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Image: Bristol Palin, Mark Ballas
After Monday night's flawed ape jive, Bristol Palin's time on "Dancing With the Stars" may be coming to an end.
TODAY contributor
updated 10/18/2010 11:29:45 PM ET 2010-10-19T03:29:45

The official “Dancing With the Stars” theme for week five of the competition was TV tunes, which meant each of the celebrity hoofers moved to the music that makes opening credits a bit more bearable.

The unofficial theme was more of the same, which meant last week’s elimination of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino didn’t really raise the ballroom bar by much.

Not that it was immediately evident. After all, Monday night’s show didn’t begin with the latest performances. For the first half-hour, fans hoping for “Dancing With the Stars” were instead treated to “Talking With the Judges,” wherein Len Goodman and the gang offered up some long-winded critiques, followed by extended clips of past performances.


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Consider the filler-fest the hallmark of week five — too few dancers to fill two hours, too much ad revenue to shrink the running time.

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    2. Kurt Warner defends Bristol's ape act

Eventually, all of the “she just needs more confidence” and “he doesn’t know what to do with his hands” gave way to actual live dances — some good, some bad and all better than a bunch of blah blah blah. Heck, after that, even Bristol Palin’s presence in the ballroom was appreciated. Not due to talent or improved form — perish the thought — but simply for the welcome distraction.

And oh, what a distraction the teen mom made. As if Palin’s typical flubbed footwork wasn’t enough to catch the eye, pro partner Mark Ballas came up with the zany idea to dress up in matching ape suits while they jived to “The Monkees” theme song. Allegedly. Doing the twist while aped-out isn’t usually called the jive, but whatever.

Slideshow: ‘Dancing’s’ worst outfits (on this page)

A few moves into the routine, the fur went flying and Palin finished the dance in the form of a human — one who still couldn’t dance. When it was all over, head judge Goodman admitted he wished the pair had just kept the costumes on.

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So with a score of 18 out of 30 — the lowest of the night — Palin can’t really blame her out-of-nowhere “Monkees”-monkey theme.

At least for some stars, it wasn’t hard to connect the dots between the tune and the talent. Florence Henderson tangoing to “The Brady Bunch” song was a natural fit. Audrina Patridge’s “Hills” rumba came as no surprise. Heck, considering how good Rick Fox looked in a police uniform, his “Hills Street Blues” rumba almost made sense. But the logic behind Kurt Warner’s “Bewitched” quickstep, Jennifer Grey’s “Married … With Children” foxtrot and Palin’s monkey business seemed lacking.

Story: 'Skating With the Stars' slips into ABC lineup

Still, no complaints about the absolute randomness that paired Kyle Massey with the “Charlie’s Angels” theme. It made no sense, and the resulting '70s-style hustle-foxtrot fusion wasn’t by the ballroom book, but it sure was fun. Unfortunately, due to one grumpy judge (yeah, that would be Goodman), Massey’s not-a-foxtrot landed him with just a narrow 2-point lead on Palin.

Who could go? (Palin.) Who should go? (Palin.) Only Tuesday night’s results show can say for sure.

Five weeks in and Ree Hines is still rooting for Brandy. The singer’s getting better and, well, there’s still no other way to keep Maksim Chmerkovskiy around. Follow @ReeHines on Twitter and tell her who has your vote.

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Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' season 11

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  1. Bristol Palin

    Bristol Palin, former first daughter of Alaska, first entered the national spotlight when her mother, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was selected to be John McCain’s runningmate in the 2008 Presidential election. After giving birth to her son, Tripp, and becoming a single teen mother in 2008, she became a spokesperson for the prevention of teen pregnancy and for other teen issues. Palin recently guest starred as herself on an episode of ABC Family’s "The Secret Life of the American Teenager." Her partner is Mark Ballas. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Kurt Warner

    Kurt Warner is the first quarterback to participate on "Dancing with the Stars." In 1999, led the St. Louis Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV. He eventually moved on from the Rams to the Giants and finally to the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. In 2007 he led the Cardinals to their first ever Super Bowl and was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl. He is partnered with Anna Trebunskaya. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Jennifer Grey

    Nobody puts Jennifer Grey in a corner! Grey starred as Frances "Baby" Houseman in the iconic 1987 box office hit "Dirty Dancing" with the late Patrick Swayze. Some of her other films include "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Red Dawn" and "The Cotton Club." Her partner is Derek Hough. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Kyle Massey

    Kyle Massey stars as Cory Baxter in the Disney Channel sitcom, "Cory in the House." He originated the role of Cory in Disney's "That’s So Raven," the first show in Disney's history to produce over 100 episodes. He will partner with Lacey Schwimmer. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Rick Fox

    A three-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers, actor and producer Rick Fox has appeared in a number of film and television projects, sharing the screen with actors ranging from Whoopi Goldberg to Henry Winkler, Angela Bassett and Shia LeBeouf. His partner is Cheryl Burke. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Brandy

    Brandy is a platinum-selling R&B and pop singer, actress, songwriter and record/television producer. In 1994, at the age of 15, Brandy released her eponymous debut album, selling over 6 million copies. She is currently filming Season 2 of the VH1 reality show "Brandy and Ray J: a Family Business." She will dance with Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Michael Bolton

    He can sing, but can he dance? Michael Bolton has sold more than 53 million records, released 18 studio albums, won multiple Grammys for Best Male Vocalist and countless other honors, all while selling out arenas worldwide. His partner is Chelsie Hightower. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Florence Henderson

    Florence Henderson will always be best known in syndication worldwide as "America's Favorite Mom" and matriarch Carol Brady on the classic TV series "The Brady Bunch," which aired for five seasons (1969-1974). Henderson has been a celebrity spokeswoman for Oldsmobile, Tang, Polident, Rain Soft, Pepsi Light and Wesson Oil and maintains a busy schedule as a sought after motivational speaker. She will be partnered with Corky Ballas. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Margaret Cho

    Comedian Margaret Cho first performed stand-up in her native San Francisco at the age of 16. Her best-selling tours include the off-Broadway hit/concert film "I’m the One That I Want," "Notorious C.H.O.," "Revolution" and "Beautiful." She is also a regular cast member of the Lifetime series "Drop Dead Diva." She will dance with Louis Van Amstel. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. David Hasselhoff

    Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Most Watched TV Star in the World," David Hasselhoff has gained international fame in music, television and film. Hasselhoff got his start in entertainment on the soap opera "The Young and the Restless" and was pursued to play the lead role of the 1980's cult favorite, "Knight Rider." His famed skyrocketed thanks to 11 years in a swimsuit on "Baywatch." Don’t hassel the Hoff! He will dance with Kym Johnson. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Audrina Patridge

    Audrina Patridge starred in six seasons of the MTV reality series "The Hills." The aspiring actress made her debut on the big screen last fall in the thriller "Sorority Row." Other film credits include "Into the Blue 2" and "Honey 2." Last summer, Patridge made headlines steaming up TV screens in a commercial for Carl’s Jr. Her partner is Tony Dovolani.. (Bob D'Amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Mark Ballas, Bristol Palin
    Bob D'Amico / ABC
    Above: Slideshow (12) 'Dancing With the Stars' season 11
    Adam Larkey / ABC
    Slideshow (19) ‘Dancing’s’ worst outfits

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