'Dancing with the Stars': No Country For Old Men or Billy Dee Williams

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On a night where we saw one dancer come dangerously close to perfection, we also saw the sour cruelty of The Capitol as it sent the latest tribute to his bloodless death. After a fortnight of glacial-paced ballroom dancing,  Billy Dee Williams was sent packing. 

Williams's major story thrusts during his stint on Dancing With the Stars have been his age (he is a septuagenarian) and his two (!) hip replacements. If you were to take a swig every time the show or Williams mentioned either of those two things, you would be drunk for the next week. 

Dancing is meant to bring joy to the Capitol, but with Williams, it just looked like, well, someone who's had hip replacements:

In order to mask this, the gamemakers have tried to incorporate gimmicks like ewoks and other dancers into Williams's routine ... which only drew attention to Williams's lack of dancing:

And the saga gets even sadder: because of back problems, Williams did not even perform on Monday. Make no mistake, making an old man with broken hips dance is not entertainment. It is cruel. But such are the blood-thirsty ways of the Capitol. 

Meryl's Flirt with Perfection

While last week's dances got a little tangential and perhaps too heavy — Candace Cameron-Bure talked about how her religion was at odds with the show and Sean Avery accused producers of a conspiracy to boot him — this week seemed a bit lighter. The impossibly likeable Robin Roberts being guest judge helped. So did Kimmy Gibbler, whose Full House reunion with our DJ Tanner seemed to help Candice stop taking this thing too seriously. After last week's bummer performance, Cameron looked like she was having fun again ...

 ... but still needed some work on her posture and footwork, the judges said. 

It wasn't only the judges who could sense bad posture and dodgy footwork. Meryl could too. After years of sharing the practice and Olympic ice with Tessa Virtue, Meryl knows that when a weakness presents itself, you strike. And strike she did. Last night, the homicide division was dispatched after 200 people in the Capitol were murdered by a Meryl Davis Foxtrot: 

There was no mercy: 

Nor were there any mistakes:

Meryl and Maks took the highest score of the night and the season to date. 

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The Twist

The number "39" was seared into Meryl's mind. And she despised every single bit of it, because it showed imperfection. She wanted a 40. 39s eventually get you killed in this game. She knew it. Everyone knows it.

She looked over at Maks, who was sleeping comfortably and was disappointed all over again. Anyone that could sleep that well after missing perfection wasn't someone she wanted to be partners with. She had seen that type of complacency doom her rivals before. 

"Softer than Charlie," Meryl thought to herself. Her face sharpened into a pout. 

She wanted one more practice. He wanted sleep. She wanted a 40. He was genuinely pleased with a 39. She wanted to shove him awake and experience her irritation together. Then she noticed a flicker of light, and what she thought was a clean double pirouette in the dark of the arena

"Derek," she said in a whisper. He could give her that perfection. He could give her so much. She caught herself. 

"Next week, the audience will choose your partners for you. Good night." the voice, Bruno's, echoed across the arena. 

With that, Meryl was finally able to sleep. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.