SPOILER ALERT: This recap reveals the elimination results of Week 4 of "Dancing With the Stars."
It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to — or, she'll just leave us with another inspiring message. This week's "Dancing With the Stars" featured the most heartbreaking elimination of the season yet, as Valerie Harper's inspiring turn in the ballroom came to an end.
"I'm here for the party and as long as I can participate fairly, I'm willing to keep on keepin' on," Harper said before her dance, a Viennese waltz with pro partner Tristan MacManus. But while the judges agreed she painted some really pretty pictures this week, Carrie Ann Inaba said, "Some beautiful moments, but the mistakes really stood out."
Harper's score of 18 points, coupled with last week's audience vote, wasn't enough to save her.
Check out Harper's dance from last week:
The 74-year-old TV legend was a fan favorite, signing on to the show in spite of (or perhaps because of) a terminal cancer diagnosis.
On premiere night, the former Broadway dancer inspired viewers with her positive attitude: "It's good to be alive and it's even better to be dancing!" she declared.
Her first dance on the show — an elegant foxtrot with Tristan MacManus — even earned a standing ovation from the audience. (And a respectable 21 points from the judges.) Unfortunately, her dances went downhill from there. Harper's Week 2 paso doble garnered mixed reviews, with Inaba telling the star she seemed a little lost: "I feel that you forgot about a third of your routine in the middle." Last week's cha cha was riddled with mistakes, scoring a mere 16 points.
[Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' Backstage Snaps]
Ironically, this week's dance may have been her most inspiring. Harper called the song for her Viennese waltz ("Carry On" by Fun.) the "musical equivalent to the message I'm trying to give. Because I got bad news but I'm trying to carry on."
After her elimination was announced, Harper said, "It has been absolutely wonderful, completely unique, like nothing else in the world. An opportunity for me to carry a message to folks — not just with cancer or whatever they have but whatever challenges. It's really a great thing to get out and dance!"
MacManus added, "Sometimes you get very lucky to do well with your partner and sometimes you get very lucky in your life to meet someone who can affect them more than this could at all. And I feel like I've been very lucky to get that. And I feel like maybe my life's a little bit better since I met Valerie Harper."
This week's show also featured a shakeup for the spray-tanned stars, as guest judge Julianne Hough stepped in to pull rank with a paddle. Yeah, Len Goodman was outta there (he was in England, raising heck on his other show, "Strictly Come Dancing") but the two-time mirrorball winner proved to be an impartial judge, despite the fact that she's the sister of pro dancer Derek Hough, who's competing on the show with "Glee" star Amber Riley this season.
"I am a fair and honest judge," Hough said before the show. "It is not about the professional, it's about the celebrity dancers. I'm gonna be tough on them if I think they deserve it ... I'm definitely not gonna hold back."
Before the elimination, the remaining 10 couples each competed in a dance style that they had not previously performed and there was a three-way tie for the top of the leaderboard, with three couples scoring 27 points.
Elizabeth Berkley and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy engaged in a stare down during rehearsals and emerged a clearly connected couple. Their Argentine tango scored triple 9s and praise from all three of the judges. "You took control and weren't waiting for [Val] to lead you," Julianne told the actress.
Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff also scored 27 points, for a fiery paso doble that had the judges in awe. "What you had was the pure essence of the paso," Bruno Tonioli said. He called it "an incredibly powerful performance."
And while her brother pretended to bribe her with a $10 bill before she logged her score, no payment was needed for Julianne. After Derek's performance with Riley, Julianne said, "I was actually hoping something would go terribly wrong so I would give you a horrible score so that I wouldn't get in trouble for liking your performance, but holy cow, you were wonderful." Tonioli agreed, "That was pure, unmistakably, a classic, amazing tango," he said.
Jack Osbourne put some spunk in his step for an animated quickstep that had Julianne telling him, "Ballroom is definitely your strong suit. And if you can put up with Cheryl..."
Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd pulled out the big guns — as in Daugherty's abs — but it wasn't enough to make up for their loosey-goosey salsa. Inaba told the "Pretty Little Liars" star, "When you take your shirt off it's very revealing." (And not in a good way.)
Julianne is enamored by a shirtless Daugherty:
Leah Remini took a page from BFF Jennifer Lopez's book and transformed herself into "Leah from the block" for her cha cha with Tony Dovolani (according to Tonioli, anyway), while Nicole Polizzi channeled her inner cheerleader for a jive with Sasha Farber and earned a cheer from Tonioli, who told the reality star, "Your performance level has grown beyond recognition."
Christina Milian and Mark Ballas danced an untraditional foxtrot, and Julianne advised the singer to make herself shine: "I dance with Mark and you have to stand in front to make sure you're seen," she said. Oh snap!
And Tonioli gave a backhanded compliment to Bill Engvall and Emma Slater when he called their dance "everything you could wish for in a samba, except timing and rhythm."
Watch the full episode:
Here's the full list of scores from Week 4 of the "Dancing With the Stars:
- Elizabeth Berkley and Val Chmerkovskiy — Argentine tango (27 out of 30 points)
- Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff — Paso doble (27 out of 30 points)
- Amber Riley and Derek Hough — Tango (27 out of 30 points)
- Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke — Quickstep (24 out of 30 points)
- Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani — Cha cha (24 out of 30 points)
- Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber — Jive (24 out of 30 points)
- Christina Milian and Mark Ballas — Foxtrot (24 out of 30 points)
- Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd — Salsa (21 out of 30 points)
- Bill Engvall and Emma Slater — Samba (21 out of 30 points)
- Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus — Viennese waltz (18 out of 30 points)
"Dancing With the Stars" airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC.