Gladys is not a name you hear much nowadays. You won't be hearing it at all on Dancing with the Stars after pipless soul giantess Gladys Knight was eliminated in the sixth week of the competition.
It came down to another dance duel, a jive-off if you will, between Knight and Roshon Fegan. The result was probably inevitable when you ask a 67-year-old to compete against a 20-year-old at one of the friskiest dance genres, but it still seemed poignant, following as it did, Motown night, when performers like Smokey Robinson and the Temptations reminded us of how important Gladys's contributions to R&B have been.
Here is how the elimination went down. (Note that this is a long clip but there is an option beneath the screen to click forward 4 minutes to the dance-off.)
Seemed pretty obvious who was going. They all kept praising the size of Knight's heart. Which is kind of like praising someone's grip at a marksmanship contest: it's a handsome compliment but it doesn't have much to do with the final score.
I actually think the results were rigged. Carrie Ann put in a vote for Gladys right up front to spare her the embarrassment of a unanimous decision. I think that was designed to take the sting out of her departure.
What I can't stand is why is Gladys leaving and Melissa Gilbert is still around. Prairie Mouse bothers me so much. She has turned this contest into one long pity party. "Don't send me home. I had gruesome back surgeries. I was never supposed to walk again. See me cry. Vote for me."
The next week. "I got dropped on my head in rehearsals. I may have a concussion. Vote for me."
This week it was how training for Dancing with the Stars was a lot like getting sober. Oh yeah, did I mention I was a hopeless alcoholic? Vote for poor poor pitiful me.
She's turned Dancing with the Stars into a Hallmark movie of the week. Gilbert is like that chronic absentee at work who keeps coming up with more and outlandish excuses. "Yeah, I can't come in. My father died." "Again?"
On another note, last night contained a uniquely graceful and moving moment of dance. The show introduced 17-year-old ballerina Michael DePrince, the African war orphan raised in Cherry Hill. DWTS host Tom Bergeron called DePrince's odyssey "another great story of the triumph of the human spirit". Watch as she dances to the accompaniment of Natasha Bedingfield singing "Wild Horses."