STEP OFF: Three Contestants Secure Their Spot in the DANCING Finals

STEP-OFF-Three-Contestants-Secure-Their-Spot-in-the-DANCING-Finals-20010101

With only a week left in this season's DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS - though still plenty of time for another trip to the hospital - two competitors must pack their bags, wipe that glitter/sweat combo from their brows, and head home. Keep reading to find out which two were eliminated, dreams of DANCING finals completely, totally dashed. Unless ABC orders ALL STARS: Round Two.

To get your bearings on where each contestant stands as of tonight, here's the leaderboard following Monday's performances:


Shawn Johnson & Derek Hough:
30/30 + 29/30 = 59/60
Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani: 27.5/30 + 30/30 = 57.5/30
Apolo Anton Ohno & Karina Smirnoff: 27/30 + 30/30 = 57/60
Emmitt Smith & Cheryl Burke: 27/30 + 27/30 = 54/60
Kelly Monaco & Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 25.5/30 + 28.5/30 = 54/60

So, let's get to it. Right away, at nearly the top of the hour, frontrunner Shawn Johnson and her partner Derek Hough are announced to be safe. Not a huge whopper, right?

Next up, Melissa Rycroft shares the stage with Apolo Ohno, which brings us to the first of two eliminations. Ohno, Olympian and DANCING champ, is announced to be out.

"Every single person who does this show is a champion," Ohno said after the announcement. "It forces you to become a champion in your own right. It forces you to become stronger. You become more confident. It's a blessing"

Also, Paula Abdul gave a rousing medley performance with MC Skat Kat because duh.

With Abdul gone from the DANCING stage - though most likely not for the last time - Emmitt Smith and Kelly Monaco are left to leer and sweat and hope their "Espionage" lindy hop and "Surfer" flamenco were sufficiently embarrassing to get them through. For Monaco, the news was good. For Smith, another DANCING winner, it's a little sour.

With Smith being the second competitor eliminated, DANCING WITH THE STARS: ALL STARS is set with an all-female finals lineup, a rarity for the show. The first night of finals weeks kicks off next Monday.

Finally, in case you missed, it, the real DANCING shocker of the day: Maks Chmerkovskiy, who was eliminated with Kirstie Alley earlier in the competition, may not return for next season. Click here to read the full report.



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