"One thing I will always remember and take from this competition is definitely the lessons I've learned," said Carter after his elimination was revealed. "I've grown so much with [the judges'] compliments and your criticisms. So thank you for letting me grow on this show."
The former House of Carters reality show star and his partner were ousted during the eighth week of the competition based on a combination of their judges scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
"I think the dedication that you have shown week after week is absolutely fantastic," said judge Len Goodman after the results were revealed.
"I think you're an inspiration to all young people, that anything is possible. If you were my son, I would be so proud of you. But more important, you should be proud of yourself because you've been great."
Carter and Smirnoff's first routine on Monday night was a foxtrot, for which they received 23 out of 30 possible points -- a rough start that put them at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard.
Judge Bruno Tonioli said he "could really see how much work" went into the routine.
"You really worked very, very hard trying to get the style right, but I felt it was a little bit tense," he added. "It didn't have the easy flow necessary to sell the foxtrot. It's a brave attempt because I can really see you working very hard. But it wasn't as smooth and free as it could have been."
Carrie Ann Inaba said since this was the quarterfinals performance episode, the judges were watching the remaining contestants "like hawks" -- and she agreed with Tonioli.
"I definitely saw your effort, and you were definitely going for every detail," she added. "But there was a bit of loss of fluidity. So try to work on that in the next round."
Goodman compared Carter to "his son in a toy shop" due to all the "emotions" of "excitement, joy and bewilderment."
"I am proud of you whatever happens because I think you've worked so hard, you've tried your utmost, and for a young man I think you've done very, very well," he said.
For their second Monday night routine -- a decade piece -- Carter and Smirnoff performed a 90s samba, for which they scored a 27 out of 30 possible points.
While the studio audience loved it, Carter and Smirnoff's performance came immediately after singer/actress Mya and her partner Dmitry Chaplin received a perfect 30 out of 30 for their 70s samba.
"You came out and performed it, you sold it, and you really, really worked your socks off," said Goodman. "Well done."
Tonioli thought "all the energy" Carter displays finally worked.
"I thought it was going to be a disaster to be honest," he added.
Inaba said the routine reminded her of all the "difficult times" Carter has had during the competition.
"But I watch you out here now and you are truly a great performer," she said. "You smoothed out all the edges."
In addition to Carter and Smirnoff, former The Osbournes star Kelly Osbourne and partner Louis van Amstel were the second couple in this week's bottom two based on a combination of their judges scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
Osbourne and van Amstel received a 25 for their foxtrot and 26 for their 60s jive, giving them a combined score of 51.
Atop the judges' leaderboard for the fourth time during the competition were Mya and Chaplin -- who received a 29 for their quickstep and the aforementioned perfect score for their 70s samba for a combined score of 59.
In second with a combined score of 52 were actress Joanna Krupa and partner Derek Hough, who received a 23 for their quickstep and a 29 for their futuristic paso doble.
At the bottom of the judges' leaderboard with a combined score of 50 were Carter and Smirnoff as well as entertainer Donny Osmond and partner Kym Johnson, who received a 26 for their Viennese waltz and a 24 for their 80s paso doble.
Dancing with the Stars' ninth-season semifinals performance episode will air Monday, November 16 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC -- with each of the four remaining couples performing three routines.
Then on Tuesday at 9PM ET/PT, one more couple will be eliminated from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores and home viewer votes -- revealing the three couples who will battle it out the following week for the ninth season's mirror ball trophy.
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