We now have our elimination in the second week of "Dancing with the Stars" and as longtime "DWTS" fans are aware, the second week is sometimes the most crucial of them all.
It shows who has it. And who does not.
It shows who has the judges favor. And who they don't.
It shows who is at the top of the leaderboard. And who is not.
And at the top right now is Ricki Lake. Of all people.
But here's an even bigger surprise: Hope Solo, my choice to win the whole thing, is now almost certainly out of the hunt. She could certainly make the top three or four, but a win is now statistically unlikely. Here's why: Her scores went down from week one to week two, and there has never been a winner in the history of the U.S. version of the show who actually dropped their scores the second week. (Donny Osmond doesn't count; he had a double score his first week, which naturally would drop the second when there was only one dance to score.) This also means Chynna Phillips is unlikely to win now, as well.
The winners have either had identical week one and week two scores, or they've gone up a bit. And by that calculus, Ricki Lake and J.R. Martinez are now at the top of the leaderboard, with Kristin Cavallari right there in the hunt.
My new pick to win the entire season? J.R. Martinez. I think he's got the votes. He's got the angered "All My Children" fan base. Most of all, he's got the moves and the judges like him. At the end of this thing, I suspect Lake will not have the viewer votes and that'll be that.
Who's in major trouble? David Arquette and Chaz Bono.
There are some flies in this ointment that could -- though are unlikely -- to change the outcome. The field is somewhat weaker than in season's past, and the judging has been markedly tougher this season. I'm not sure why, but even the top scores seem to be on average one or two points lower than even last season.
Could Solo and Maks reverse next week? Sure, and I expect they will. But again, statistics are against them at this point of the game.
Gone last night: Elisabetta Canalis. No surprise -- even though she improved. I had her gone last week -- models rarely get votes from the viewing public, which is a major reason why they're usually gone by the early-to-middle rounds.