Ann looked really, really uncomfortable.

Later in the show, Brooke Burke interviewed Bolton in the celebraquarium (thank Bergeron for that apt description). Brooke asked Bolton how he was feeling. He said he felt great, then added, “I think Bruno was inappropriate and disrespectful.” Yikes! Brooke’s on-the-spot response? “ I like the attitude!”

Finally, the hammer came down and Bolton was eliminated. He stepped up to the mike to say his farewells. His eyes kept darting over to the judges table, giving Bruno evil laser glances. He said he was disappointed in his score last night. Leave it to Tom Bergeron to turn things around by asking Bolton about the cast camaraderie. What would we do without you Tommy B.?

We’re so sad Chelsie Hightower’s time on the show was cut short. However, despite the Bruno debacle of 2010, we agree Bolton was the weakest contender. What do you think? Did they send the right person home?

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