When the end finally came for Aaron Carter on Dancing With the Stars, it wasn't much of a surprise, which may be why he was able to muster up more composure and dignity than he showed much of the season. The onetime teen pop star, who had performed well quite often but been in trouble with the voters even more often, leaves Season Nine in fifth place. The final four are Joanna Krupa, Mya, Kelly Osbourne, and Donny Osmond.
Carter had an advantage coming into the season in that there was no obvious attractive young male to siphon votes away from him. But he had two big strikes against him too, in that not a lot of people knew who he was, and those who did know him ended to recall unflattering things such as his cheesy recording career in the wake of his brother Nick's success with the Backstreet Boys, his tabloid antics with multiple girlfriends, and the catastrophic family-based reality show House of Carters. But Carter established himself as a strong contender from the beginning, and was the highest-scoring male for the first two weeks of the season.
However, Carter and partner Karina Smirnoff hit a slump immediately afterward, and the fact that he was barely surviving the vote every week while weaker dancers like Michael Irvin were less often endangered seemed to prove that his personality was turning off potential fans. Carter became visibly discouraged and pouty when getting a poor critique or when announced as a low scorer on results night, but to his credit, his performances began to improve, and he survived a pressure dance-off during last week's results show. But a low ballroom score Monday put Carter in a hole, and his fan base was simply overpowered by those of the final four. He seemed to know it was coming, and took the news with a more even keel than might have been expected given his many mini-tantrums. Just before bidding him farewell, judge Len Goodman, who had chose Carter last week as the recipient of his first 10 score of the season, gave the 21-year-old the validation he has been waiting for: "If you were my son, I'd be so proud of you."
The much-ballyhooed U.S. debut of Scottish sensation Susan Boyle singing her YouTube smash "I Dreamed a Dream" was the evening's other highlight, and in spite of the nauseating hype surrounding her, there's no question the woman can really belt. Michael Buble also performed for the benefit of those who are both prematurely and actually old. The "design a dance" segment, hyped all season long, finally appeared, so if you've waiting alll this time to see Season Five's Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas do a paso doble again, congratulations. Also, there was the return of the snarky "DanceCenter" segment, starring the Season Two comedy team of Kenny Mayne and Jerry Rice. Highlights here included everyone assuming Mya was the pro and partner Dmitry Chaplin the contestant, and Rice both likening Krupa to a seal and saying of Osmond "I hope to have that much energy when I'm 82."