Dancing With The Stars' contestant Ralph Macchio, who was eliminated during last night's results show (17th May 2011), paid tribute to his partner Karina Smirnoff for "inspiring him" to reach the semi-finals. During a tense Dancing With The Stars elimination, MACchio was given the boot ahead of actress Kirstie Alley, reports MTV News.
MACchio had received the lowest score of the evening during Monday's performances, although he was still nursing an injury from the week before. Head judge Len Goodman told the 'Karate Kid' star that his tango, "didn't really smolder", but added, "I liked the setup around the lamp post, into the dance. It was sharp and precise, full of content". Despite scoring a respectable 48 out of 60 for his routine, MACchio was the favourite to be eliminated on last night's show, and Dancing With The Stars viewers agreed that his time was up. During an emotional exit speech, the actor paid tribute to partner Smirnoff, saying, "Karina, you have inspired me in so many ways with your heart, your talent, your class, your integrity as an artist and even more so as a human being". He added that he was proud to be Karina's dance partner, but even more proud to be "her friend".
MACchio's elimination means Kirstie Alley, Disney star Chelsea Kane and Super Bowl champion Hines Ward will battle it out for the dancing crown during next week's final. The contestants will perform their final routines on Monday (23rd May 2011) with the season 12 winner being revealed on Tuesday.