Nobody Puts Georgie in a Corner (Episode 2-6A)

George was saved from another painful week of dancing when he was eliminated tonight from Dancing with the Stars. Time for him to check into a Beverly Hills spa for some rest and recuperation.

Lisa and Louis kicked off the show with an encore performance of their Quickstep. Judge Len was most impressed by Lisa’s continued improvement, and he commended Louis and all of the other pros for their hard work. Bruno gave Stacy credit for her well executed Jive, the dance that should be the hardest for her, given her long legs. Carrie Ann gave Jerry’s ego a boost for showing so much commitment in his passionate Paso Doble.

After the encore, co-host Samantha Harris briefly reviewed Thursday night’s performances with the stars who received the lowest scores from the judges, George and Jerry. George said that, if he made it through to next week, he honestly wasn’t sure he’d be physically capable of performing two solo dances. Jerry assured Samantha that scoring in the bottom two was a part of his plan. Everyone roots for the underdog, after all.

Tonight’s first musical performance of the night was by Natasha Bedingfield, whom I’ve never heard of. Her song was uninspiring and made me long for The Pussycat Dolls.

Backstage, Samantha interviewed last night’s perfect tens, Stacy and Drew. The interview was interrupted when George offered Stacy a ring and proposed marriage. She wore the ring for the rest of the show.

Following the proposal, the first pretaped segment of the night highlighted some of the aches and pains suffered by the celebrities. Jerry said that if a move doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right. All of them had blisters and bruises after practicing 6-8 hours per day. Lisa and Stacy touted dancing as the world’s best weight loss method; even Jerry and Drew have slimmed down. And thanks to all of his training, George has pecs of steel.

When the show resumed broadcasting live footage, six of my beloved Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s students performed a Jive exhibition. Sergey Onik & Michelle Glazarov, Boris Leokumovich & Nicole Volynets, and Valentin Chmerkovskiy & Valeriya Kozharinova are some of the top young talents in the world. It doesn’t hurt that all of the guys look like miniature versions of Max. Seeing how easy the girls made dancing look made me curse my parents for not pushing me into dancing as a kid. I could’ve been in Riverdance, Mom!

Valentin Chmerkovskiy is Max’s little brother, and he and his partner performed on the PBS show, America’s Ballroom Challenge, as well. (That show reairs in the Chicago area Saturday night at 10 on WTTW.) Follow this link to read an article written about Valentin shortly after the PBS performance was filmed.

The big celebrity performance of the night was Bill Medley, who sang “Time of My Life” accompanied by his daughter. Tony and Cheryl perfomed the original choreography from Dirty Dancing, which was a welcome distraction from Medley’s raspy singing. Near the end of the song, the student dancers came back out to participate.

Before the voting results were announced, a pretaped segment examined the challenges faced by the professional dancers. Louis knows better than most that the pros have many roles: teacher, coach, therapist. During her interviews, his partner, Lisa, wore a shirt that read “In between crying.” For Tony, the reward is seeing Stacy turn into great dancer.

Jerry & Anna, Drew & Cheryl, and Stacy & Tony were the first couples announced to move on to the semi-finals, leaving George & Edyta and Lisa & Louis in the bottom two. George and Edyta were all smiles as their names were announced as the next couple to go home, and both spoke affectionately about each other. Host Tom Bergeron asked, given George’s fondness for Edyta, how could he keep hitting on Stacy? George responded by begging America to vote for his future wife, Stacy, next week.

With only two weeks remaining, the four best couples remain. Can Lisa and Jerry raise their games to compete with Drew and Stacy? And if they can’t, will it still be satisfying if one of them wins the trophy solely on the basis of popularity?