Ralph Macchio Eliminated on DWTS

 Bob D'Amico/ABC

And the latest contestant to go home — just one week before the finals — on Dancing with the Stars is . . .

Ralph Macchio.

With partner Karina Smirnoff at his side, the actor and Karate Kid star, 49, was an early frontrunner on the twelfth season of the ABC smash. But a recent injury and super-stiff competition put the likable actor toward the back of the pack. He and Smirnoff scored the lowest on Monday's show with 48 points out of a total 60 — and both dancers noted that judge Bruno Tonioli's critique seemed more potty-mouthed than constructive.

"Today was just inappropriate and rude and uncalled for," Smirnoff told Us Weekly backstage of Tonioli's smutty critique. "That was just really an unprofessional thing to do," Macchio added.

Still, Macchio was upbeat after Tuesday's results were announced. "I will never forget how the fans have driven us through every week," he gushed, adding that partner Smirnoff "inspired me in so many ways with your heart, your talent, your class and your integrity."

PHOTOS: What DWTS celebs have hooked up?

So what trio of celebs will indeed hoof it for the mirrorball trophy at next week's finale?

-NFL pro Hines Ward, who scored two perfect "30" scores with partner Kym Johnson (overcoming an excruciating neck injury during Friday rehearsal) on Monday. "Whoever wins is well-deserved," Hines said modestly. Hines and Johnson were teary after their rousing numbers on Monday. "I was very thankful that God gave [Kym] another chance to dance," he said of his injured partner.

-Disney starlet Chelsea Kane, who, with partner Mark Ballas scored a perfect 30 and a 28, but edged ahead with a bonus 15 points in the "Winner Take All Cha Cha" round. Although Ballas had to coax out his sweet partner's competitive edge a bit, Kane admitted to co-host Brooke Burke after making it through: "I want [the trophy] pretty badly!"

-Emmy-winning actress Kirstie Alley, whose plucky sense of humor, passion and chemistry with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy overwhelmed even a few technically flawed numbers. How much would the trophy mean to Alley, who has famously shed pounds as she continued to triumph on DWTS? "I've been nominated for 9 Emmys and i've won two," she said. "And nothing feels like 'And the winner is…Kirstie Alley!'"

Tell Us: Do you agree with tonight's results?

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