Monday's performances brought emotional stories, more perfect scores, and one notable blunder. Tonight, Maria goes home.
The Last Shall be First
William and Cheryl perform the encore dance this week, reprising their semi-final Samba. From there we move on to the first round of recaps, mostly centered on Katherine's unfortunate misstep at the end of her salsa. She and Mark resignedly step forward to learn their fate, but to their genuine surprise, they're passed through to the finals. For those wondering exactly what happened to them last night, it still isn't terribly clear--host Tom Bergeron notes that there was something in the grassy knoll.
And the First Shall be Last
For the evening's first round of filler segments, Chelsea and Tristan return to dance a Stars of Dance samba, after which Alanis Morissette stops by to perform her song "Guardian." After that, it's time for more results: in spite of their spectacular pair of routines on Monday, Maria and Derek are revealed to be in jeopardy.
After that there's a plug for the upcoming film adaptation of Rock of Ages--Derek's sister Julianne Hough returns to the ballroom for a mash-up number--followed by a performance from Carrie Underwood, singing her song "Good Girl." From there, we have our final jeopardy revelation: William moves on to the finals, while Donald is left in the bottom two.
That leaves Maria and Donald in the bottom two, ensuring that an extremely talented, hard-working dancer goes home either way. As it happens, it's Maria: Donald moves on to the finals, while Maria is sent home.
A Problem Like Maria
It's tough to say what went wrong for Maria: in spite of earning the highest judges' scores of the evening, she and Derek apparently failed to connect with voters this week. We can only speculate as to why that was--my personal theory is that the video interview with Maria's boyfriend reframed the smooch-happy Derek's romantic choreography as kind of creepy--but regardless, it's a shame to see such a talented dancer go.