Talk about your nagging injury.
Bachelor ex Melissa Rycroft's fractured rib only served to remind Chuck Wicks how many fans she has—because he was the one who scored a 26 and still got sent home from Dancing With the Stars.
And next season, Julianne Hough will not be making an unexpected return to dance with her boyfriend. No, this time she's really off to focus on her singing career.
"This has been fantastic," Wicks said in appreciation after the ax fell. "I've had a great time. In the last three weeks we've gotten standing ovations from the crowd, and that's really what matters. It shows you how many fans Melissa has—for her to be five points down and still in this competition is incredible. So hats off to you, Melissa."
Tuesday's results came in the wake of a less-than-ideal situation for the former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader: She couldn't dance last night because of a rib injury and had to settle with a 21 for the rehearsal version of her jive. But the crowd has loved her.
Meanwhile, Ty Murray—the theoretical laggard in the bunch, scorewise—earned a 24 on his salsa but was part of the dominating Team Tango, which trounced Team Mambo, 28-25.
And all the other scores were higher. So what were voters with itchy dialing fingers to do?
This being a better season of DWTS than we've seen in some time, we were going to be sorry to see anyone go tonight.
But that's the way the ballroom bounces, of course, so we braced ourself for the inevitable loss.
Turns out, Ty didn't even have to sweat. Despite Len Goodman's suggestion that it was time for the rodeo cowboy to "hit the trail," he was one of the first to be declared safe, along with Lil' Kim.
Of course, Ty could have been in the bottom two, even though Melissa was the last to be safe. The producers don't trouble us with pesky details like that.
Tonight also saw the return of four of the six pros who started off competing last week for a spot opposite a star contestant on DWTS' ninth season. Genya Mazo, Afton Delgrosso, Mayo Alanen and Anna Demidova are still in the running.
Next week, the five remaining couples will perform two dances apiece—one Latin and one ballroom—for our judgmental pleasure.
(Originally published April 28, 2009, at 7:05 p.m. PT)