"Dancing with the Stars": Gavin DeGraw dances out of the ballroom

In this April 16, 2012 photo released by ABC, singer Gavin DeGraw, right, and his partner Karina Smirnoff perform on the celebrity dance competition series, "Dancing with the Stars," in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor) Adam Taylor

Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff perform on "Dancing with the Stars" on April 16, 2012, in Los Angeles.
ABC

(CBS News) There was a certain anticipation in the air before Tuesday's "Dancing with the Stars" results show. For there was to be a dance-off. This would lead to the kiss-off, at least for one star-crossed couple.

That Gavin DeGraw was to be the one kissed goodbye would surely not be a surprise to many. However, the kiss-off that really got the audience in the mood came when Maria Menounos and Derek Hough were invited to reprise their salsa of the night before.

Pictures: "Dancing with the Stars"

They had been criticized for, yes, actually kissing each other during the dance. So, during their reprise, Hough sprinted up to the judges' podium and attempted to plant his puckerdom upon Carrie Ann Inaba instead. He seemed to connect with her left ear. Menounos, not to be outdone, then pranced up to Bruno Tonioli and managed to connect with both cheeks. And so family television's impeccable reputation was restored until the next episode of "The Simpsons."

Meanwhile we had to prepare ourselves for which two couples would, indeed, be dancing off for their sanity. I mean, their safety.

The intimate footage always shown during this show displayed just how much time the professionals spend encouraging the stars. They tell them before the dance that they're proud of them. They tell them during the dance that they've got it. They tell them after the dance that they're still proud of them. This, despite errors, mistimings and flying sweat that strikes them occasionally in the eyeballs.

Very quickly Maria Menounos, Melissa Gilbert and Gladys Knight were all told they wouldn't be part of the Dance Duel.

"What we're trying to safeguard is the integrity of the dancing," said Len Goodman of the Dance Duel. He was referring to excellent dancers such as Sabrina Bryan and Kristin Cavallari, who had been sent packing far too soon by viewers who were far too myopic.

Gavin DeGraw explained, in a brief interlude, that he was already experiencing "an Alcatraz moment."

Talking of feeling marooned, Train and Selena Gomez performed for the captivated masses - although Train appeared to be doing slightly more singing that Gomez.

Singing very cheerily within minutes were Katherine Jenkins, William Levy and Donald Driver who were all told they would be back for Motown Week. Wait, there's a Motown Week for "Dancing with the Stars"? But, of course. Surely you remember the Four Tops doing the quickstep.

"Be like a tiger," Kym Johnson had whispered to Jaleel White before their dance. Surely the viewers can't have been so inhuman as to put a tiger into the Dance Duel.

"Can I tell you a secret," Karina Smirnoff whispered to DeGraw before their attempt at dancing unison. Sure, DeGraw responded. "I farted." Some would say that was the most fragrant part of their contribution as DeGraw, who began the samba in a canoe, had been adrift all night. Yes, the paddleless canoeist was told he would not be singing for his supper. He'd be dancing for his dinner.

Roshon Fegan was told he would be around for another week. Which left the White Tiger and Slow Draw DeGraw to battle it out.

The lovely thing was that they would dance simultaneously. So the judges could scrupulously compare which couple was truly the more deserving.

Before the duel, DeGraw explained helpfully that White was better. He then went on and proved it. His cha-cha, to be cha-charitable, consisted of him staying on his knees while Smirnoff tried to impress the judges and then standing still while Smirnoff tried to impress the judges.

White and Johnson had danced for several seconds before DeGraw and Smirnoff had even moved. This wasn't a duel. This was one man with two guns, pointing each at one of his eyes.

DeGraw didn't want to be anything other than what he's been trying to do lately. Sadly, he's been trying to be a singer whose stage presence consists of him sitting at a piano.

The judges tried to be nice. But they were unanimous in doffing their caps and wishing DeGraw well.

Next week the Temptations, Martha Reeves and Smokey Robinson will actually be providing the music. Yes, live.

Perhaps DeGraw could stay and offer some backing vocals - especially on "Tracks of My Tears." He should, though, steer clear of "Dancing in the Street."

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

    He currently advises major global companies about content creation and marketing, through his company Howard Raucous LLC.

    He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world.

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