Olympic gold medalist swimmer Natalie Coughlin and her partner Alec Mazo became the seventh couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' ninth season during last night's live results show broadcast of the ABC reality series.

"I loved this so much," said Coughlin after her elimination was revealed. "I guess I didn't show it how much I loved it. But I really did, and I'm sorry."

Coughlin and Mazo were ousted during the fifth 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 just want to tell you I'm very proud of you. You did a great job," said Mazo, comforting Coughlin.  "Don't worry, this is not the end of it. You're going to be awesome in anything you do."

Coughlin and Mazo performed a paso doble routine during Monday night's performance episode, for which they received a score of 22 out of 30 possible points -- placing them towards the bottom of the judges' leaderboard.

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"You are a very accomplished dancer. Everything you do is clean and precise," commented judge Len Goodman

"But I'm seeing a bit of a pattern emerging. Last week, your bolero, I felt lacked a little romance. Tonight, I felt your paso doble lacked a little bit of aggression. You've got to work on the character of each dance, get a bit more chemistry between the two of you. But overall, very well done."

Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli began by calling Coughlin "the wonder woman."

"But Len's right, it's slightly wonder-less this paso doble," he added.  "The paso doble has to have conviction. You've got to be on it from the very beginning. It's like a battle of wills. And you have to have artistry as well at the same time. It has to speak about Spain... I didn't quite see that."

Carrie Ann Inaba said she can tell Coughlin is a "great student" by the way she does the choreography.

"You do it very well.  But now we're at the fifth week and we want to see if you can really make it to the end," said Inaba, who then criticized Mazo for performing what she thought was a lift -- which is against the rules.

"There was a moment where it looked like she was lifted, so I'm going to call that a lift. But this isn't about the choreography. I think you move really, really well -- I just want you to remember to go out past your body."
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Prior to Coughlin and Mazo's elimination last night, Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron revealed that singer Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff were the other couple in the bottom two based on a combination of their judges scores from Monday night -- a 24 out of 30 for their Argentine tango -- and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.

It was the second consecutive week Carter and Smirnoff were in the bottom two.

"I can't quite believe it," said Tonioli when the bottom two were revealed. "Aaron has been on the top of the leaderboard, great energy, he's been one of our best competitors. Okay, sometimes he can be a bit wild. We know that. But last night he showed he can get into character -- serious, focused."

Inaba said she was "very disappointed" to see Coughlin in the bottom two.

"Vote people!" added Inaba.  "You've always had this incredible ability to mix strength and flexibility as well as fluidity -- which is very unique. I'm very disappointed to see you there."

Goodman said not only was he "surprised," but he was also "heartbroken" for the two couples in the bottom two.

"They definitely don't deserve to be in the bottom two," he added.  "I do understand with the viewers, they want to support underdogs, but justice must prevail and neither should be there."

Bergeron then revealed Coughlin and Mazo were eliminated.

At the beginning of last night's broadcast, Bergeron updated viewers on the injury of former The Osbournes star Kelly Osbourne -- who was taken to the hospital following her paso doble performance with partner Louis van Amstel on Monday night.

"As you saw, Kelly went off to the hospital last night after the show," said Bergeron.  "She suffered a sprained foot and a contusion, but she'll be well enough to dance next week provided she makes it through tonight's elimination."

After it was revealed that Osbourne was safe during last night's broadcast, she discussed her injury with Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris.

"It's still really, really sore. I still can't wear shoes," Osbourne told Harris. 

"But I'm really, really, really happy that it's nothing more serious and I was so scared. I was crying more because I thought I would have to leave the competition than the actual pain. So it was such a sense of relief when I found out I could come back."

In addition, Dancing with the Stars' professionals paid tribute to Michael Jackson -- who passed away in June at the age of 50 -- by performing a routine to his music during last night's results show.

Atop the judges' leaderboard on Monday night were entertainer Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson, who received a 29 for their Argentine tango. Hot on their heels were singer/actress Mya and Dmitry Chaplin, who received a 27 for their Argentine tango, and Food Network host Mark Dacascos and Lacey Schwimmer with a 26 for their paso doble.

In the middle of the pack with scores of 24 were Carter and Smirnoff, Osbourne and van Amstel, and actress Joanna Krupa -- who performed the Argentine tango with Maksim Chmerkovskiy instead of her regular partner Derek Hough, who has been sick with flu-like symptoms.

Rounding out the judges' leaderboard were actress Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas with a 23 for their Argentine tango, professional snowboarder Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower with a 22 for their Argentine tango, and Coughlin and Mazo.

Retired NFL star Michael Irvin and professional newcomer Anna Demidova were at the bottom of the leaderboard, receiving a 21 for their paso doble.

Dancing with the Stars' next ninth-season performance episode will air Monday, October 26 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC -- with each of the nine remaining couples performing either the jitterbug or waltz.

In addition, all of the couples will participate in a "marathon" mambo -- a competition in which all of them will be on the floor at the same time until they're knocked out one-by-one.

Then on Tuesday at 9PM ET/PT, two couples will be eliminated from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores and home viewer votes.
About The Author: Christopher Rocchio
Christopher Rocchio is an entertainment reporter for Reality TV World and has covered the reality TV genre for several years.