Louis Van Amstel and Priscilla Presley by Kelsey McNeal/ABC
The teleprompter fiasco wasn't the only technical glitch Tuesday night on
Dancing with the Stars
. During the last commercial break, before Tom Bergeron announced the second couple to land in the bottom two, the dreaded red spotlight came on. Its target:
and Derek Hough.
The hellish spotlight didn't last long. But as the commercials rolled, Elizabeth couldn't stop crying, convinced that the red light was the kiss of death and that the judges' tough remarks about her samba the night before would be sending her home. "I don't want this to be over," she had said just before the show. "I'm dreading the day when I don't get to go to the rehearsal studios every morning to work with Derek. I love everything about this show: the rehearsals, the costumes, the makeup, the performances.... Before this, I was pretty much sitting around the house and thinking that was OK."
The red light turned out to have no significance whatsoever, as it was
who got the bad word. She, too, has been swept up in the grueling ritual of trying to attain ballroom perfection on a weekly basis. It's done wonders for her state of mind and her body. "I've never really had a weight problem," she says. "But I'm much leaner [in the midriff]. I never get on scales - ever, ever, ever - but I can tell in my clothes. And I
so much better. I feel in shape."
But Presley knew that she was in trouble. She'd already been in the bottom two once. "And [Monday] night, doing the mambo, was an out-of-body experience. There was so much adrenaline running through me. And even the music - I couldn't hear her singing. I couldn't
the song. After the first rehearsal, I said to
Louis [van Amstel
], 'I need her to be a little louder.' Because in the dance studio, we have it on really loud. But I couldn't hear her."
Still, how many 62-year-olds do you know who can do splits? "My daughter calls me, absolutely blown away," related Presley, referring to Lisa Marie. "She says, 'I can't believe it. And I can't believe they gave you those scores! There's something wrong with this!'"
An extremely private and reserved person, Presley said, "There was a time when you could have
convinced me to go on national television in front of millions of people. It's just too overwhelming. I was an admirer of the show, but I thought, 'I could never do that.'"
came calling, Presley's lifelong love affair with movement kicked in. She had actually taken a few ballroom lessons before she married Elvis. The instructor was so impressed that he asked if she would be his demonstration partner. "But Elvis put a stop to that," she says. Decades later, when it came time to make a decision about going
, Lisa Marie was the lone holdout in the family. "She had never really seen the show," says Priscilla, "and she thought it was one of those dumb reality shows. She said, 'Why are you doing
"I just wasn't very familiar with it," says the expectant
, 40, who has been in the audience twice. Both times, she's been draped in loose, black-knit dresses, yet she's easy to spot because of all the bling she wears around her wrists. "I'd never seen the show. I know that's totally un-American of me. But now I'm into it. Whatever makes [Mom] happy. And she's having a great time." Will Lisa Marie dance next? "No chance," she says, with her hand on her swelling abdomen. (She is expecting her third child.) "No dancing for me."
Presley's son, Navarone Garibaldi, 21, has been ringside for every performance. "I think the judges were a little too rough on her," he says. "I'm so nervous when I watch her out there. But she enjoys it so much. She says she's not nervous, but she is. I don't want to see her go home."
Garibaldi says his mother put him into a cotillion when he was 8 years old. "I hated it," he says, smiling. Has
changed his mother? "She's acting like a little kid again," says Garibaldi. "Like a little kid around the house, dancing."
"Jane Seymour did say that [the show] is life-changing," says Presley, who called Seymour before signing on. "And it really is. You can pull yourself together and do it. And it's brought so much life to the people around me. It's brought my family members, my relatives, together. My parents wanted me to stay on because they love coming to the show. It's a wonderful bonding experience. It's been a great ride." -
Deborah Starr Seibel
Who's your current pick to win Dancing with the Stars?