Despite her winning attitude throughout the show, Leeza Gibbons is the latest Dancing with the Stars contestant to pack up her body glitter and go home after performing a paso doble with partner Tony Dovolani that judge Len Goodman called "dull, dull, dull."
"I won't miss the brutal comments from the judges!" Gibbons told PEOPLE post-show. But "I'll miss spending time with Tony, that's for sure."
The feeling is mutual. "I think we went out on a high note because I really love the way Leeza danced the paso doble," said Dovolani.
But that sentiment wasn't shared by the judges. Gibbons's rock-infused routine on April 8 proved to be "your worst performance," Goodman told her. "Totally lackluster. There was no fire." Added Bruno Tonioli: "Imagine the paso doble like a juicy steak. What you gave us was a diet version."
But Gibbons – who marked her 50th birthday by shimmying her way through the mambo on the March 26 telecast – never took the competition lightly. "The people who say yes to this show are fearless, otherwise they wouldn't dare be here," she told PEOPLE. "[The] show has been a beautiful opportunity for my kids to see that you try regardless of the outcome. Pursuing a goal is the noble thing; not so much attaining the goal."
"I'm sad to see Leeza go. I cried," said judge Carrie Ann Inaba. "She's a great role model for women."
"She radiates positivity," said Ian Ziering, adding "she's charming, lovely, beautiful and showed that she's sexy as well."
And how! The skin-baring biker chick outfit she wore this week proved she'd gotten over her fear of the contest's skimpy wardrobe. "I would have never thought I would end up wearing anything like this in my life," she said of her sexy ensemble. "I asked my kids, 'Are you really going to be embarrassed? Because here's what I'm wearing.'"
Their response? "Are you kidding? We think you should try and carpool in it!"
Leeza Gibbons Off Dancing with the Stars
04/11/2007 AT 07:50 AM EDT