(Spoiler alert: Do not read on if you have not yet seen Week 8’s “Dynamic Duos” theme episode of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”)
We are about two weeks away from this show getting exciting again. As it stands, there is such a disparity between the top of the heap and the stragglers that there’s no real thrill. We know — or at least we hope we know — that one of the weaker men in the competition will go home each week. And we know — or at least we hope we know — that Alfonso Ribeiro and the ladies will impress each week … and be safe.
As it should be, so it has been for weeks. And this week proved no different. The only solace is in knowing that we’re finally running out of the chaff. That means we’re on the cusp of a real competition. This week, only Tommy Chong and Michael Waltrip remained of the weaker dancers.
As expected, and hoped, it was one of them who got sent home. Michael Waltrip, who was easily the worst performer on the show, rode the backs of the NASCAR loyal to a 7th place finish with his professional partner Emma Slater.
“It was a chance to do something that was more emotional than it was physical, to get to experience the wonderful cast, to get to know Emma’s heart and who she is as a person,” Waltrip said after his elimination. “I’m happy I got to be here and sad I have to go.”
Tommy Chong, who bested Waltrip’s score of 25 points by a single point this week, was the last celebrity to be called safe. But he and his partner Peta Murgatroyd are probably in big trouble next week.
The next closest score to his 26 was Lea Thompson and Artem Chigvintsev’s 32 point total. The night also saw another perfect score, and it was a repeat for Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, who first achieved the feat back in Week 3.
For her top score, Parrish earned an extra three points and immunity from elimination. The rest of the dancers competed in dance-offs for the extra three points. Those winners were Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson, Bethany Mota and Derek Hough, and Chong and Murgatroyd. For the record, it was Waltrip that Chong beat in this dance-off.
Check out Parrish’s flawless contemporary routine in the video below, and other performances from the night here.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.