LOS ANGELES — She may be the girl next door, but Holly Madison's reality star status was what kept her in the competition on "Dancing With the Stars." Denise Richards earned extra points for her samba during Tuesday's results show, but it didn't help the 38-year-old actress compete with Madison's viewer votes and Richards was cast out of the ballroom.
Richards said after Monday's performance that she "would be shocked" not to be among the low-scorers forced into the dance off _ a last chance to increase her judges' scores and remain in the competition _ with her professional partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
But despite what judges said was an improved samba, the couple failed to dominate fellow low-scoring couple, Madison and Dmitry Chaplin.
Madison said Monday she was dreading the dance off.
"I don't want to have to do it with this dance because it's the hardest one," Madison said. "I'm just praying people vote and I can stay on another week and have another chance."
Her prayers were answered, although Richards scored two points higher in the second go-round.
"My daughters love my dancing," Richards said after she was eliminated. "It's been fun. I'm a huge fan of the show and I will continue to be, so and it's fun to be on the other side."
Viewer votes are also what kept Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, on the show. The couple earned only 10 points in Monday's competition _ the lowest score in six seasons, but were saved from the dance off by their fans.
"I am having a blast," Wozniak said after Monday's performance. "When I got up there on the stage and was just about to start dancing, I thought, I'm the luckiest person in the world.
And Wozniak's fans seem to think they're lucky to be watching him.
"With Woz, I think what you're getting is real entertainment, and to me isn't that what Dancing With the Stars is all about?" said Chris Harrington, founder of the Web site VoteWoz.com. Harrington's Vote Woz twitter page has more than 60,000 members.
Judges' scores are combined with viewer votes to determine which couple is eliminated each week. The new dance-off approach allows the two lowest-scoring couples to earn extra points from judges for command performances of their best dance. Viewer votes still count for 50 percent of each couple's final score.
Besides Madison and Wozniak, remaining competitors include rodeo athlete Ty Murray, rapper Lil Kim, former football star Lawrence Taylor, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson, country singer Chuck Wicks, reality stars Steve-O and Melissa Rycroft, and actors David Alan Grier and Gilles Marini.
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