Love was in the air during Monday's performance show of Dancing With the Stars. But when all eyes weren't looking for who was kissing on the dance floor, they were glued to politician Tom DeLay, who, despite doctors' advice not to dance, managed to samba with stress fractures on both of his feet. "As a kid, my daddy told me never to quit," Tom told In Touch after Monday's performance. "Not dancing was not an option." He only received a score of 15 for his effort, but that didn't stop he and partner Cheryl Burke from being voted through to another week on Tuesday's results show. However, their happiness was short-lived because Tom could not continue and reluctantly had to withdraw from the competition. After announcing his withdrawal, he revealed the reason behind the decision. "If you can't practice, you can't do this show. If my feet had held out, I think I would have done pretty well," he admitted.
With one couple out, the producers decided to go ahead with the show's scheduled elimination, which caused actor Debi Mazar to retire her ball gowns. Debi and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy also received a score of 15 for their samba. But Debi focused on the positive — getting to meet Spice Girl Melanie Brown, who popped in to give her some tips. "I went to the Spice Girls' movie premiere a million years ago," she tells In Touch. "So it was great having a part of pop culture walk into the room. She was inspirational."
Next week, the remaining 11 couples will continue to battle it out, and there's a new twist. Four new dances will be introduced, many that the professional dancers aren't even familiar with. "It'll make for a very interesting night," smiles pro Derek Hough.
For more with this week's eliminated couples, click here.
Debi Mazar & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Eliminated October 6
Are you okay with the decision and leaving?
Debi: I am disappointed. I really would have liked to have had an opportunity to have another shot at the dance floor. But I am a little discombobulated when it comes to dancing with one take — I get nervous. But I would have loved to have learned another dance and worn another costume.
We know you loved last night's costume. Can you keep it?
Debi: No! We are not allowed. They are like $3,000 each. Expensive! If they want to give it to me though, I have no problem.
What's next for you?
Debi: Next is going back to acting, that's what I do. And my online cooking show. I will be a recurring character on The Castle, and there's Entourage — we go back for the last season next year.
Would you maybe do a dance cookbook?
Debi: No, not dancing. Maks might get to be in one of the pictures eating at my house, but beyond that, there will be no cooking-and-dancing combination. Though I do dance in the kitchen with my husband.
What have you learned while doing the show?
Debi: I learned how to focus better on something that is really foreign to me. Maks taught me that.
Do you feel you accomplished what you set out to do?
Debi: Yeah, for the dances I did, it was great. And now it's time to move on. I will have private classes now. With Maks of course — who else?
Maksim: I am open to that. Every season when we get eliminated, I offer private classes. Mel B was the only one that took me up the opportunity, so I am hoping there will be a second one here. I am going to go visit her in Italy, as I would rather get out of here.
Debi: I am going to come see him on the floor.
Will your kids be happy to have you home again?
Debi: They liked seeing Mommy in the costumes and are very excited about it. But I told them this morning I might go home and they were like, "But Mommy, you are so good." But tomorrow is a new day and they are young, so there is a new distraction every day.
Tom DeLay & Cheryl Burke
Withdrew from competition October 6
Tom, what was behind the decision to withdraw?
Tom: I told Cheryl this morning that we couldn't go much further with this. The week, we had last week, where I felt good on Tuesday and by Saturday ... then we'd do 30 minutes on Sunday. If you can't practice, you can't do this show. You can only wrap your feet so much. You have to be able to put the hours in, and I just couldn't do it.
It was amazing you pushed through the pain and danced on Monday's show.
Tom: It started to hurt afterward. I guess the adrenaline kicks in. Louie Vito told me when the adrenaline pumps, I wouldn't feel the pain, and that was the case. But I got up that morning and knew I couldn't dance. But I reached a goal and actually danced, which was the goal from the beginning.
Cheryl: I don't think I would have been able to do that. Two broken feet? You can't dance without two feet. I thought he was crazy and told him a million times not to, but he was determined.
What did the doctor advise you to do?
Tom: Get off my feet! There is this thing called a bone stimulator that I have been applying and it stops the damage and helps rebuild them. So the recovery should be quicker, and I will be ready for the finale.
Cheryl: Then he can teach me the Texas two step. I'll go back to Houston, where he's from, and he'll take me to a dance hall.
What will you miss most about this whole thing?
Tom: These guys. These are amazing people. I have never seen people work as hard as they do. The patience they show with us. They are really beautiful people, not just on the outside like Cheryl — they all have really big hearts.
Cheryl: I'll miss his attitude and determination. He really inspired me, because I could not have done what he did last night — honestly, there is no way physically. And I learned politicians can dance, and that he sure has some rhythm in those hips.
What will you take away from the experience?
Tom: Well, I didn't learn a lot about myself, but I applied myself. They don't call me "Hammer" for nothing. I've always pushed the envelope. When someone told me it'd be a cold day in hell before I got the majority vote, that made me work even harder. That is just who I am. I love a challenge, and this was certainly that. If my feet had held out, I think I would have done pretty well.
Cheryl: I learned a little about politics. I didn't know my left from my right, that's how much I knew, and it's embarrassing. Now, I've got it.
Tom: But I haven't made her a conservative.
Cheryl: You'd have to keep me another month at least for that!