Maria Menounos was eliminated from "Dancing With the Stars" in the semi-finals, despite a near perfect evening of dancing on Monday night.
After a devastating back injury left Katherine Jenkins in tears on "Dancing With the Stars" this week, many thought the opera singer would be eliminated in the semi-finals round. But it was Maria who said goodbye.
Only three points separated the top of the leaderboard -- Maria and her partner Derek Hough with 59 -- from the bottom -- Katherine and her partner Mark Ballas with 56. But, in a shocking twist, after many counted former frontrunner Katherine out, the audiences' votes saved her. She and Mark jumped around and screamed in the ballroom, but that meant bad news for someone else.
When it was next revealed that Maria was in jeopardy, the crowd booed. Between the final two men -- William Levy and Donald Driver -- it was the NFL star that was also in the bottom.
"No matter which way this goes, it's gonna suck," host Tom Burgeron poignantly said.
Then, like a harsh Band-Aid rip, Maria was announced as the eliminated contestant. The very gracious "Extra" host said the competition taught her how strong she was and how to persevere. And before her send-off package rolled, Derek told the audience that Maria "is a champion of life."
Now, Katherine, Donald and William will advance to the Season 14 "Dancing With the Stars" finale. The top three will perform on Monday, May 21 for the last time and a winner will be crowned on Tuesday, May 22.
On Monday night, a complicated move caused Katherine's back to spasm, leading to a minor breakdown. But Maria hit her stride this week, turning out two solid performances -- and a near perfect 60. William Levy once again left the ballroom speechless with his samba -- earning a perfect score -- and NFL superstar Donald Driver narrowly missed that 10 he's hoping for from judge Len Goodman.
Even though Maria may not walk away with the Mirror Ball, she'll back for the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 14 finale next week, as will the rest of the contestants.
"Dancing With the Stars" enters its final week with the last performance night on Monday, May 21 at 8 p.m. ET and the results show on Tuesday, May 22 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.
Correction: This post mistakenly stated that William Levy and his partner Cheryl Burke danced the salsa this week, when, in fact, it was the samba. William makes it hard to pay attention. The error has since been corrected.