There will be no more fist-pumping on the Dancing With the Stars‘ dance floor, as Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino became the fourth celebridancer to be eliminated from Season Eleven of ABC’s hit show. Sorrentino and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, were joined in the bottom two by Bristol Palin and her partner, Mark Ballas, and in a somewhat surprising announcement, were tapped for dismissal from the ballroom.
The show, filled with fodder to pad the hour, also included behind-the-scenes footage of the dancers and their partners in rehearsal – some of which was seen the night before in the competition show, and therefore was repetitive – a musical performance by the Goo Goo Dolls, who performed a medley specifically crafted for the show, a Macy’s “Stars of Dance” segment with the cast of Forever Tango, and an encore of the Argentine tango performed by Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough, as well as a brief glimpse of a previously-aired segment featuring shirtless Len Goodman, which, while it elicited a hilarious response from Goodman himself – the man has a great sense of humor when it comes to making fun of himself -, was something that the rest of the world probably didn’t need emblazoned across their televisions.
Speaking of people who have a knack for baring their chests for cameras, there was a crucial moment in the behind-the-scenes footage where Sorrentino’s feelings regarding the comments he received from the judges – presumably especially Bruno Tonioli, who headed up the verbal assault on his Argentine tango – were laid out for all to see. There was no question that the judges’ comments greatly upset Sorrentino, who, while he tried to laugh it off in the heat of the moment in front of the panel, was ultimately unable to complete the post-dance interview in the “confessional.”
The interesting part of the confessional footage is always that the celebrities really do lay it all out there, and this one, truly, was a confession of the heart, even if he ended up being unable to finish what he wanted to say. In that moment, it became obvious that, while he was written off by many – including me – as the clown of the group even before the first episode aired, the token pretty-boy of the season, he had come to really take the competition seriously. He wanted to do well, and he was frustrated by the judges’ failing to acknowledge the things that went well in the routine – those lifts definitely weren’t simple, by any means, and they were executed pretty well – and he wanted the opportunity to come back next week to prove to himself and the judges that he had a right to be there.
Following the announcement of his elimination, however, he was gracious, and handled himself with class, which led host Tom Bergeron to make the observation that he “is different here than on Jersey Shore.” Sorrentino laughed, and explained that he “crafts himself to being in a different…situation,” which earned an appreciative chuckle from the crowd, who seemed to collectively be on his side. Sorrentino might not have been the most graceful dancer, but he was consistently engaging, while Palin fails to bring energy to the dance floor, which is equally as important as the technique. Considering that Sorrentino was recently praised by Carrie-Ann Inaba as taking “baby-steps to becoming a dancer,” there were probably a lot of people shocked by the fact that Palin received the reprieve of the fans’ votes, and not Sorrentino.
So goes the world of Dancing With the Stars, however, and The Situation’s dance career will have to return to fist-pumping on the dance floors of the clubs along the Shore.