Tom Bergeron

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First two safe couples on Tuesday:
Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani
Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough

After performances by the Newsies cast and Ne-Yo, it was time for the first elimination between Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy, and Kirstie Alley and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Battle of the Chmerkovskiys for last place!

And the first couple going home? Kirstie and Maks.

"To be asked to come back was an honor. I learned more about dancing, believe it or not. I just love dancing," Kirstie said. "I want to thank Maks for being so patient with me. I want to thank the judges because your critiques really helped me. I want to thank the fans. I love you."

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Hardly a surprise. They knew it, we knew it. It was fun while it lasted, Kirstie, but you were out of your league here. Thanks for the laughs and for making Maks so happy. Also, props to Val for outlasting his big bro for the first time ever.

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Dance Selections
Because this has been working out so well, the couples next picked dance styles and themes pairings for each other that haven't been performed yet on the show. "[When you see these choices,] I'm not sure what the producers were smoking, but I'm sure it was medicinal," Tom Bergeron quipped. They went in reverse order of cumulative scores.

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First safe couple:
Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke

Apolo Anton Ohno and Karina Smirnoff, Gilles Marini and Peta Murgatroyd were not necessarily the bottom two.

So who joined Kirstie and Maks? Gilles and Peta.

"I felt it because the scores the past two weeks were iffy. I tried my very best. Peta was an angel out there," Gilles said. "I want to thank my wife because it's been quite a challenge for the family. Without her, I'm really nothing. I want to thank the producers, the fans of Dancing with the Stars, everyone."

For those keeping score, here's how the dance selections panned out:

- Kelly and Val picked "Caveman" hustle for Melissa and Tony.

- Emmitt and Cheryl picked "Knight Rider" banghra for Shawn and Derek.

- Apolo and Karina picked "Mad Monk" merengue for Gilles and Peta.

- Gilles and Peta picked "Big Top" jazz for Apolo and Karina.

- Shawn and Derek picked "Espionage" lindy hop for Emmitt and Cheryl.

- Kelly and Val were left with "Surfer" flamenco.

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I can't even deal with these dances and themes right now. Look, I'm all for twists and fun and games, but can we just make this season what it should be about? Awesome dancers doing awesome ballroom dance styles that the pros are trained in and have heard of before? What the heck are these? (Though, big ups to Tom with the "Mr. Choreography" snark to Derek when he was flummoxed by banghra.)

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So fitting that Peta followed Maks (her boyfriend, if you're still living under a Mirrorball) out the door, no? I can't say I'm disappointed Gilles is gone. I would've been perfectly fine with him going sooner too. He lost the charm, skill and refinement from Season 8 and reeked of desperation and obnoxiousness for the most part this season (remember that odious team freestyle speech?). And Peta didn't seem to know how to rein him in. Maybe he felt the pressure of living up to the "He wuz robbed" label from last time, but it came off poorly, and he's not big enough of a name to have a fan base to override that. That said, it was a very classy exit from him. But gone is another redemption story line!

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What do you think? Did the right couples go home? Are you shocked there will be no Season 8 finale redux between Shawn and Gilles? Do you like the semifinal lineup? What is with those random dances? Are the producers smoking something (non-)medicinal? Can we start calling Derek "Mr. Choreography" from now on? Who's your current pick to win?