Dancing With the Stars added an extra layer of drama to the mix during Tuesday night's results show.
Host Tom Bergeron announced that the two teams with the lowest scores would have to face off in a dramatic "Dance Duel," after which judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli would immediately decide who to send packing.
Based on the judges' scores Monday night, Melissa Gilbert and Gladys Knight were stuck in the bottom three with Gavin DeGraw and his partner Karina Smirnoff. Once final scores were tallied, however, Gilbert and Knight had both carried enough viewer votes to keep them safe from elimination.
Though Jaleel White and his partner Kym Johnson earned respectable "8s" across the board Monday, it wasn't enough to keep them out of the bottom two–White and Johnson joined DeGraw and Smirnoff on the floor for the first duel of the season.
DeGraw, for his part, said he wasn't surprised he and Smirnoff had landed in the bottom two, and revealed that he wasn't expecting to win; just before their dance-off, the songwriter admitted that White "is much more talented."
After their simultaneous cha-cha showdown, the judges applauded DeGraw for his enthusiasm. Still, recognizing White's skills, Inaba, Goodman, and Tonioli unanimously decided to send his competitor home.
The "I Don't Want to Be" singer remained gracious throughout, with a smile on his face as Bergeron delivered the news. "It's been amazing, just being a part of the show," DeGraw told the host before hitting the floor for his and Smirnoff's last dance together. "It's been awesome."
Turning to his partner, DeGraw smiled and said, "Let's dance, darlin'."
Following DeGraw's elimination, eight contestants remain in the competition: William Levy, Gladys Knight, Maria Menounos, Donald Driver, Roshon Fegan, Melissa Gilbert, Katherine Jenkins, and Jaleel White.
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