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"Dancing with the Stars" Recap: Leah Remini Eliminated

ABC/Craig Sjodin(LOS ANGELES) -- Just one week shy of the season 17 finals, actress Leah Remini was eliminated from ABC's Dancing with the Stars Monday night.  There were boos when the announcement was made.

After she learned she was going home, Remini thanked her pro partner, Tony Dovolani, for putting in so much work with her throughout the competition.

“This has been an amazing experience and I want to thank everybody here, Tony especially, my family for supporting me, my fans...everybody's been amazing," she said.

Remini, who has steadily improved during the season, and comedian Bill Engvall, who has struggled, were both in danger of going home Monday.

Engvall now moves on to next week's two-night final against Corbin Bleu, Amber Riley and Jack Osbourne.

Elimination is based on combined judges’ and viewers’ votes.  Typically, audience votes from the previous week are combined with the judges' scores from the live performance, and the star with the lowest overall total is sent home.

On Monday’s episode, each couple had to perform two different styles of dance to the same piece of music.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy, a DWTS pro who did not compete this season, was a guest judge alongside Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

Here’s a rundown of Monday’s performances:

Leah Remini: The actress's paso doble -- performed to Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" -- captured the drama of the dance but was a bit too restrained for the four judges, who each gave her eight points.  "I thought it was a little bit careful," said Goodman.  Tonioli pointed out that Remini missed two turns and Inaba said she thought the drama was "too internalized."  Chmerkovskiy said he liked the routine, but also asked Remini to be "a little more emotional."  Score: 32 out of a possible 40 points.

For her second routine, the actress performed a sleek Argentine tango with Dovolani that Tonioli called "very pretty."  He liked the intimacy, sensuality and good lines but saw one small mistake.  While Goodman said he saw no glaring blunders, he added: "I never felt you quite embraced the dance fully."  Inaba told Remini to be more confident.  "You stop your movements short and that is what makes them feel small," she said.  Chmerkovskiy said the actress should focus on letting her personality emerge in the routine.  Score: 33 points for a grand two dance total of 65 out of a possible 80.

Corbin Bleu: The actor's breathtakingly fast tango with partner Karina Smirnoff drew praise from three judges but criticism from one.  Goodman, who tends to be a traditionalist, thought the routine was a departure from the classic tango.  "Tango is about calmness and attack and then back [to] calm and then attack again.  This was all on attack.”  Inaba said the routine was "hot" and she wanted to see it again.  "I've never seen a tango danced with that much fury," she said.  "That was like the fastest, most intense tango ever and you delivered it beautifully."  Tonioli said he liked the fire in the dance but felt the speed came with the loss of some control, and Chmerkovskiy said he loved the creativity.  Score: 35 points.

Bleu’s second routine was simmering rumba that brought him unanimous praise from the judges and a perfect score, too.  Tonioli said Bleu's quality of movement was unbelievable.  "You really are a virtuoso performer," he said.  Goodman loved the routine's contrast between restraint and passion.  Inaba called Bleu's body "a wonderland," saying she appreciated how much effort he put into his movements.  Chmerkovskiy said he thought Bleu had a huge advantage in the competition.  Score: 40 points for a grand total of 75 points.

Jack Osbourne: The judges said they liked the TV personality's commitment to his jazz routine with partner Cheryl Burke, but found flaws with his technique.  "For me, this lacked a little bit of finesse," Goodman said.  Inaba said she thought Osbourne's weight placement was more reminiscent of a ballroom routine than a jazz one.  Tonioli agreed, but Chmerkovskiy said he loved it.  Score: 33 points.

Osbourne’s second routine, a passionate tango, brought him high praise from the judges.  Inaba said his performance had passion and precision, and Tonioli said Osbourne's improvement throughout the competition was unbelievable.  They each gave him a 10. Goodman, who gave Osbourne a 9, said the dance had lots of drama and was well done despite a few minor slip-ups.  Chmerkovskiy also gave the routine a 9 and thought it was great.  Score: 38 points for a grand total of 71 out of 80.

Bill Engvall:
Engvall and partner Emma Slater danced a fast cha cha cha to LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It," and while the judges again faulted his technique, they praised his ability to bring enjoyment to spectators.  Chmerkovskiy told him not to worry about the holes in his performance and said he was an inspiration to many people.  Goodman agreed: "Bill, listen, maybe you're not always the judges' champion, but you are the people's champion."  Inaba said she was smiling with pleasure over Engvall's performance even as she was taking points off for his footwork and posture and timing.  "Obviously you're not Baryshnikov," Tonioli said, adding that the pure enjoyment Engvall gave to spectators was unmatched.  Score: 28 points.

The comedian's second routine was a sexy Argentine tango.  Inaba said she liked that he didn't play a comical character, but played it straight.  Tonioli said Engvall set the mood and played it well, and Chmerkovskiy said the routine was everything an Argentine tango should be.  Goodman said he wasn't sure Engvall had the skill to win, but he believed the comedian has the will to do so.  Score: 32 points for a grand total of 60 out of 80.

Amber Riley: The actress's intricate jazz routine with partner Derek Hough brought her a near-perfect score.  Tonioli said the routine was rich, fierce and perfectly in sync.  "Your versatility is astonishing," he declared.  Inaba said Riley was in a class of her own.  Goodman was uncharacteristically restrained but wholly impressed.  Pointing at Riley, he simply said: "Do it again."  Chmerkovskiy, who gave the couple a 9 while the other judges each gave a 10, said the late Bob Fosse, a legendary jazz dancer, would have been proud of Riley.  Score: 39 points.

Judges again lavished praise on Riley for her second routine, a Viennese waltz.  "You are so special, and it is the way you interpret the music as well as the movement," Inaba said.  Goodman called it "a terrific performance," while Chmerkovskiy told Riley she should keep dancing the way she did.  Added Tonioli: "All I can say is you dance like an angel.  Loved it."  Each judge awarded Riley 10 points.  Score: 40 points for a grand total of 79 out of 80.

Dancing with the Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time on ABC.

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