STEP OFF: DANCING Eliminates Two Stragglers, Semi-Finals Begin Next Week

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Now that we're down to the nitty-gritty of DANCING WITH THE STARS, (or, at least as much 'grittiness' as possible) fan-favorites are all on the chopping-block. This late into the game, with next week being the semi-finals, only text messages and the flail-about voting methods of Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba separate the contestants from the proverbial blade. Len Goodman's scoring record is sound.

Following last night's Veterans Tribute, two contestants were eliminated tonight, though, to be fair, neither were all that shocking.

For a little context as to who fits where in this ever-changing game of glitzy, celeb-encrusted Chicken Dancing, here's the leader board after last night's performances:

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 30/30+ 30/30 + 39/40 = 99/100
Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough: 29.5/30 + 26/30 + 38/40 = 93.5/100
Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 28/30 + 28.5/30 + 36/40 = 92.5/100
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 28/30 + 30/30 + 34.5/40 = 92.5/100
Gilles Marini & Peta Murgatroyd: 29.5/30 + 29/30 + 33.5/40 = 92/100
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 29.5/30 + 29/30 + 33/40 = 91.5/100
Kirstie Alley & Maksim Chmerkovskiy: 27/30 + 24/30 + 28/40 = 79/100

After the obligatory separating of the weak from the light-footed through "tension-building" groupings, the first couple eliminated is former Jenny Craig spokesgal, Kirstie Alley. Finding herself consistently at the bottom of the scoreboard, and at the bottom of the barrel in fan's hearts, it seems, it shouldn't come as a major shock. It's been a good run. She outlasted Bryan, after all.

Next week, the remaining five couples will take on a ballroom dance, a Latin dance inspired by Michael Jackson (uh, what?), and one dance set to a theme chosen by another couple. The last sort is detailed below, but read with caution - they make little to no sense:

- Kelly & Val choose "caveman hustle" for Melissa & Tony
- Emmitt & Cheryl choose "night rider banghra" for Shawn & Derek
- Apolo & Karina choose "mad monk marangue" for Gilles & Peta
- Gilles & Peta choose "big top jazz" for Apolo & Karina
- Shawn & Derek choose "espionage lindy hop" for Emmit & Cheryl
- Kelly & Val are left with "surfer flaming"

Finally, the second couple to be sent home is Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd. Their numbers may have been much better than Alley and Chmerkovskiy's, but they had found themselves in a bit of a rut the past few weeks, receiving lower and lower scores - and couldn't seem to break out of it.

And so here we are, left with the lineup for the DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS semi-finals that features a group with a little less stomp in their step, and slightly more grace. Check back next Monday for BroadwayWorld's recap as the competition begins to come to a close.



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