Note to Carrie Ann Inaba: You might not want to force a woman to declare Leo-on-Titanic style "I'm doing good in this competition!" if it's fairly apparent she's getting the ol' heave-ho.
Such was the humble pie Susan Lucci had to gobble down tonight, as she became the seventh contestant booted from Dancing With the Stars.
Still, backstage after the show ended, the soap queen was in remarkably high spirits, the highest yet for any eliminee so far this season, gushing, "I'm so glad I did it; it was a great experience!"
Though her costars were a different story…
"It sucks!" Lance Bass told us of Susan's dismissal. "She really did become close to us. She was the one who was so positive, she had the hardest schedule to keep, and I respect everything that she did."
Cody Linley (who landed in the bottom two) seconded that emotion: "This was so nerve-wracking! It was either me or Susan going home, and I was thinking, ‘I don't want to go home, but I don't want to see my friend go home either!' So it's sad to see another part of the family go home."
And yet home isn't really where the hard-working soap star is headed. "I can't wait to return to All My Children and really devote the time to the fabulous Erica Kane and our wonderful fans," Susan told us. "I haven't been on as frequently. Usually I'm there for five or four shows a week. So this way I can devote my time to All My Children, and we won't be dancing the night after All My Children."
Next week for the first time in DWTS history, the dancers will have to perform solo, which already has at least one contestant nervous: Cody. "Everyone's got only 15 seconds to shine away from our partners!" He revealed he'll be dancing with Edyta again next week.
We also caught up with Kim Kardashian (DWTS castoff and star of E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians), who sat in the audience tonight and echoed what many of the fans seem to be thinking: Brooke and Warren will probably be the final two. "I love Warren," she said. "I think his personality is so charming and so fun. But I think Brooke has been a 10 from the start...It's time for a mother and a woman to win! We all like the sports players, but it's time for a real woman to win."