06:50 AM EDT 03/26/2015

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Dancing with the Stars Recap: A 'Jam'-Packed Night

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars Recap: A 'Jam'-Packed Night

Originally posted 03/23/2015 11:55PM

Here's a little behind-the-scenes Dancing with the Stars scoop to start off the recap: I understand our stars learned as early as Friday when they would be dancing during "My Jam Monday."

So, for example, Prince Farming Chris Soules knew before the weekend that he'd get to kick off tonight's show while Lady Marmalade herself (a.k.a. Patti LaBelle ) was rewarded the last dance of the evening well in advance of tonight's performance.

Now put the shoe on the other foot: What could be more disheartening than knowing that you aren't strong enough to open or close the night – and realizing how your middle-of-the-show positioning brings you closer to the ol' heave-ho?

So, which dancers proved they might be worthy of prime placement next week? And what about the contestants whose so-so performance last week put them at risk of elimination? Read on for the night's highlights and to see who came close to leaving DWTS first.

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Dancing with the Stars Recap: Which Celebrity Brought Down the House – and Attracted Big Stars? | Julianne Hough

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars Recap: Which Celebrity Brought Down the House – and Attracted Big Stars?

Originally posted 03/16/2015 11:00PM

It was a big night in the ballroom – and not just because John McClane and GI Jane were in the house! Monday's installment of Dancing with the Stars kicked off the first of what the network promised would include lots of action-packed tributes to the show's 10th anniversary.

The premiere episode didn't disappoint. There were lots of contemporary tunes ("Uptown Funk," "Take Me to Church"), plenty of showstopping choreography (Derek Hough, so glad you stuck around this season!) and even quadruple hanky moments (welcome to the ballroom, Army vet and amputee Noah Galloway!).

No 9s or 10s were awarded just yet, but a couple of celebrities sure came close to earning some high scores. Here's how the new contenders fared on night one:

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Credit: Getty (4)
Dancing with the Stars: And the New Celebrities Are ...

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars: And the New Celebrities Are ...

Originally posted 02/24/2015 09:00AM

A rapper, an openly gay pro football player, an amputee veteran and, um, Lady Marmalade will help Dancing with the Stars celebrate its 10th anniversary.

And great news for fans of Derek Hough – the five-time mirror ball winner will participate after all! Hough was cast to play the male lead in New York Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall this spring, but he will split his time between New York and Los Angeles. (It's nice to be so young and nimble!)

Eleven celebrities and their pro partners were revealed Tuesday on Good Morning America. The show still needs to find one more male star to pair with Witney Carson, the reigning champion.

Here are the stars:

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Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty
Dancing with the Stars Announces Season 20 Pros: Karina Smirnoff Out (for Now)

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars Announces Season 20 Pros: Karina Smirnoff Out (for Now)

Originally posted 02/11/2015 09:20AM

Dancing with the Stars announced which pros will return for season 20 on Wednesday – and one who notably will not.

Last season's champion Witney Carson returns alongside fan favorite (and two-time champion) Mark Ballas. Seasoned pros and fellow mirrorball winners Tony Dovolani, Peta Murgatroyd and Kym Johnson are back in the mix. Newer pros including Val Chmerkovskiy, Sharna Burgess, Allison Holker, Emma Slater and Artem Chigvintsev were also confirmed to return.

Noticeably absent, Karina Smirnoff – a pro since season 3 and the season 12 champion – posted on Instagram Tuesday night that she would not be returning for season 20: "I've decided to focus my energies on some other exciting endeavors."

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Dancing with the Stars Has a New Mirror Ball Champ! | Alfonso Ribeiro

Dancing with the Stars Finale: Alfonso Ribeiro Wins Season 19

Originally posted 11/25/2014 05:00PM

It was a year marred by painful injuries (bummer about your groin, Alfonso Ribeiro!) and awkward wardrobe malfunctions (pink boas will never mean the same again to Betsey Johnson), but the 19th season finale of Dancing with the Stars Tuesday was no less dramatic.

Ribeiro, who has said he waited 10 years for a moment like this, became the latest amateur to take home the mirror ball trophy. "I cannot believe this!" he told host Tom Bergeron. "I don't even know what to say! These are happy tears!"

"He deserves this so much," added his partner, Witney Carson. "He's one of the most hard-working people I know."

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Katherine Jenkins: Filming My Music Video Left Me Sweatier Than DWTS Rehearsal

Originally posted 11/14/2014 02:00PM

Katherine Jenkins is no stranger to working up a sweat, but even landing runner-up status on Dancing with the Stars could have prepared her for filming her new music video.

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
VIDEO: Watch Sadie Robertson & Mark Ballas from DWTS Quiz Each Other

Dancing With the Stars

How Well Do Duck Dynasty's Sadie Robertson & DWTS Partner Mark Ballas Know Each Other?

Originally posted 11/05/2014 04:50PM

Mark Ballas and Sadie Robertson may get near-perfect scores on the dance floor when they are working as a team, but what happens when they are pit against each other?

The Duck Dynasty star and her Dancing with the Stars partner sat down for a rousing game of Him-Her-Me, and PEOPLE has the exclusive video that shows exactly what the couple think about each other.

(Spoiler alert: They don't particularly agree on which of them takes more selfies!)

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Willie Robertson Is Thrilled by Daughter Sadie's DWTS Performance (VIDEO)

Dancing With the Stars

Willie Robertson Is Thrilled by Daughter Sadie's DWTS Performance (VIDEO)

Originally posted 10/07/2014 08:45AM

Sadie Robertson really came out of her shell on Monday's Dancing with the Stars, performing a spirited samba with partner Mark Ballas.

The judges were impressed, handing the pair a score of 37. But they weren't the only ones gushing about the 17-year-old, who really seems to be hitting her stride.

PEOPLE caught up with her proud papa, Willie Robertson, after the show to get his thoughts. And while admitting it's still early in the competition, the Duck Dynasty star said he can tell his daughter is improving week to week.

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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC
Spoiler! Which Crowd-Pleaser Was Sent Packing on Dancing with the Stars?

Dancing With the Stars

Betsey Johnson Was Sent Home on Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 10/06/2014 10:30PM

It was "Most Memorable Year" night on the dance floor – though it should have been called let's gets super sad and personal because of all the teary-eyed video packages. But even a moving tribute to her adult daughter couldn't save designer Betsey Johnson on a night that gave America (or at least those on the East Coast) a chance to vote in place of the still-missing judge Len Goodman.

"Thank you, thank you, mostly to Tony, to my fans, this has been the best wonderful thing," said Johnson at the end of the show. "It's just been a trip, a big trip!"

The designer who started the night out in jeopardy earned a fairly respectable 29 after performing a panty-flashing handstand in her number with Tony Dovolani. "I think I saw your Victoria's Secret!" quipped judge Bruno Tonioli.

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