Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli, <EM>Dancing with the Stars</EM> Jennie Garth and Peter Facinelli, Dancing with the Stars
Jennie Garth's husband, actor Peter Facinelli, wasn't sure if Dancing with the Stars

' cameras were still running. His wife had just been eliminated on Tuesday night and was crying, caught up in a group hug with the other semifinalists and pros in the middle of the dance floor. "I was waiting for the cameras to stop," says Facinelli. "But then I said, ‘Aw, screw it,' and I ran out there. Because I knew she needed me."

The cameras had, in fact, gone to black. So what you didn't see was that Facinelli broke through the circle of love, grabbed his wife and gave her the longest, most beautiful kiss. "I forgot that anybody was out there," he says, just moments later. "It was like nobody was there except the two of us."

"He's my baby," says Garth. Did she know he was going to engage in such a public display of affection? "No, but I knew he couldn't sit there and endure it."

Garth, after the tears, had a wonderful, relaxed smile. "I feel like I've come so far in this," she says. "And I'm so proud of myself — not that I'm gloating. But it was wonderful what Derek [Hough, her pro partner] was able to do with me."

"She's not a natural performer," says Facinelli. "She's an actress. She likes to hide out in her characters. So for her to come out here and tackle something that's terrifying for her? That's a huge win in my book. I told her today, ‘Whatever happens tonight, you've won. You've completely won.'"

The irony, of course, is that Garth finally let it rip doing her last dance on Monday night, the same dance that earned an encore (her second for the season) on Tuesday. "She was so uptight about Monday's first round," says Facinelli. "She thought she nailed it, but she didn't get the triple 10s, so she went out the second time and said, ‘I don't care. I'm just going to go out and have fun.' And that did the trick."

"We had an inkling that this was our week to go," says Derek Hough after the elimination. "You can't stop the juggernaut [Marie Osmond], so we knew this was probably our time. But Jennie had two encore dances. She got a perfect score. She made it into the semifinals. You couldn't ask for a better run."

Facinelli and Garth are both excited about having a Thanksgiving that will be dance-free. "I'm going to eat all kinds of things," she says. "I'm excited to have my wife back," he says. "And we'll be able to have a conversation without someone whisking her away. I'm glad she did it, because the show brought her so much joy. And it brought our family joy, watching her. But Thanksgiving is going to be awesome."

There were other memorable snapshots from Tuesday night:

• Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred, in the audience rooting for her client, Mel B. "I represented her in the paternity petition involving Eddie Murphy," says Allred. "She's a talented, sweet, good person and it's an honor to represent her. And it's thrilling to watch this in person. To see all of these people [audience members] on the dance floor before the show starts, enjoying themselves? That's what dancing is supposed to be all about."

• Three proud parents comparing notes after the return of Sabrina Bryan and Mark Ballas. "I've been teaching dance for 35 years," says Mark's mom, ballroom great Shirley Ballas (who also taught Julianne and Derek Hough), "and I've never seen a girl dance like that. I think she's the ultimate in a female dancer. I think she showed the world today that she truly was the best. That kind of energy, that magic, it's something you cannot teach because it comes from the heart. It comes by only once every now and again, that kind of explosive chemistry, and with them, it's fantastic."
"We're just so happy that the show gave them a chance to come out and show what they could do," says Fred Hinojos, Sabrina's dad. "They were dancing for the show, but they were dancing for themselves. They were having so much fun that they didn't care if anybody was there. The room could've been empty and it wouldn't have mattered."

• Dance pro Anna Trebunskaya, married to Marie Osmond's partner, Jonathan Roberts, watching proudly from the sidelines as her husband made the finals for the first time. "It's easy to make a good dancer look good," says Trebunskaya. "It's way harder to make someone who's not that great of a dancer look good. People don't realize it, they don't see it. But Jonathan is like a solid wall. He's never going to let his partner down. He has done so much to make Marie look like she does."

Everyone knows about Osmond's hardships. But Roberts hasn't had an easy time of it, either. Trebunskaya says that her husband actually had a root canal on Monday morning, the day of their critical semifinal performances. "The tooth is good," he says after Tuesday's show, "but I haven't had a chance to get it crowned yet." He turns to Osmond. "Because this one [Marie] makes the finals, I have to put the dentist off for a week. If I get an infection, you're going to be in big trouble."

Osmond just laughs. "The best thing is that nobody's had more fun than the two of us," she says. Says Roberts, "I keep telling her, ‘Seven more days, three more dances.'" But aren't they both beyond exhausted — emotionally and physically? "Forget the pain!" says Osmond. "You just don't think about it. You just don't stop."

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