'Dancing with the Stars' cuts Denise Richards, Maksim Chmerkovskiy
By John Bracchitta, 03/25/2009
Actress and Denise Richards: It's Complicated star Denise Richards and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were revealed to be the second couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' eighth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
"Well my daughter loved my dancing," Richards said following her elimination from the show. "It's been fun, I'm a huge fan of the show and I will continue to be so, and it's fun to be on the other side, so thank you very much."
Richards and Chmerkovskiy were eliminated despite winning a "Dance Off" against The Girls Next Door star Holly Madison and partner Dmitry Chaplin. The couples were required to compete in the "Dance Off" because they had finished as the bottom two couples based on a combination of the judges' scores and home viewer votes from the Monday night's performance show.
Like last week's first-ever "Dance Off," the event gave both couples a chance to perform their Monday night routine a second time and have their Monday night judges' scores replaced with new scores. After each performance, the judges gave each team a new score, which was then combined with the prior home viewer votes to determine which couple would be going home.
Madison and Chaplin began the "Dance Off" with a new performance of their Monday night samba and earned positive comments from the judges along with a score of 18 -- a one point improvement over their previous score.
"What's great about this 'Dance Off' is you get a second chance at a first impression, and last night I said you were a little bit wooden, well you came out really hot tonight," said lead judge Len Goodman of the performance. "You're a party girl, you came out and partied tonight."
Judge Bruno Tonioli added that Madison had brought the "hotness" to the dance floor and enjoyed the performance as well, but had some pointers for the former Playboy playmate as well.
"If you stay in the competition you know what you have to work at," he said. "You really have to listen to the music, attack it a little bit harder, and work as I said last night, on the placement of your foot."
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba was also complimentary of Madison's continued progress and positive attitude.
"What I liked about you is every time you get up -- yes you're still working on your technique, but you bring this party atmosphere. It always looks like a party on the dance floor when Holly's there, which I like," she said. "But tonight what you did, which I'm really happy about, you kept your foot on the ground. Much better."
Richards and Chmerkovskiy performed second in the "Dance Off" and wowed judges with the improvements to their samba. They netted a score of 20, a three point improvement over their Monday night score.
"Denise, I cannot believe under these extremely difficult circumstances, how much you've improved from last night. Leaps and bounds," said Tonioli, who added that she still had to work at maintaining her focus throughout the dance and still tended to "disconnect" in the middle of her performances.
"You're good under pressure, you are good under pressure Denise," added Inaba. "But what I think is really great is you worked on your hands, you worked on your performance... What a different performance, great job."
"This 'Dance Off' gives you a great opportunity to prove that you deserve to stay, and in my opinion, tonight you do," said Goodman.
However, despite the judges' vote of confidence, Richards and Chmerkovskiy were nonetheless done in by their lack of home viewer votes in comparison to Madison and Chaplin. Following Richards' elimination, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron complimented her for leaving the competition on a "high note."
Prior to the elimination of Richards, Bergeron also revealed that next week's performances would not only feature two new dances to the show -- the Lindy Hop and the Argentine Tango -- but that two couples will also be eliminated from the competition in a special "Double Elimination" results show.
Sex and the City star Gilles Marini and professional partner Cheryl Burke had ended Monday night's performance show atop the judges' leaderboard for a second straight weekwith a score of 27 out of 30.
However unlike the prior week, they shared the top spot in a three-way tie with the couples of Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson and partner Mark Ballas and jilted The Bachelor bachelorette Melissa Rycroft and her partner Tony Dovolani, who both received judges' scores of 27 as well.
Rapper Kimberly Denise "Lil Kim" Jones and partner Derek Hough followed in fourth place with their score of 25. Actor David Alan Grier and partner Kym Johnson followed with a score of 24, with country singer Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough -- his partner and real-life girlfriend -- and bull rider Ty Murray and partner Chelsie Hightower tying for sixth place on the judges' leaderboard with a score of 23.
Former NFL superstar Lawrence Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska followed in eighth place with a score of 20.
Richards and Chmerkoviskiy and Madison and Chaplin had both received identical judges scores of 17 during Monday night's performance show, putting them in a tie for ninth place.
Former Jackass and Dr. Steve-O star Stephen "Steve-O" Glover and partner Lacey Schwimmer followed in eleventh place with their score of 15.
For the second straight week Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak and partner Karina Smirnoff received the lowest score of the week -- and the lowest score in six seasons -- with a 10. However, they were once again saved by the home viewer votes and advanced to the next round of the competition.
"I'm more shocked that any time in my life, except maybe when I got served with divorce papers," joked Wozniak after learning he had would not be eliminated from the competition.