Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tony Dovolani cut from 'Dancing with the Stars'
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/14/2008
Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and her professional partner Tony Dovolani were revealed to be the ninth couple eliminated fromDancing with the Stars' sixth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
Marissa and Tony were booted from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
"It's been incredible," said Marissa after her ouster was revealed. "No one expected us to get this far. I didn't expect to get us this far. Tony didn't expect to get me this far. He has worked so hard with me. This has been such an incredible, incredible experience."
Marissa and Tony's first routine during Monday night's performance episode was a quickstep, which the judges scored a 26 out of 30 possible points after Marissa stumbled during one of her runs.
"Well Marissa, you started like a little locomotive. Then you took off like the Orient Express," judge Bruno Tonioli had commented after the routine. "But, you missed a jete right on the run -- on the big run there you missed it Marissa."
"You noticed," she answered.
"This is the semifinal!" continued Bruno. "At this stage, we look at things like that."
Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba credited Marissa for turning into "the unlikely contender."
"Who would have guessed that you'd still be standing here in the semifinals," commented Carrie Ann. "The quickstep is very difficult -- you know you can't be as creative and flamboyant as the other dances. But I thought you did a great classic quickstep. I thought it was really good."
Len Goodman told Marissa and Tony that he had to consider the "difficulty" of their routine when scoring it because they had to "maintain holds" throughout.
"Now there was a little bit of a lack of body contact, that would be my criticism," he said. "But, for a dance so technical and so fast, I thought you did a great job."
Marissa and Tony then performed the rumba for their second Monday night routine, and it was pretty much on par with their quickstep -- scoring a 26 from the judges.
"Oh Marissa," began Carrie Ann, never a good sign. "This is the semifinals and I wasn't excited by that. I'm really sorry to say that because I've been rooting you on and I love your growth and you fought back when I called you boring and I really admire you for that, but I really don't feel like that was a semifinal dance. It wasn't exciting. It didn't do anything for me."
Len reminded Carrie Ann that the rumba doesn't have the "wow factor" as some of the routines the other three couples were performing.
"It is a precise dance. It has got to be right on the money with the technique and the choreography," added Len. "I thought you did a very, very good job."
Bruno concluded by commenting that he thought Marissa was sexy during the rumba.
"You went for it and you sold it well," he said.
Marissa and Tony's combined score of 52 out of 60 possible points put that at the bottom of the judges leaderboard for the second week in a row. While home viewer votes were enough to save them last week, that wasn't the case again as the couple was ousted on the cusp of the finals.
"I could not be more proud of this woman," said Tony about Marissa at the end of last night's broadcast. "We've been in the lowest scores for quite a few weeks but she never, ever gave up. I believed in her, and obviously, you've become a dancer. I'm very proud of you."
"I want everyone to just go out and do something fun and do something that makes you feel sexy and shake what your mama gave you!" emphatically stated Marissa during last night's broadcast.
Reclaiming their spot atop the judges leaderboard after being bumped from the position for two consecutive weeks was Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas -- who received a 29 for their tango and a 28 for their jive, giving them a combined score of 57.
"At this point in the competition it just feels so good to get out there and dance well," said Kristi during last night's broadcast. "You put all that time into it, so everyone is doing an amazing job and working hard."
Hot on their heels with a combined score of 56 was telenovela star Cristian de la Fuente and his partner Cheryl Burke. Despite Cristian dancing with the ruptured tendon in his left arm that he suffered two weeks ago, he and Cheryl were able to score a 27 for their Viennese waltz and a 29 for their jive.
"Hopefully the injury won't last long enough and after surgery everything will go back to normal," said Cristian during last night's broadcast. "But I'm happy and surprised that I'm here in the semifinals. I'm enjoying it."
In third place on the judges leaderboard -- but only two points behind Kristi and Mark -- was NFL star Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska, who received a 28 for their foxtrot and a 27 for their paso doble.
Dancing with the Stars' final sixth-season performance episode -- in which all the remaining couples will once again each perform two routines -- will air Monday, May 19 at 8PM ET/PT.
Then on Tuesday night beginning at 9PM ET/PT, ABC will air Dancing with the Stars' live two-hour sixth-season finale broadcast -- in which one of the three remaining couples will be awarded the mirror ball trophy.