A good night turned bad for “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Maria Menounos: despite receiving the highest scores from judged on Monday night’s performance show, she and her partner, Derek Hough, were eliminated. The TV Column reports:
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.
Menounos may have been offed due to an outpouring of sympathy for contestant Katherine Jenkins, who injured her back. Emily Yahr described the performance:
She trips a bit at the end, and buries her head in her hands. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” she says over and over, appearing to be in pain. Carrie Ann is sympathetic. “That was fantastic,” she assures her. “I love seeing you push your boundaries…so bummed about the end, but you carried on.” Bruno also tells her not to worry about the ending. In the Celebriquarium, Katherine says she did something to her back, and Brooke assures us doctors will check her out right away. Scores: 9, 9, 9 for a total of 27 points, and 56 for the night.
Unfortunately for Menounos, she was also injured earlier in the season, but she chose not to focus on her misfortune. Yahr thinks that she could have done better in the competition by allowing viewers to see her pain :
Either way, let this be a lesson to Maria: It's not always about dancing on "Dancing"; it's about drama. Ironically, Maria was frequently called out as the most injured person of the season -- broken ribs, hurt chin, fractured feet. Yet she downplayed her injuries every time, even after producers showed footage of her going to the doctor, and refused to talk about the pain.
While playing it "brave" could have seemed like a good idea, just a thought for Maria: You may want to save your stoicism for another show.
Jenkins later updated viewers on her condition via Twitter.
Later Monday night, Katherine tweeted, “Thank you for all your concerned tweets... I'm with the Doctor, he says it was a reflectorical spasm in my lower back.”
And on Tuesday morning, she appeared to have a positive development: The good news is that I'm feeling better, just a little sore,” she tweeted.
Mark Ballas told E! last night during a backstage interview that he feels like she’ll be okay:
“The good thing is that there is no bone damage, thank God, and hopefully there's no muscle or ligament damage. I just know from suffering past injuries that when you're done, you're done,” Ballas said. “...But she was up moving around so hopefully she'll be fine.”
That leaves Jenkins, actor William Levy, and Green Bay Packers wide reciever Donald Driver still in the competition, though Cindy Boren reports that things aren’t looking good for Driver, post-DWTS:
Driver, for now a Green Bay Packers wide receiver, and his partner advance to the season finale next week, when Driver will try to join Emmitt Smith and Hines Wardas NFL players who’ve hoisted the moderately coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.
Competing on “DWTS” means that Driver is likely to miss the Packers’ first organized team activity next Monday and his absence isn’t likely to help him keep a tenuous grasp on his job. But that’ll be a matter for next week.