The Drama Dial was turned up to "11" tonight on Dancing with the Stars as we had both Cristian’s injury and an elimination to contend with. Cue ominous music!


In the recap of last night, during Shannon & Derek’s first confessional they apologized for the 80th time for overreacting last week. I think the excess apologizing is more irritating than the initial jerkiness. During Cristian’s injury portion, Cheryl mentions that she "heard a crack." Um. Not good. Tony hopes it was just a muscle pull and Marissa, like me, doesn’t think that’s all it is. Also, Jason further proves himself to be awesome by dedicating his Paso Doble to him in the confessional. His dancing may be uneven but he’s always a classy guy.

After the breeak, Len introduces Jason & Edyta’s Quickstep as the encore dance. Instead of throwing papers in the air at the end of the dance, Jason blows a kiss to Carrie Ann and runs over to do a half-handstand.

In an interesting twist, Len announces that since there have been so many borderline lifts (and I’m sure taking into consideration how many accidental lifts have occurred), each couple will have the option of including one lift per dance provided it’s "within the character of the dance." Fascinating. It’s then revealed that the first couple safe is Kristi & Mark.

Back from more commercials, we’re treated to the return of "DanceCenter." Kenny Maynes and Jerry Rice are joined by Len as they examine the final 6 competitors. Kenny’s wearing all kinds of eye make-up, including some rhinestone action. Good times. They take a look at Mario, Shannon and Cristian first. Shannon is 5’9…she seems taller but maybe that’s because of her occasional gawkiness.

Next up, Def Leppard performs "Pour Some Sugar On Me" with three pairs of professionals dancing the Paso Doble. And they’re totally lip-syncing.

After a word from our sponsors and a throw-away Samantha Harris interview, "DanceCenter" returns and looks at Kristi, Marissa and Jason. This half was far more ridiculous than the first. Tom Bergeron was laughing somewhat uncontrollably at the segment. Composing himself, he reveals the Mario & Karina are the next couple that is safe.

Def Leppard returns with their new single "Nine Lives" as World Rhythm champs Jose Decamps and Joanna Zacharewicz dance. Her costume has this cool feather-bustle thing on it. I like it. Mental note for Halloween.  As the camera pans back to Tom and Samantha, I realize just how big her hair is. I mean, wow.

To kill time as the hosts make it back to the floor, we get a segment that takes us through the steps that lead up to the show from rehearsal to camera blocking to show day. Afterwards, the remaining four couples stand across the stage and their status is reviewed dramatically as…we go to another commercial break. Bleh.

With 3 minutes to go, they bring down Cristian & Cheryl to ask about his arm. He ruptured a tendon in his bicep (!) and, after an MRI, he’s discovered he needs an operation. If he makes it through the next round, the doctor will push the surgery back because he wants to take the risk and continue dancing. Which he will – they’re safe.

The first couple in the Bottom Two is Marissa & Tony. Jason & Edyta are safe which puts Shannon & Derek in the bottom as well.

And, after much ballyhoo, it’s time for Shannon to leave us. She holds it together through the interview well but she starts crying when the final dance starts. The song? "I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself" by Dusty Springfield.

Are you glad to see Shannon go? Are we concerned about Cristian’s arm? I kind of am. What do you think about the lift allowance?

Posted by:Tamara Brooks