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TV Column
Posted at 06:00 AM ET, 05/16/2012

‘Dancing With the Stars’ 2012: Maria Menounos goes home; Katherine Jenkins, Donald Driver, William Levy advance to finals

Despite nabbing the highest judges scores on Monday night’s performance show, TV host Maria Menounos was eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars.”

There was an audible gasp in the ballroom when Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke Charvet revealed that Maria and her partner, Derek Hough, wouldn’t make it to next week’s season finale. They were against NFL player Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd in the bottom two; Donald will join classical singer Katherine Jenkins/Mark Ballas and actor William Levy/Cheryl Burke in the final competition round.

“I learned so many things – I learned how strong I was, I learned to persevere,” Maria said sadly at the end of the show.

“She’s not just a champion of dancing, she’s a champion of life.” Derek earnestly chimed in. Yes, he really did.

Anyway, here are some other highlights from the Tuesday night results show.

* We got the backstory from Katherine’s injury Monday night, when she tweaked her back during her samba and broke down crying on the dance floor. “It was so quick, like something twinged,” she said backstage, apparently devastated more than anything that she had messed up the routine. It turned out to be a back spasm, and she healed quickly overnight — and once she learned her she was safe from elimination, she started jumping around screaming. “I’m no doctor, but her back looks better now,” Tom Bergeron remarked.

Still, that didn’t stop the producers from repeatedly airing slow-motion footage of the injury, which Brooke Burke Charvet narrated in detail, and Tom Bergeron compared to the intense study of the Zapruder film.

* The pro dancers got to give their critiques of the remaining dancers. Peta proclaims that Maria showed the most improvement (foreshadowing!); Mark thinks William’s biggest weakness is technique; Derek feels Katherine was excellent in lyrical dancing, though Mark believes she lets herself get too riled up; and Cheryl notes that athletes, like Donald, often do well on the show because they know when to peak.

* Performances included a song from Alanis Morissette; a slightly scary “Rock of Ages” medley starring Julianne Hough and Mary J. Blige (who boasted an envious bedazzled belt); and former “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, who stopped by the rival reality show to perform her new single.

The most entertaining part, however, was when Tom Bergeron stopped to chat with former “DWTS” dancer Julianne Hough.

“How’s that boyfriend treating you?” he inquired in re: Ryan Seacrest.

“He’s treating me pretty well,” Julianne said, trying to do some sort of wink.

“He better,” Tom Bergeron replied, faux-menacingly.

By  |  06:00 AM ET, 05/16/2012

 
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