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"Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars" elimination: Bristol rolls as 2 axed

Former "DWTS" champions Helio Castroneves, left, and Drew Lachey were eliminated in the show's third round Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012 ABC

No Bristol bashing here.

Look not on this page, dear reader, for poison prose about the girl from Alaska who keeps four-wheeling over more talented competitors.

No tirade about the unfairness of a world that rewards the barely competent over the gifted.

If you're looking for barbs about a voting audience that has reduced political clout to its most trivial denominator, you need to Google elsewhere.

We're not going to write that Bristol Palin taking her Red-State free-ride once again is an expression of the rampant mediocrity that threatens to drag down our great nation.

If it needs saying, someone else will have to say that every week that Bris endures on "Dancing With The Stars: All-Stars" is an aberration of the very definition of a "talent show."

No, I said all I needed to say last week, when the Bristol effect first reared its ugly head again after keeping her in the game way too long in Season 11. So let's just get to the recap.

After Monday night's dazzling show, it became clear there were at least eight dancers who had the talent and moves to go all the way this season.

One of that eight, ex-boy band member Drew Lachey, was sent packing Tuesday -- the first former "DWTS" champion to go.

The second contestant ousted was Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves, whose super-charged smile and "aw-shucks, I-love-ya America" charm couldn't translate to audience support this time around. Castroneves, also a former "DWTS" champ, was part of the underbrush that needs clearing to get to the best and brightest.

As for Lachey, the champion from the early days of "DWTS" before the bar got raised, I didn't see him going very far. Not because he's not a great dancer but because -- how to say this? -- he seemed a little creepy. He was talking smack at the beginning of the season about how he was as good as anybody, and on Monday, he did some lewd thrust with his hips and bragged about fathering two kids. He came across to me like that one eighth-grade kid who was always shaking down the fifth-graders for their cafeteria money.

The elimination show began with a reprise of the amazing quick step by Shawn Johnson and her partner, Derek Hough, which was hailed by the judges and this writer as one of the best dances ever seen on "DWTS" -- full of energy, fun and flips.

Amid the drawn-out culling process that "DWTS" uses to stretch out the suspense, the show also tried a new gimmick. Each of the contestants was called upon to select a dance for next week for a fellow competitor. A crop of new dances -- most of them new styles for the show -- were thrown into the mix.

In sports, this is where you would make your rival with the sore knee do a 10-mile race. But the all-stars are all too nicey-nice to go for the jugular. Still, it will be fun to see some new dances next week: contemporary, hip-hop, Broadway, bolero, Bollywood, rock 'n' roll, Charleston, disco, jitterbug and mambo.

In the first elimination, Kirstie Alley, herself on shaky ground, got a scare when she was paired with Lachey in the bottom two. But she survived to use her wiles and comic assets for another round.

"I can honestly say I would not change a thing, you know. Everyone questioned why I would come back. I came back because this is fun," said Lachey after the axe fell.

In the final elimination, Sabrina Bryan was paired with Lachey. Although she's a great dancer, I think Bryan may have trouble sticking around. Her personality is kind of generic and, given the opportunity this week to express her creative control, she delivered an ordinary, if well-rendered, dance.

We got to see more of those pearly whites when Castroneves got the cut. "I want to thank America, you guys vote for me, I couldn't be happier."

The one who SHOULD be thanking America is -- oh wait, we're not going there.

Bristol Palin reacts to the news that she'll be moving on to the next round of "Dancing With The Stars." ABC

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