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OTRC: 'Dancing With the Stars' dance-by-dance recap: Bristol Palin's 'thrilla' night

Bristol Palin performs on 'Dancing With the Stars,' Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.

It's week 10 of Season 11 with the final three couples left on "Dancing with the Stars." But those aren't the numbers that everyone has been focusing on this week; it's the votes.

There's been a lot of grumbling and grousing about how the votes are tallied, etc., but the show's producer told us that this is the same system they've used since the very beginning of the show. And bottom line - you can't complain if you don't vote. So I hope everyone who loves to watch this show voted tonight!

Jennifer Grey, Kyle Massey and Bristol Palin each danced twice: The always fun "Freestyle" and a redemption dance. The latter was a dance they have previously performed, but that the judges thought they could have done better. This week, one judge also paid a visit to each of the contestants at rehearsal to offer some last minute expert coaching.

Here's the recap for Monday night:

Jennifer Grey and Derek Hough- 60 out of 60

I'm quite sure I've said this on previous season's recaps but here we go again: Derek Hough is a fantastic choreographer. He and Jennifer get a "do-over" for their Paso Doble from week six. Jennifer is a lot more confident now and maybe a bit healthier (or at least she's working through the pain!)

Carrie Ann Inaba is the visiting judge and she encourages Jenn to work on the fluidity of her movements. The performance is flawless, with Carrie Ann shouting that this showed the meaning of redemption.

The dance earned Jennifer both a hug from Carrie Ann and a standing ovation from Len Goodman. And when it came time for scoring, Bruno Tonioli gave them a 10 but said he wished it could be an 11! The duo got 10's from Len and Carrie Ann as well, for a perfect 30 out of 30.

Freestyle- It has been the question on the mind of every Jennifer Grey fan: Will she perform to a song from "Dirty Dancing?" The answer was 'yes.' Although, it was probably a different song than most people thought she would choose.

We learned from Jenn that she considers the movie's theme song, "I Had the Time of My Life," to be a special song, reserved in her heart for her and the late Patrick Swayze. So instead, she and Derek danced to "Do You Love Me" and it was flat out great. Len called her persistent and consistent and this season's juggernaut was heading straight for the mirror ball trophy. Score: 10-10-10, 30 out of 30

Kyle Massey and Lacey Schwimmer- 56 out of 60

Kyle was dancing for redemption for his TV theme song inspired Foxtrot, back in week five. Luckily this week the couple didn't have to put on bellbottoms and Kyle left the afro wig behind as they performed a more traditional Foxtrot.

Head judge Len Goodman stopped by to give Kyle some pointers on his weak spot; his technique. Kyle and Lacey attacked this dance and it was a huge improvement from five weeks ago. Len said he went from messy to marvelous. Score: 9-9-9, 27 out of 30

Freestyle- Kyle and Lacey let their youth burst on to the stage in a hip hop infused routine to "Tootsie Roll." Lacey smartly choreographed the number to make the most of Kyle's best asset: his personality.

While this type of dance may not be Len's cup of tea, he still said it was great fun and great entertainment and Carrie Ann dubbed him the "Fresh Prince of Dancing with the Stars." Score: 10 9 10, 29 out of 30

Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas- 52 out of 60

I'm guessing Bristol and Mark are happier than anyone to be able to be able to redeem a dance - namely their week five Jive to the TV theme song from the Monkees. Remember, the dance they started out in gorilla costumes? This time around, there is no monkeying around (sorry) and they left the gimmicks behind. Bristol does address the backlash she's been receiving, and says she's more intimated by the media attention than by the dance competition.

Bruno is their visiting judge and he does his most vocal and exuberant best to bring Bristol out of her shell - he tells her to just go wild on the dance floor. She definitely has improved, no question, but still looks like she's holding back a bit. The judges all enjoyed her performance, with Len saying she went from gorilla to a "thrilla." Score: 9 9 9, 27 out of 30

Freestyle - again, Bristol talks about feeling defeated by the forces of the outside world. Mark tries to talk her out of her funk but I don't think it worked. They dance to a song from the Broadway show and Oscar-winning movie, "Chicago," which Bristol hasn't seen. It's not the usual over-the-top, energetic freestyle dances we're used to seeing in the finale, which might have been a bit of a risk.

Both Bruno and Carrie Ann commended Bristol for aiming high, and complimented her improvement over the ten weeks, but neither felt the dance hit the mark. Len, however, liked it. Scores: 8 9 8, 25 out of 30

So who goes home? It's up to the voters! Call! Email! Text! We'll find out who wins on Tuesday night's results show.

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