Misty-Eyed Treanor Leaves DWTS
: Brooke Burke
may have let the cat out of the bag
, but the extent of Misty May-Treanor
's injury -- and the effect that it would have on the show -- wasn't revealed until the end of Monday night's episode of Dancing with the Stars
. Once all the remaining couples had performed, a chair was pulled onto the center of the dance floor and host Tom Bergeron
invited the beach volleyball champ to join him center stage. As Treanor limped over with the help of crutches, her grace and dignity in the face of a potentially career-threatening injury left few dry eyes in the audience. The response in the ballroom was one of uniform shock and sadness for the Olympic Gold-medalist, who had not only proven herself to be a ballroom contender, but also as a champion of the most rare sort. "It's so sad," Susan Lucci
said after the show, "Misty is a champion in many ways. She's a champion as a human being, because of the way that she handled it all."
"It was like a punch in the gut," NFL star Warren Sapp
admitted. "It was like a member of your family being eliminated ... She was doing so well, and everyone was saying that her jive was really bopping. I just couldn't believe it, and I still don't want to."
A muted version of his usually brash self, Treanor's partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy
walked the post-show press line alone. "When it happened, I knew that she was in so much pain the moment she started to cry because she never shows pain," Chmerkovskiy said. "She was so happy to be on the show and she's been competing since she was twelve-years-old -- no breaks, no vacations. Finally she gets a chance to do what she's always wanted to and it gets taken away from her. It's just not fair."
Curse of The Stars? After seven seasons, it's safe to say the dance floor has seen its share of bloodletting, but this season's triage has been busier than the fake tanning booth on a Monday night. First there was early ouster Jeffrey Ross
's scratched cornea, which was followed by Karina Smirnoff
's sprained ankle, and in the last week we've had a soap opera icon go lame, a concussion for golden boy Derek Hough
and finally, Treanor's devastating injury. It begs the question: Is seven an unlucky number for DWTS
"We have a little joke going on behind the scenes," frontrunner Brooke Burke
said, "It's the 'Curse of the Stars', and you never know what's going to happen. You never know when you're going home, or how you're going home, but something is definitely going on this season."
Burke's partner, Derek Hough
, took the notion one step further, pinpointing the area on the dance floor that is claiming victims week after week. "It's the same area," he said. "There is a miniature Bermuda triangle on the dance floor right in front of the judges! Misty blew her tendon, Susan Lucci
rolled her ankle and I fell flat on my back and I was out like a light ... Something is going on right there!"
Don't Call Me Pretty In Pink: Warren Sapp
continues to razzle, dazzle, and charm his way up the leader board. Last week's paso doble impressed the judges enough to merit an encore dance -- and Warren did not disappoint this week. His "beautiful tyrant" Kym Johnson
used the week of practice to transform Sapp from "all man" to "southern gentleman" for their Viennese waltz. The pair kept pace with frontrunners Burke and Hough, despite the fact that Sapp felt it necessary to explain his "wine and pink" ensemble. "It reminds me of one of those Easters, when your mom dresses you and you don't know any better," he said with a laugh. "Then you look back on the pictures and you're like, 'Why'd you have me in one of those three piece suits? Why'd I have that vest on?'"
Hough Love: Being the favored couple isn't all sunshine, high scores, and lollipops. Everyone butts heads on the dance floor -- even with visions of a disco ball trophy in their eyes. Brooke Burke and Derek Hough did their best to laugh off a tense week of practice, one that saw them sniping at one another, only to deliver a waltz that garnered this season's highest praise, along with the season's first 10. "There was a little tension," Burke explained, "and obviously it was a tough week, but it worked. It was just one of those little quarrels, and we made up very quickly, it actually brought us closer together."
Differences aside, the duo pulled off a dance that had a special meaning beyond its high scores. "It was the song," Burke said of John Mayer
's "Daughters." "I'm a mom of four, and they are so much a part of my life, and I was dancing for my daughters tonight."
More From Inside the Ballroom: The Judges were in good spirits opening the show, especially the normally staid Len Goodman
, who was introduced to the audience and did a version of the "ride the pony" dance across the stage before taking his seat behind the judges' desk. Not to be outdone, Bruno then dusted off his flamboyant "hump the desk" routine.
In the audience, Samantha Harris
's sister blushed when the host gave her a shout-out from her perch in the balcony. "That's my sister," she said, "and this is the first time in seven seasons that she's been at the show!"Cloris Leachman
said that Maurice Greene
loves himself too much, and the season 7 mad matriarch may be right. During the video send up of Maurice and Cheryl Burke
's jive number, Greene was so intent on watching himself on the video screens that Burke had to send a stage manager to wrangle the former sprinter into his starting position.Carrie Ann Inaba
sported a new hairstyle that won rave reviews from everyone from Tom Bergeron to audience members. But the new coif came at a price. During almost every commercial break, Inaba suffering a torrent of hairspray -- but kept an ever-present smile. -- Reagan Alexander