Shannon Elizabeth, Derek Hough, Dancing with the Stars

ABC

Shannon Elizabeth and Derek Hough are just going to have to dance to the beat of their own hearts now.

The might-be-a couple were eliminated from Dancing With the Stars Tuesday after their tango-mambo double feature fell short with the voters.

"The show's been amazing. I learned a lot, and I've made a friend for life," Elizabeth said, smartly skirting a question about the connection she's formed with Hough over the past seven weeks.

"Wow, she's been great," Hough added when host Tom Bergeron pointedly asked his thoughts on the actress as a "dance partner."

But while their personal plotline is to be continued, it was Cristián de la Fuente who provided the answer to the real question on everyone's mind.

The Chilean actor, who last night ruptured a tendon in his left bicep while dancing the samba with Cheryl Burke and ended up with a lowly 46 out of 60 for their two performances, is going to need surgery to fully repair the injury. But...good news...the operation can wait.

"If we get the votes," de la Fuente said tonight, "I would like to be there and not go."

And, what do you know? He and Burke were the next to be declared safe.

Meaning, it was the steadily improving Marissa Jaret Winokur and partner Tony Dovolani who had to share the ignominious red spotlight, despite their third-place 52 following a graceful tango and a saucy rumba.

Maybe not the right choice, but one could see how they might have slipped under the radar last night.

The other so-called scandal of the evening Monday was the demotion of Kristi Yamaguchi and Mark Ballas to, gasp, second place, but the still-front-running duo were the first couple to be declared safe tonight.

Also readily welcomed back to the boudoir, er, ballroom were Mario and Karina Smirnoff, who fell into the middle of the pack last night, scorewise, but apparently added enough spice to their fox-trot—and had enough left over for their mambo afterward—to keep their hungry-for-love fans happy.

Made to worry for no reason, meanwhile, were Jason Taylor and Edyta Sliwinska, who finished in first place last night following an encore-worthy quickstep and a pretty good paso doble.

Next week, DWTS marks its 100th episode with the help of musical guest Rascal Flatts and returning stars Mario Lopez, Melanie "Mel B" Brown, Sabrina Bryan, Apolo Anton Ohno, Joey Fatone, Master P, Jerry Rice, Jane Seymour, Jerry Springer and Wayne Newton.

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