Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough cut, Cristian to keep 'Dancing'
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/30/2008
Actress Shannon Elizabeth and her professional partner Derek Hough were revealed to be the seventh couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' sixth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
The couple was 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.
"The show's been amazing," said Shannon after her ouster. "I've learned a lot and I've made a friend for life. Hopefully a bunch of friends for life. I'll be here to support everybody as much as I can."
Shannon and Derek's first routine during Monday night's performance episode was a tango, which the judges scored a 27 out of 30 possible points.
"Shannon, the tango really is a bitch of a dance to master," judge Bruno Tonioli had commented after the routine. "I'm happy to say this was fascinating... Just a tiny mistake at the end."
Fellow judge Carrie Ann Inaba thought it was the couple's "best dance yet, by far."
"I can tell you really worked hard on your lines, and it paid-off on the dance floor," she added. "That's where it counts."
Len Goodman complimented the couple's "flexed knees, aggression and passion."
"I thought you did a terrific job. Well done," he said.
Shannon and Derek then performed the mambo for their second Monday night routine, however it wasn't as well-received as their first routine -- scoring a 24 from the judges.
"My goodness! I don't really know what to say," said Carrie Ann after the second routine. "The tact was fantastic. I loved that you fueled your emotions into the dances this week and not in the backroom speaking -- I do appreciate that. But I'm going to say again -- and I'm not being cruel -- some of your lines are still awkward. You have very long limbs. It takes a lot more work for you to make those lines look nicer than someone smaller like [Kristi Yamaguchi]. But you still have to work on it, it was a good job though."
Len then commented that for a moment, he thought he had "died and gone to heaven" due to Shannon's sexy Latin outfit.
"You've got a bionic bum all of a sudden this week. It was flying around like it was nobody's business!" he added. "Carrie Ann's quite right. It looks a bit gawky sometimes -- your movement. But I must say, as far as the hips are concerned, good job."
Bruno then agreed with Len that Shannon was "working that tushie like a wild woman."
"I really appreciate the effort," he added, "but they are right. Sometimes you have to control a slight gangliness in your moves. You've got to do that, especially in these dances that require clean lines and precision. But, an improvement."
Shannon and Derek had also been the subject of romance rumors in recent weeks. Despite continuously playing coy about the nature of their relationship, the couple was photographed kissing and canoodling on a Malibu beach two weeks ago and several of their fellow sixth-season couples weren't surprised at the romance rumors.
"She's been great," said Derek after he and Shannon's elimination. "She definitely kept me entertained throughout the whole competition. She's a funny girl -- a big dork, but I love that. I couldn't have wished for anybody else. She was amazing."
Before Shannon and Derek's ouster last night, host Tom Bergeron addressed the arm injury of telenovela actor Cristian de la Fuente, who was taken to the hospital on Monday night following a samba routine with his professional partner Cheryl Burke. While an onsite EMT initially diagnosed it as a "severe muscle cramp" on Monday night, Cheryl suspected it was worse than that, and she was right.
"You've got the injured arm in a brace here. What exactly happened last night?" asked Tom before Cristian and Cheryl knew whether or not they were safe from elimination.
"We started dancing the samba, right at the beginning when she fell back, I had an injury right on my tendon, and I ruptured the tendon of my bicep," answered Cristian. "So then I tried to keep going -- and it was a lot of choreography to keep going -- and I just couldn't. I started looking at my arm, I was like, 'Oh my God I'm in pain! Oh, I have to go back to dancing.'"
"The diagnosis is because the tendon was ruptured, I need surgery in order to put it back together," Cristian replied.
"So then the next question would be what does this mean for the competition and you?" asked Tom.
"Well, I just talked to the doctor five minutes ago and he said he can delay the surgery, and if people voted for us and they want us to be on the show, I would like to be there and not give up," answered Cristian.
Tom then revealed that despite Cristian and Cheryl having the lowest combined judges score for their two Monday night routines -- a 25 for their Viennese waltz and a 21 for their samba for a total of 46 -- they were safe from elimination.
Joining Shannon and Derek in the bottom two based on a combination of the judges' scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast were Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and her partner Tony Dovolani, who received a 27 for their tango and a 25 for their rumba.
Also for the first time during Dancing with the Stars sixth season, Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas were bumped from their spot atop the judges leaderboard.
Instead, that honor went to NFL star Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska with a combined score of 55 -- a 29 for their quickstep and a 26 for their paso doble. Kristi and Mark received a combined score of 54, a 26 for their Viennese waltz -- their lowest score of the competition so far -- and a 28 for their cha-cha-cha.
"Watching Jason and Edyta, they're phenomenal," said Kristi during last night's broadcast, adding she wasn't surprised to see them ascend to the top of the judges leaderboard. "We were happy with the way we danced. It was [going to happen] sooner or later."
"We were just pacing ourselves a little bit. We wanted to wait until the final stretch. I want to thank Kristi for allowing us to have the headlines for one night," joked Jason, which brought a laugh from the audience.
Rounding out the judges leaderboard were R&B singer Mario and his partner Karina Smirnoff with a combined score of 51 -- a 24 for their foxtrot and a 27 for their mambo.
Dancing with the Stars' next sixth-season performance episode -- in which all the remaining couples will once again each perform two routines -- will air Monday, May 6 at 8PM ET/PT.
"We've noticed that some of the couples are pushing the boundaries of what is and isn't a lift," said Len during last night's broadcast. "So we feel rather than fight them, we mine as well go with them. Next week, they can do one lift -- if they wish to -- in each of the dances. However it must be in character with that dance that you're performing."
Then on Tuesday night beginning at 9PM ET/PT, one couple will be eliminated based on a combination of the judges scores from Monday night and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
(Photo credit ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
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