Didn’t They Almost Have It All (Episode 2-7A)

The season’s final elimination was also its most heartrending, as Lisa and Louis were sent home in the semifinal round of Dancing with the Stars. The couple’s tear-filled goodbyes distracted from the shock that Lisa’s companion in the bottom two was Stacy, who had been tied for first place after the judges voted on Thursday. The audience revealed its pecking order, and there’s a very good chance that the weakest dancer remaining, Jerry, may take home the trophy.

The show started with a recap of Thursday night’s performances. Drew and Stacy were both upset about some of the comments they received from the judges. Stacy believes that Carrie Ann has “had it in” for her from the beginning, and Drew recommended that Len take Viagra to remind him what passion is.

Drew and Cheryl earned an encore from the judges, and the couple dedicated their Rumba to Len. Drew acted less angry than he did last night, but his intensity was still there. If he could just keep those darned shoulders down…

Backstage, Samantha interviewed Stacy, Lisa, and Jerry about their performances. Jerry’s bringing back bad memories of Master P when he talks about his scores. He said the show was all about the fans, but that he still had love for the judges. He’d better not start mentioning disaster victims or the ‘hood.

Back on the dance floor, jazz singer Michael Bublé gave his first performance of the evening. Eliminated pros Nick Kosovich and Andrea Hale danced beautifully to the classic song, “Moondance.” Nick has shaved the facial hair he sported early in the season, and he now looks like he could be the suave brother of actor Bruce Campbell.

Following the performance, the judges evaluated each semi-finalist’s strengths and weaknesses.

Drew’s great footwork and volcanic performances have kept him near the top of the leaderboard, but he needs to finish his lines to move his dancing to the next level. While Stacy has the most natural ability, she’s still having trouble communicating the emotion of each dance. Jerry looks like a dancer, but he won’t be great until he masters his footwork and posture. Lisa’s energy and vulnerability make her a captivating performer whose moves only need a little polish to make her a 10.

When asked which celebrity has impressed them the most, each judge offered an opinion. Carrie Ann said that Drew’s well-crafted characters have won her over. Bruno called Lisa “Miss Most Improved,” and congratulated her for nailing the difficult Fox Trot. Like many of the fans at home, Jerry has impressed Len the most by being his favorite football player. Len didn’t have much to say about Jerry’s dancing, however.

For a change of pace, host Tom Bergeron put on his dancing shoes and performed the Quickstep. His professional partner, Ashly, was surprised that Tom chose the Quickstep, since it’s a challenging dance and he has no experience. But the lightness and fast pace of the dance suited their homage to Charlie Chaplin. The performance was filled with comedic bits, but never at the expense of the dance.

Next week, co-host Samantha Harris will take her own turn around the dance floor. She didn’t say who her partner is, but if there’s any justice in the world, it will be Max.

After Tom and Ashly danced, Michael Bublé returned to sing “Save the Last Dance for Me,” with a performance by Edyta and her professional partner, Alec Mazo. Alec and Edyta are engaged, and they danced their entire routine sporting the cheesy grins of a couple in love. The real thing can’t be faked.

In preparation for the dreaded elimination, viewers watched a montage of interviews with friends and families of the celebrities.

Jerry’s wife, Jackie, said that his dedication to dancing has added “oomph” to their marriage, as he frequently interrupts her while she cooks for an improptu dance. Lisa’s husband, Harry, talked about how all-consuming the competition has been for her. Hulk Hogan was proud of Stacy, and Steve Young was proud of Jerry. Nick Lachey made fun of the two-inch heels on his brother’s dance shoes, but teared up when he talked about his hopes for Drew. Stacy’s dad also got choked up when talking about her. And Ronnie Lott promised that, if Jerry won, he’d cry, too.

It was then time to announce the first two couples moving on to the finale. Drew & Cheryl and Jerry & Anna were pronounced safe. That left Stacy and Lisa shaking as they waited to hear which one of them would be sacked.

Lisa and Louis were announced as the eliminated couple, and Harry Hamlin looked on dejectedly from his seat in the audience. Lisa tried to stay upbeat even though she was crying, calling the experience one of the best of her life.

A touching video showed clips of the couple’s performances and interviews. As she watched, Lisa lit up each time Carrie Ann complimented her. The montage ended with a clip of Louis saying that Lisa will forever be his favorite student.

As the video ended, both Lisa and Louis were in tears. Lisa called Louis one of her soul mates, and he was too overcome with emotion to say anything.

Tom sent them onto the stage for what he called their last televised dance. The most insensitive final dance song yet began to play, and Louis and Lisa laughed as they danced to “Didn’t We Almost Have It All.” The camera stayed with them until the song finished, and Lisa ran to Harry, hugged him and said, “I love you.”

The way the camera stayed with Lisa until the end of the song showed just what producers thought she meant to Dancing with the Stars. Lisa’s enthusiasm made her very endearing, and everyone on the show seemed saddened by her departure. She can be proud of the impression she made on her fellow dancers and her fans at home.

Stacy and Drew should be very worried about next week’s finals. For Stacy to land in the bottom two this week, she needed to be dead last in audience votes. And for Jerry to stay, he needed to finish first with the audience.

Assuming that Jerry gets the lowest score from the judges next week, whoever finishes in first place needs to come in at least second in the audience votes. Because of her lack of fan support, Stacy’s obviously in the most trouble. But Drew and Cheryl need to finish first with the judges and hit every theme park in California to get the votes they need to win.

Next Thursday, the couples will perform their favorite dance from this season. If they choose the dances that earned the highest scores, Jerry will dance the Fox Trot and Drew will Tango. Stacy can pick between her two perfect scores, the Jive and the Samba. The smart choice might be the Jive because of its higher level of difficulty for her. Carrie Ann did tell Stacy to take more risks.

Couples will also be judged on a freestyle routine. I’m not sure what that entails, but I’m hoping that the Worm is a required element.