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Dancing With One Less Star

Denise Richards, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Dancing with the Stars ABC/KELSEY McNEAL

So many possibilities, so little time.

Who deserved the boot Tuesday on Dancing With the Stars? The fellow with the lowest score in six seasons? The gal who took a five-point dive from last week? The dude whose Jackass has taken quite the beating this month?

Or none of the above?

This week the dance-off actually stood to help the contestants who found themselves grinning through the disappointment atop the chopping block, but whether those few extra points are really helping to tip the scales...well, maybe you should ask the Answer Bitch about that.

As it turned out, it was elimination with a capital E! Tuesday, with the title star of Denise Richards: It's Complicated being forced into a dance-off with The Girls Next Door babe Holly Madison. (E! Online and E! Entertainment are both divisions of Comcast Entertainment Group.)

We doubt the 18 she and Dmitry Chaplin earned on tonight's samba redo was enough to redirect any momentum, but Holly survived nonetheless, taking her one extra point all the way to next week.

So, despite improving upon last night's samba by four points to climb into the realm of week-three respectability with a 20, that was it for Denise and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

"My daughters love my dancing," said the smiling actress, who graciously opted to look on the bright side. "It's been fun. I'm a huge fan of the show and I will continue to be so, and it's fun being on the other side."

DWTS, Denise Richards, Maksim Chmerkovskiy ABC/KELSEY MCNEAL

Her ouster (and Holly's close call) means that America put the whoa in Wozniak by voting to keep Steve "Laid the Foundation for the iPhone" Wozniak and Karina Smirnoff around for another week despite their lowest-of-the-low (except for Master P's 8) score of 10 on their samba.

"I am more shocked than at any time in my life, except maybe when I got served with divorce papers," the relentlessly jolly Apple Computer cofounder said.

They weren't even in the bottom two, despite the judges' best efforts: "The novelty wears off at some point," Carrie Ann Inaba said Monday, while Bruno Tonioli advised Steve-W to get on his knees and "beg forgiveness." Yeesh!

Also given the go-ahead were the Pee-wee Herman-channeling Steve-O and his partner, Lacey Schwimmer, who has at least one more week to whip her broken-down daredevil into fighting shape.

Easily safe for the time being were the trio of couples who tied for first place after earning 27s for their respective performances—Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani, Gilles Marini and Cheryl Burke, and Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas.

Later on, Lawrence Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson, Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, and Lil' Kim and Derek Hough learned that they, too, would be learning either the Lindy hop or the Argentine tango (both new additions to the competition) next week.

Meanwhile, it was couples' night in the demo portion of the evening, with the betrothed Karina and Maks taking center stage for musical guest Hall & Oates' "Maneater" and Edyta and hubby Alec Mazo acting out the love in Adele's "Chasing Pavements."

Even more passionate, however, were season-seven sizzler Cloris Leachman and pro Corky Ballas, who returned to demonstrate next week's dances . Their chemistry was electric—and then they kissed.

So, who's excited about the Argentine tango?!

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