'Dancing With the Stars' Diary: Jennifer Grey's early coronation

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Zap2it's weekly "'Dancing with the Stars' Diary" offers fans a backstage pass to everybody's favorite only reality competition that throws celebrities at the mercy of that fickle mistress we call dance.

The judges were handing out '10's like they were day-old bagels during the Week 9 "Dancing With the Stars" performance show. And six of them went to Jennifer Grey, whose Cha Cha Cha and Waltz all but guaranteed her placement in next week's finals. Who needs a grassroots campaign when you've got it going on?

It was one of those transitional nights on "DWTS." Buoyed by competitive spirit, and maybe even a little ego, the final 4 got honest about their prospects in the competition. They also got really, really emotional with some somber bio packages, owning up to life's troubles and their real reasons for signing on for the show.

And whoa did they land some all-stars buddies to comment in their packages. Jamie Lee Curtis, Sarah Palin and Brandy's fairy godmother, Whitney freaking Houston, were all in attendance.

But there was also dancing, which included unprecedented pelvic action, possible biblical references and a near fatal earlobe injury. Doggone it, we might as well get to it:

Scores and Steps

  • Brandy (57) and Maks came out with a Pasodoble, dedicated to victims of bullying, that, while awesome, quickly faded from memory after their perfectly scored Argentine Tango. It was sort of inspirational to see Brandy come out of her emotionally draining interview and take on one possibly the sexiest routine of the season. The judges credited them for creating an atmosphere, which they did. (No, really, there was fake smoke everywhere.)
  • What can you really say about Jennifer Grey (60) that hasn't already been covered? What impressed us most about her was how Derek completely handed over the stage during the Cha Cha CHa. Yes, it was solo night, but even when they were together, he knew he was just there to make sure she shined. It isn't something you often get to see on this show.
  • It probably wasn't the best idea to pick "Gimme More," a song most associated with Britney Spears' dead-eyed 2007 VMA performance, for Bristol Palin. All the improvement in the world can't light up that face, and flattering as they were, the judges still nailed her with the lowest scores -- for the 7th week running. Mama Sarah, who was in the audience, also let out of curious tweet before the taping, referring to one of her routines as somehow referential to "The Passion of the Christ." We didn't catch that, but we also didn't see the movie. Was there dancing?
  • We worry for Kyle Massey (58). Even with the mostly high scores -- seriously, Len, no 10? -- the last "man-child" standing has his work cut out for him getting enough votes to beat Bristol to the finals. When the judges praised his enthusiasm and ability to entertain, it sort of sounded like they were already saying goodbye. Which would be a shame. Because that pelvic-thrusty Samba and Argentine Tango made it clearer than ever that he deserves to go to the finals.

Backstage Banter

  • What was that bit about Maks' earring? During a lift, he caught it on Brandy's dress, pulling it right out. "I looked on the floor, picked it up and it was closed," he says, then revealing that his lobe was actually still in tact. "It's magic. My mom was probably like 'yes.' But it's still there."
  • Brandy's former musical nemesis (in song, at least) and good friend, Monica, was in the audience during the performance. And after the show, she told us what she thought had changed most about her friend during the course of the season. "I've noticed her body language," says Monica. "She's so confident and self-assured. I think this show has given her something to focus on and a way to show other people that she is a wonderful person... I like that she's not afraid. As a woman, you want to be fearless."
  • Bristol also had a dramatic video intro tonight, and having to see it in the background before her performance almost got to her. "Watching it kind of made me tear up, but I was more focused on the waltz," she says. "Just hearing my mom talk and reliving that journey I went through... I got teary-eyed."

The night in Bergeron

Mr. Bergeron poked fun at Bruno's praise meltdown, noting his "book of effusive adjectives will be available for holiday gift-giving." Uh, Tom, we just checked Amazon and it's not there. How else are we going to think of ways to describe our affection for you?

That's it! The last elimination for the big finals lays ahead. And even if we wanted to, we could not make a single prediction about who's hitting the road. It could be anyone -- you know, except Jennifer Grey.

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Photo credit: ABC