CBSN

Marlee Matlin Latest To Depart "Dancing"

Marlee Matlin and her professional partner Fabian Sanchez perform the mambo on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" on April 21, 2008.
ABC/KELSEY McNEAL
After an inspiring run as the first heaing-impaired contestant on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars," Marlee Matlin is going home.

The Oscar-winning actress was booted from the popular reality show Tuesday night based on a combination of audience votes and a last-place judges' score of 21 out of 30 for her lackluster mambo the night before.

With Matlin unable to hear music, her professional partner, Fabian Sanchez, choreographed their routines so he could guide her with touch or visual cues.


Photos: The "Dancing" Competition
This method worked well enough to keep her on the show for six weeks, with the judges frequently acknowledging Matlin's fighting spirit. Her best scores of the season were the 24s she earned in week two for her quickstep and week four for her Viennese waltz.

After thanking the judges, Sanchez, and her family, Matlin thanked her friend Henry Winkler for his support over the years. The actor and producer had a cameo on Monday's show, giving Matlin a pep talk during rehearsals.

The judges gave R&B singer Mario a 28 for Monday's steamy rumba, including a perfect 10 from judge Bruno Tonioli. It was the second-highest score of the week and his best of the season, but once audience votes were factored in, he landed in second-to-last place behind Matlin.

As usual, there was plenty of filler on Tuesday's results show including "candid" post-performance interviews with the contestants from the night before.

In one, a tearful Shannon Elizabeth and her professional partner Derek Hough were upset that the judges said she didn't move her hips enough in their rumba.

"I did the hips!" the actress sobbed.

"What about the heel leads? What about the feet coming off the floor? The demented lines people are giving out there? And you're giving them tens and nines!" the normally upbeat Hough, grumbled.

The couple apologized after learning they had earned enough votes to return next week, saying they just got carried away.

"That's not really like me," Hough said sheepishly. "I'm not that type of guy."

The evening also included a segment featuring the challenges the judges face every week which acerbic prompted host Tom Bergeron to quip, "I had no idea you were so racked with angst, doubt and regret."

Once again the highlight of the evening was the children's ballroom competition, now in its third week.

The winners were Brandon and Brittany, both 13, for their cha-cha-cha to Steppenwolf's rock classic "Magic Carpet Ride." In the middle of the routine Brittany's heel got caught in the hem of her dress, but she deftly reached down and released it without missing a step.

Bergeron told Brittany, who's deaf in one ear, that she should give "calmness-in-the-face-of adversity" lessons to the adult dancers.

The other couple, 12-year-old Austin and Liza, performed a samba to the Mardi Gras song "Iko Iko." Austin, who is a few inches shorter than his female partner, said he likes being a ballroom dancer because it makes him feel like a rebel compared to his jock classmates "who think they're cool."

"You know, I'm the ballroom dancer, but who gets the girls in the end?" he said with a grin.

Members of the Irish step dancing troupe Riverdance performed, and newly-engaged Ashlee Simpson - no stranger to the jig herself - sang "Boys" from her third album, "Bittersweet World," released Tuesday.

In addition to Mario and Elizabeth, the remaining contestants include Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi, NFL star Jason Taylor, Chilean actor Cristian de la Fuente and Tony-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur.

Tennis legend Monica Seles, illusionist Penn Jillette and actors Priscilla Presley, Adam Carolla, and Steve Guttenberg have already been eliminated from the show this season.
By Judy Rosen