Stunning ‘DWTS’ Sends Home a Favorite

Maria Menounos and Derek Hough on "Dancing with the Stars" (ABC)

The “Dancing with the Stars” Season 14 semifinal elimination would be the unkindest cut ever, as everyone in the final four could legitimately deserve mirror ball glory. I finally decided that Katherine Jenkins was the star most likely to go home, not only because her Monday Arabian Knights style dance ended in a bizarre injury but because the Welsh singer had been unknown in the U.S. before doing “DWTS.” Although there was a chance viewers might spare Katherine out of sympathy for her post-dance pain, her recent accident-prone ways also convinced me it should be her time to say bye-bye to the ballroom.

This was how the dramatic semifinal wound up:

William Levy and Cheryl Burke started the night with the encore performance of their red hot (actually hot pink) Miami-themed samba. Fun and fluid, but I thought Maria Menounos and Derek Hough had deserved the encore for their tango.

See Maria’s Reaction to Hearing Her Name Announced:

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Behind the scenes footage of Katherine and her partner Mark Ballas from the previous night showed judges saying how upset they were about her spill. “It’s my back,” she cried backstage to her pro dancer. Katherine said backstage in the confessional interview that she thought it was the end for them. But Katherine was in the building tonight and apparently feeling much better. In fact, she was standing with Mark waiting for their results right then. Tom Bergeron declared them… safe! Whoa. Total surprise in the press room as Katherine and Mark jumped for joy! The journalists watched the monitor during commercial break and saw Katherine being congratulated by her friends and family in the audience. Wow. I was shocked but guessed the sympathy vote had gone Katherine’s way and she had looked so beautiful on Monday night, even with tears filling her eyes. Good for her getting another chance! Now I thought, she needs to avoid any more strange incidents on the floor for the finale because it must be perfect.

Watch First-Place Maria and Derek’s Last Dance!

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Katherine told Brooke Burke-Charvet backstage that she was going to power through the finale. Brooke tried to analyze the dance with Mark as they watched last night’s bobble again in slo-mo video and the hostess appeared to blame the incident on the dance pro. Mark said he didn’t know what had happened, but felt like he didn’t get full extension in his arm to balance Katherine. Whatever. They beat the odds and is in the finals, people!

I had been ignoring the Macy’s Stars of Dance performances lately, but tonight was inspired to give a shout out to Chelsie Hightower who cut a rug with Tristan MacManus. I knocked young Chelsie for her faux sexiness last week with her season 14 partner Roshon Fegan, but here, she REALLY got to show herself off and it totally worked. Chelsie was a whirlwind and the dance ended with her skirt blowing up like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot.

Julianne Hough Returns for the Results Show:

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More behind the scenes action from Monday night was aired, and Maria fixed Cheryl Burke’s hair backstage. “Are you kidding me!” Maria screamed at Derek after they got a perfect 30 for their tango. They would be told their fate…oh dear. In jeopardy! Grumbling in the press room because they didn’t deserve to go home.

The tension was building…but then, we were treated to shameless promotion for the upcoming musical “Rock of Ages!” How many TV shows can do commercials for this movie? Granted, Julianne Hough was once on “Dancing with the Stars,” but really! I somehow didn’t think she’d be coming back for next season’s all-stars show—Helio Castroneves, find a new partner to rev your dance engine if you’re on board!

Tom came back to tell fans that there would be a “DWTS” all-star edition, which everyone knew already. However, he did spill another key tidbit about next season—not only would there be past champions, but controversial characters, too! OMG! I was thrilled, with visions of train wrecks Kate Gosselin and Bristol Palin dancing in my head. I’m so THERE!

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More “Rock of Ages” promotion, with a full number featuring Julianne Hough both singing and dancing and Tom asked the singer/dancer afterwards how her boyfriend (Ryan Seacrest) was treating her. Awkward! And Tom, why were you giving easy PR to your rival host on that other top reality show?

More results…William and Cheryl made it through to the finale! That meant Donald Driver and Peta Murgatroyd were in the bottom two with Maria and Derek.

Two couples, red lights—who would be cut? Both couples looked really scared. Tom announced this was going to suck no matter what. Ha. Then he said….Maria and Derek were going home! A shocking elimination! No one liked that in the press room. They had the BEST dances last night. Not fair. Not right!

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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