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'Dancing' semifinals prove semi-predictable

Jennifer Grey's still leading the pack, Bristol Palin is still dead last and Brooke Burke still has nothing new to add to the show.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

For a competition draped in glitz and glam, Monday night’s “Dancing With the Stars” semifinals show sure was boring.

Maybe the penultimate performance night seemed exciting to Jennifer Grey, who waltzed (and cha cha cha-ed) her way to two perfect scores. Then again, given her past performances and Day-One favorite status, those numbers couldn’t have come as much of a surprise.

Less than perfection would have been a shock from Grey at this point in the game.

Also not surprising? Bristol Palin riding high from her alleged best night ever. Her actual moves may not have improved, but the judges had a lot of nice things to say all the same. Plus she earned her top marks ever with a combined score of 53 out of 60. But even that failed to change anything in the end.

Like six other weeks in the competition, Palin finished the show pulling up the rear.

The closest thing to a shakeup came with Brandy’s third place finish. That’s right: The sometimes-leaderboard-leader slipped a spot or two after a slightly problematic paso doble and a perfect Argentine tango. That is if one can call three points behind the leader and four points ahead of the loser a slip.

In fact, the point margin was so slim, there wasn’t room for much slipping or climbing or anything to keep interest up. Len Goodman and the gang heaped on the praise, held back all but the most obvious criticism and gave out high scores. It made for a perfectly polite ballroom experience.


Not even a shift for the last man standing, Kyle Massey, could help. His semifinal run to second place didn’t cause jaws to drop. He just repeated his best score from last week. Twice. Same-old, same-old.

Of course, the dancers can’t be blamed for the boring vibe. Grey’s efforts were undeniably impressive, if not exciting. The same goes for Massey and Brandy. And well, Palin was Palin. The problem is no one put on a shockingly bad show or pulled off an unexpected twist.

And if more of the same on the dance floor wasn’t bad enough, the semi-predictable semifinals continued backstage.

No doubt “Dancing” fans have noticed Brooke Burke’s favorite refrain of the season: “How does that feel?” After slams or compliments, low scores or high, those four words have acted as Burke’s go-to phrase since taking over for former co-host Samantha Harris. Still, finding a way to say the magic words, or a very close variation of them, 10 times following eight dances is quite the monotonous feat.

At least Tuesday night’s results show still has the potential to pack a punch. Will Palin prove she can make it all the way to next week’s finals? If so, which celebrity soft-shoe will go home in her place? The results are bound to leave some fans happy and others less than satisfied, but they won’t leave anyone bored.

Just in case Brooke reads this, Ree Hines wants her to know: It felt really repetitive. Follow on Twitter and tell her how it felt for you.