This was to be another double elimination, just like last week's: the lowest scorer would be sent straight home, and the next two would have a dance-off, with the judges choosing the victor.
The first couple in the bottom three was, unsurprisingly, Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer. Mark (with a fill-in partner) had the lowest scores Monday night. They were joined by Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova, but since Kelly Osbourne and Donny Osmond and their partners were already safe, that left only Joanna Krupa, Aaron Carter, and Mya as the celebrities who would take the last spot in the bottom three. It would be a surprise for any of them, considering Aaron's two 10s last night and the two women's strong records. It was, in fact, Aaron — who has apparently made few friends among audience voters — who landed in the bottom three.
Surprisingly, apparent crowd favorite Michael Irvin was the celebrity sent home without the chance to participate in the dance-off (which means, since his judges' scores were higher than Mark Dacascos received, that Mark beat Michael in viewer voting). Michael has been running out of chances, but he left on a good note.
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The dance-off seemed like a complete mismatch between the highest individual scorer on Monday, Aaron Carter, and the lowest scorer, Mark Dacascos, who hadn't been able to practice with his real partner because of Lacey's illness — though she returned for the dance-off.
Mark and Lacey's cha-cha-cha was perfectly fine. But he was no match for the ultra-hyper Aaron, doing his second jive in a row. Aaron goes directly to "frenetic" every single time, but the judges love it when he puts it toward the jive, so they saved him and sent Mark home. (And Lacey home to recuperate from her still-evident illness.)
The show also had its share of filler, as always. Singer Colbie Caillat brought her slip dress and guitar to the stage for a number accompanied by a dance from married pros Alec Mazo and Edyta Sliwinska (already booted from the competition with partners Natalie Coughlin and Ashley Hamilton — remember Ashley Hamilton?). It's always a treat to see Alec and Edyta dance together, but the performances from Caillat were only so-so.
The other real singer on the night was old reliable Rod Stewart, who showed up to perform "It's The Same Old Song," in keeping with his current career as a singer of, indeed, really old songs. There was nothing particularly exciting about Stewart's performance, but if you like Rod Stewart belting out familiar favorites in a shiny suit, you likely left satisfied.
Most embarrassing was a performance from pros Mark Ballas and Derek Hough — not dancing, but as "singers" in their band, which is imaginatively called The Ballas Hough Band. Both remain fine dancers, but the less said about their singing, which consisted primarily of chanting things about "your body" in strange electronic tones, the better.
Linda Holmes is a frequent contributor to msnbc.com