DwtS 8, Week 8: Performances

This week’s performances were overshadowed by an injury that could have serious implications for the remaining weeks of Dancing with the Stars 8.

As the couples were introduced at the opening of the show, an obviously sad Tony Dovolani took the stage without his partner, Melissa Rycroft. After four couples danced, it was revealed that, following Monday morning’s rehearsal in front of the live band, Melissa was in such pain from a rib injury she’d initially suffered last week that she was unable to compete in the Performance Show.

Following the same procedure that they applied when Steve-O was in too much pain to perform, the audience was shown Melissa & Tony’s rehearsal footage. Melissa was subdued as she danced in low-rise jeans and a sports bra, and the judges’ low scores reflected that.

The couples received a second set of scores from the judges for their team dances. Lacey Schwimmer filled in for Melissa but wasn’t judged on her performance. Melissa was awarded the points earned by her teammates Shawn Johnson and Chuck Wicks. They weren’t enough to pull her out of last place.

Lil’ Kim & Derek Hough — 28

Gilles Marini & Cheryl Burke — 27

Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas —  27

Chuck Wicks & Julianne Hough — 26

Ty Murray & Chelsie Hightower — 24

Melissa Rycroft & Tony Dovolani — 21

Team Tango — 28

Team Mambo — 25

Final Leaderboard

Lil’ Kim & Derek — 56

Gilles & Cheryl — 55

Shawn & Mark — 52

Ty & Chelsie — 52

Chuck & Julianne — 51

Melissa & Tony — 46

Tony said that Melissa believes that she can continue in the competition, but it would take an awful lot of fan votes to make that possible, given her low judges’ scores. Melissa had a good shot at locking up a spot in the finale, so her departure could radically change the season’s endgame. I think Gilles has always been a near-certainty to make it to the end, but now two spots could be up for grabs.

Does Melissa have the fan support to save her from almost-certain elimination? If she goes, who’s likely to make the finale? Is fan favorite Ty suddenly a longshot contender for the title?