Dancing With the Stars tried hard to fake us out on Tuesday night.
The show's producers tried to make us believe that there was a chance soccer goalkeep Hope Solo would beat Iraq War vet J.R. Martinez to a spot in the finals. As if!
If Rob had been left "in jeopardy" along with Hope, there might have been a shred of a chance for her. Rob's the better dancer, but he's not known for anything beyond being the baby brother of Kim, Kourtney and Khloe (and he only managed to escape a "K" first name by being named after his father).
But Hope vs. J.R.? Puhleeze. There was no way voters were going to turn on him because he twisted his ankle and lost some points on Monday night. If anything, the kind of grit he showed dancing on his bad foot would increase his vote total.
Anyway, it was time for Hope to go. She had obviously had enough of the show, judging from the bitter backstage comments aired on Tuesday, which had Brooke Burke cringing and hiding her face. For instance:
"Seven, the same thing I get in Week 1. Kiss my booty": uttered in the confessional after Hope was awarded three 7's for her sloppy paso doble.
"The scores at this point, the judges at this point mean nothing to me": said to partner Maks Chmerkovskiy.
"F--k 'em, I know. I don’t even want to look at them": said to Maks as they waited for judges' comments after their Argentine tango.
"So what we did, whatever, nobody else can do it, so give us your little 8's": said to Maks after getting the tango scores.
Here's the thing, though, everybody else still on the show can do what she did and do it better, which is why Rob, J.R. and Ricki Lake are in the finals.
And Hope, while refraining from any further digs at the judges, threw a little "nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah" into her exit speech. She thanked Maks and her family and friends and her fans, which is par for the course, then added, "Instead of winning the mirror ball trophy I'm gonna go and try to win a gold medal this summer." So take that, Dancing With the Stars.
At least we had Rob's sunniness as an antidote to Hope's grumpiness. His backstage footage showed how thrilled he was with his Monday scores. "Today’s just been awesome. I love to dance," he told partner Cheryl Burke.
Rob also got the honour of performing Tuesday's judges' encore, his cheery samba.
That's the good news. The bad news is that Rob is destined for a third place finish behind favourites Ricki and J.R., but I'm pretty sure he'll have a good time getting there.
Other observations about Tuesday's results show:
1. As I listened to Cobra Starship and Sabi sing "You Make Me Feel," I pondered why shows like The X Factor go through the motions of looking for the best possible singers when singing well and making hit records are often mutually exclusive.
2. What do you think Brooke would do if one of the times she asked an injured finalist whether their body was going to hold up in the next week's dances, they told her no? And for the record, J.R. says his ankle is fine and he'll be ready for next week's four dances.
3. Is anybody else getting a tad uncomfortable with Carson Kressley's attempts to manhandle Maks whenever he does one of his comedy segments, like this week's visit to the wardrobe department? We get it, Maks is hot. Move on.
4. Do you think Hope was watching when Derek Hough and Anna Trebunskaya did a fabulous paso doble as part of the viewer-voted Macy's Design a Dance? Passion and control, Hope. The judges weren't lying. You can have both.
5. I don't think watching four young guys perform on Dancing With the Stars is going to prevent bullies from harassing other young male dancers, but it was nice to see the homophobic abuse that males take just for being dancers broached during the "spotlight" segment.
6. Perhaps I am heartless, but I did not particularly enjoy the Muppets movie product placement, er, performance.
7. I got a chuckle out of Maks trying to "hypnotize" away J.R.'s pain with a mini mirror ball.
8. Was anybody surprised that J.R. and Hope were "not necessarily the bottom two"? I thought not.
Monday night is the big night: Rob, J.R. and Ricki Lake perform one last time for viewer votes, with the Season 13 champ crowned on Tuesday.
I'll be watching at 8 p.m. on CTV and bringing you the recap here.
(The photo of Hope and Maks dancing Monday is by Adam Taylor for ABC.)