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Thriller of a Jackson Tribute, Then Another Celeb Bites Dancing With the Stars Dust

Nothing like a rollicking tribute to the King of Pop to get your mind off of a pending elimination.

Well, the hit-and-miss Michael Jackson tribute on Tuesday's Dancing With the Stars probably didn't ease the nerves of the celebs backstage, but we were pretty entertained by the pros' homage to M.J.

The "Thriller" group routine was so fun, it even made us forget that we weren't hearing Jackson's music, but rather the second-rate stylings of the house band. Another big miss: La Toya's weird introduction.

Anyway, the Jackson medley and a couple of songs from Norah Jones gave the safe contestants—who have a mambo dance-off to prepare for next week—a chance to rest their feet.

That was good news for Kelly Osbourne, who bruised and sprained her foot last night when her shoe buckle banged into her upon the dramatic conclusion of her paso doble.

She should be good to go by Monday, unlike the star who unwittingly took a final bow last night.

DWTS' tradition of turning Olympic gold medalists into disco ball winners ended with a bellyflop, as swimmer Natalie Coughlin was the latest star to be eliminated.

DWTS, Natalie Coughlin Adam Larkey/ABC

The buff beauty, who didn't rank last scorewise but apparently sank under the weight of a paso doble that lacked emotional heft, seemed on the verge of tears when she said her good-byes.

"I don't know, I loved this so much," she said when Samantha Harris asked about her experience on the show. "I guess I didn't show it, how much I loved it, but I really did. I'm sorry."

Partner Alec Mazo, who guided Kelly Monaco to the winner's circle in season one, told Natalie how very proud he was of her.

Len Goodman said he was heartbroken by tonight's bottom two.

Despite coming in fourth place last night with a 24, Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff found themselves teetering on the brink for the second straight week.

Is there something inherently unlikable about Aaron? We can't quite put our finger on it...

On the other hand, weekly bottom-feeder Michael Irvin sailed on through to the safe side yet again, as did Donny Osmond, Mya and Mark Dacascos, none of whom have had to suffer much on elimination nights. Louie Vito, in danger last week, must have scored some at-home points for his and Chelsie's puppy-love chemistry, because he was ushered backstage as well.

Sweating it out for a bit were Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough, who was back for the Jackson tribute a night after the flu kept him off the floor, and Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas, who didn't convincingly pull off the seductress-prey part of the Argentine tango to the judges' liking.

Nine stars are left and will dance solos and compete in a mambo dance marathon (they just keep going until the judges say stop) next Monday. Tuesday's results show will feature music from Taylor Swift and, gulp, a double elimination.

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Natalie Coughlin couldn't pull off the femme fatale role, and look what happened. She could learn a thing or two from the deadly dames in our TV's Hottest Vampires gallery.

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