"Dancing with the Stars": Sherri Shepherd leaves the ballroom in tears

Sherri Shepherd Eliminated on April 10, 2012. Occupation: Actress/"The View" co-host Partner: Val Chmerkovskiy
ABC/Adam Taylor
Sherri Shepherd and Val Chmerkovskiy perform on "Dancing with the Stars" in Los Angeles on April 9, 2012.

(CBS News) Rock Week on "Dancing With The Stars" had its shocking casualties, but none, perhaps, more painful than the voters' latest victim, Sherri Shepherd. That little heart-stopper was merely the latest of Rock Week's woes (and I'm not even including the musical arrangements.)

First, there had been Cheryl Burke's shoe - which fell of half way through her routine with William Levy. Then Melissa Gilbert suffered a mild concussion during Monday's routine. She didn't appear for last night's results show, understandably preferring to remain under sedation.

Pictures: "Dancing with the Stars" Season 14

Her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was also hurt.

"You hurt your arm," said Tom Bergeron.

"It took away the pain from the ankle, knee and shoulders," bluffed Chmerkovskiy.

He was soon told that he and Gilbert were safe. However, a greater surprise was that Gavin DeGraw would also be returning. DeGraw has grappled with the emotional pain associated with, well, dancing inability. His shock was palpable.

This left the stage open for more than a little controversy. Could it be that Maria Menounos (stress fracture of the foot, broken ribs) might be in danger? In danger, at least, of one break too many. Could it be that Gladys Knight, after a shaky effort, didn't garner votes? Or might it be Jaleel White - who had promised to spice his routine up with nudity in future weeks - would be denuded of the opportunity?

Menounos was told she had another few hours to rest her breaks before getting back to work. White was also safe to pursue naked opportunity. Even Knight was told she would not be leaving on that midnight train just yet.

This was drama of a curious precision. There remained Katherine Jenkins - certainly the best. There was Donald Driver - who was asked to perform an encore of his topless paso doble. There was Sherri Shepherd, who had tried very hard and also projected more charm than, well, the average daytime talk show host. There was the utter, hunking gorgeousness of William Levy. And there was Roshon Fegan, clearly talented, but clearly a little full of himself.

"How safe are you feeling?" Brooke Burke Charvet asked him. Fegan said he was trying to keep it all together.

The Gotan Project provided an interesting interlude that offered the chance to listen to music that was actually appropriate for the tango - as opposed to rock music slowed down to try and incite someone to tango to it.

Suddenly, judgment's spotlight was directed at the previous night's highest scorers, Driver and Fegan.

Carrie Ann Inaba had told Fegan on Monday that he was the best male dancer in the competition. Here he was being told that he was in the bottom two. This might, just might, have been because not so many Fegan fans would have been watching the show. It could also have been because not too many people have heard of Fegan in general. And then there's that smattering of over-confidence that mightn't be to everyone's liking.

So would it be Shepherd, Jenkins or Levy joining Fegan in the bottom two?

Jenkins was told she was safe, but seemed not to understand, as her partner, Mark Ballas, dropped to his knees. Was he devastated? Had he suffered a peculiar abdominal injury brought on by the excruciating drama? "What does that mean?" Jenkins asked. When it was explained to her very slowly, she made like an over-caffeinated dervish and hopped off the stage.

Meanwhile, it was Shepherd who was told the voters had had a dim view of her dancing. It was now between her and Fegan.

Shepherd became emotional. She choked up. Fegan didn't choke up at all. In a fit of teen honesty, he declared that no, he hadn't expected to be in this position at all.

"I thought we were pretty good," he said, "But I guess you never know."

Len Goodman admitted that all of the judges were in total shock, though they seemed to be wearing it well. There was no call for an IV, not for a defibrillator.

"Don't start shouting at me out on the street," Goodman added. None of this was, after all, his fault. It never is.

Fegan couldn't look at the camera. Shepherd just kept on weeping. When she was told she was gone, she closed her eyes and wept a little more. Her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy made as if he was Lot's wife.

"Thank you for letting me live a dream that I've always had," said Shepherd trying not to bemoan her lot. She encouraged everyone to confront the very thing of which they're most frightened. I have resolved to confront the curried hot dog.

Some might find it surprising that the host of such a popular women's show like "The View" couldn't muster enough votes from her fellow ladies. Where was the solidarity? Where was the loyalty?

But "Dancing with the Stars" lives for its surprises, the biggest being that DeGraw lives to fight another dance. I mean, another day.

  • Chris Matyszczyk

    Chris has been a multi award-winning executive creative director with some of the most celebrated advertising agencies in the world. His creative work has been recognized at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the New York Festivals, Clio, the One Show, as well as many other festivals around the world. His writing has appeared in such publications as the Financial Times, the European, the Sacramento Bee and The Singapore Press Holdings Group.

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