CLEVELAND - Whoever brought Bristol Palin back for the All-Star season of "Dancing with the Stars" either didn't know what he was doing – or he's an evil genius.
The first double elimination of the season offered some decent drama and surprises.
Kicking off the results show, the judges ask for an encore from Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek for their freesty- I mean, quickstep.
Time for the first results. Hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke announce TV host Melissa Rycroft and Tony are safe, as are actor Gilles Marini and Peta, plus NFL retiree Emmitt Smith and Cheryl.
But actress Kirstie Alley and Maks are in jeopardy. Maybe fans didn't go for Maks' look this week (in the taped segment, Bruno said Maks looked like an ugly woman). Either way, Kirstie starts jiggling as if to say, "I'm cool with being in jeopardy." We know, Kirstie. We know.
Onto the first guest performance, with returning contestant Kyle Massey dancing with Lacey to a pretty nifty performance by Frankie Moreno.
Oh, what the backstage cameras might have caught. After appearing on the same DWTS season together, Bristol and Kyle were friends and ventured onto another reality show together. But, after the deal fell apart, Kyle was left out. No business like show business, right? Cue the awkward silence.
More results. Tom says Olympian Shawn Johnson and Derek are safe, as are Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina, and actress Kelly Monaco and Val. Of course.
Brooke says singer Drew Lachey and Anna are in jeopardy. Based on expression alone, Drew clearly knows he's not coming back. We all knew.
Time for the first of two eliminations of the night. Between Kirstie and Drew, it's Drew who does not get enough viewer votes.
Drew tweeted, "Well, that was disappointing. Never did I think that we would go home week 3. I absolutely adore
@ atrebunskaya and will miss dancing w/ her."
Thanks for playing Drew, but no time for tears – it's onto the next twist of the night. The remaining stars pick the dances for their competition.
This is a first for DWTS. Up until now, the couples competed on their own merits. Now, taking a page from "Survivor," strategy plays a part as they pick a dance that could undermine their competition.
To even the playing field, the show came up with a formula for picking dances. The couple with the lowest overall score (in this case, Bristol and Mark) first pick the dance for the couple with the highest overall score (in this case, Gilles and Peta).
So, Bristol and Mark pick Bollywood for Gilles and Peta, who look confused.
Next, Kirstie and Maks pick disco for Sabrina and Louis, who seem cool with it.
Helio and Chelsie pick mambo for Shawn and Derek, clinching their survival next week.
Kelly and Val pick bolero for Emmitt and Cheryl, who don't know what to think.
Melissa and Tony impossibly pick hip hop for Apolo and Karina, who are so excited about it, their jumping around looks like they're practicing. That style kind of clinched his win on season four.
Apolo and Karina then pick jitterbug for a very underwhelmed Melissa and Tony.
Melissa tweeted, "Thank you guys!!! Another week of dancing - and we owe it to you!!! Thanks for working those phone lines for us!! On to Jitterbug now!"
Emmitt and Cheryl pick contemporary for the unflappable Kelly and Val.
Shawn and Derek pick Broadway for Helio and Chelsie.
Sabrina and Louis pick the Charleston for Kirstie and Maks, who look devastated. She even collapses. Oh, this should be good. I hope they make it to the end and continue to fly off the rails. Forget the crazy train. I want the Kirstie train!
Kirstie tweeted, "Seriously...THANK you soooooo much for voting your brains out!!!!!... and I'm REALLY excited about the Charleston!!!! gonna be crazy fun!!!!"
Bristol and Mark then get rock & roll.
But Tom quickly reminds us, there is one more elimination left, and one of these couples will not be back next week, making this whole exercise meaningless for one of them.
The show then gives us a sob story about Joshua Johnson, who comes from a tough background and wants to make it as a dancer. He gives a great performance that can only be called tap hop. As soon as his performance ends and the crowd cheers, he instantaneously tears up, realizing he's kind of arrived.
Then Carmen performs "Broken Hearted" and "Hello."
Onto the final elimination of the night. It comes down to: Bristol and Mark; Sabrina and Louis and Helio and Chelsie.
Right off, we learn the lowest-scoring couple, Bristol and Mark, are safe. I have to admit, I don't mind Bristol's dancing, but I revel in having her on the show because none of the All-Stars can coast through with her there. They have to earn the highest scores they can possibly get because single mom Bristol gets such a huge sympathy
vote. And who'd dare vote her off as Mama Grizzly looks on from the audience every week?
But this also means that Sabrina – who the show will never stop reminding us, was shockingly eliminated way too early on her first season – might be going home in just seconds.
Dramatic reveal! It's Helio and Chelsie who get the boot.
This all sets the stage for so much to look forward to next week? Will Bristol break down again? (Yes, please.) Or will another celeb break down? (Yes, please!) Will Kirstie's inevitable breakdown over the jitterbug be the breakdown that breaks the mold of all breakdowns? (Devilishly twisting villainous mustache.) Or will guest judge Paula Abdul outshine their breakdowns just by being Paula? (Bwahahahaha!)
We will see what happens when the competition kicks off anew Monday night at 8:00 on ABC.
More information can be found at: beta.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/index .