Adam Carolla and Julianne Hough by Kelsey McNeal/ABC
Sometimes it's useful to look back on the mindset of someone who is about to jump off the cliff known as Dancing with the Stars. Take Adam Carolla, who was the fourth star voted out Tuesday night. Before he learned his first step - before he even met his pro partner, Julianne Hough - he marveled at how a comedian with two left feet ended up on the most famous dance floor in America. Now that he's gone through the fire, Carolla believes that facing the terror of spandex and rhinestones was worth it. "I gotta say, we were about to do our [encore] and I was backstage actually looking forward to it. The first night, I was petrified. But the last night, tonight, I thought, 'This is going to be fun. Mission accomplished.'"

"He was the best thing about this season," says Hough. And while that statement may be debated, it's clear that Carolla is going to be sorely missed. "He added so much to the show!" moaned Marissa Jaret Winokur. "I don't know what I'm going to do without him backstage."

Marlee Matlin agreed, saying, "Obviously, I don't listen to him on the radio, like everyone else. But I'll miss his persona. He's actually a very pleasant guy. And he always seemed to get in the last word, no matter what."

"I'm going to miss Julianne," says Matlin's partner, Fabian Sanchez. "She was one of the first ones to make me, the 'rookie,' feel at home. And Adam, he's an amazing person. He had me in tears laughing, even when he just said hello. He was so good at relieving the tension backstage."

"I didn't even mind him grabbing my microphone," says cohost Samantha Harris, who loves having comedians on the show. "And there are plenty of celebrities that I do mind, when they don't know what they're doing. But Adam is such a pro, his timing is so great, and he also knew when to release my microphone and let me do my job."

Unlike Penn Jillette - who was the first star voted out - Carolla made it to Week 4, a notable accomplishment. He tried really hard. And despite his anxiety, he put on a brave front the whole way. "I feel like I can trump all of their tennis elbows and slipped disks and slaughter them with my ability," he blustered, looking over his opponents. "And if and when I get voted out of the competition, I'll start walking with a limp. I'll say it's a torn ACL or something."

Was he trying to one-up the challenges faced last season by billionaire businessman Mark Cuban, who had a hip replaced just three months before the show? "That was all talk," jokes Carolla. "I know Mark very well, and he never had that hip replaced. He just said he did to hedge his bets. For the record, I've had three of my hips replaced." - Deborah Starr Seibel

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