The ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Situation: It’s Audrina’s World Now

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino — the star of “Jersey Shore” and the inspiration for this feature — may have shaken his tailfeather for the last time on “Dancing With the Stars,” but that doesn’t mean there is no longer a reason to watch. In fact, the Situation’s exit makes way for a far more compelling story line in the early success of former “The Hills” star Audrina Patridge, who has spent the first few weeks of the competition delivering consistent good (and typically underrated) performances that are extremely technically sound and lacking only in character and delivery. As Monday night’s (October 18th) new episode proved, the real battle for supremacy is still between Jennifer Grey and Brandy, but the focus of the rest of the season could be whether or not Patridge is able to step up her performance game and make herself into a force who can win this whole thing.

She acquitted herself well last night, but ran into the same kinds of speed bumps as before. Her rumba was sharp and entertaining enough, but the judges again demanded more passion and performance from her. That has been a consistent complaint from the panel for the entirety of the season so far, and it’s quite possible that Patridge is beginning to try their patience. Still, it’s hard to argue with her moves, which are fluid and graceful. Plus, her bikini and robe get-up certainly didn’t hurt her.

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The rest of the show saw two more great performances from Grey and Brandy, while Rick Fox and Kurt Warner represented well for the athlete contingent (Fox seems to be getting especially good and could threaten the top of the heap in a few weeks). At the bottom of the list, Bristol Palin came in as the straggler now that the Situation had exited, and her performance — which featured her dressed as a gorilla for reasons nobody could quite figure out — did her no favors. Though Florence Henderson’s delivery was also pretty middling, it seems unlikely that the country will send one of television’s favorite mothers home, which means that it’s back to Alaska (and motherhood) for Palin.

Who do you think will go home on “Dancing With the Stars” this week? Let us know in the comments!