People Staff
November 20, 2012 08:30 PM

They were so close!

After five couples performed mixed-up routines and a tribute to Michael Jackson on Dancing with the Stars the night before, two contestants were sent packing Tuesday night, just one week short of season 15’s all-star finale. And that’s got to hurt.

Going into the elimination, it stacked up like this: Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough were in the lead with 59 out of 60 points.

Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani were in second place with 57.5 points, followed closely by Apolo Ohno and Karina Smirnoff with 57.

And Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy, and Emmitt Smith and Cheryl Burke were tied with 54 points each.

VIDEO: DWTS’s Final Five Describe the Joy (and Terror) of the All-Star Season

Here are your season 15 finalists, who will dance again next week: Shawn and Derek, Melissa and Tony, Kelly and Val.

That means that Apolo and Karina and Emmitt and Cheryl are heading home.

“This competition has been hard from the beginning,” Ohno said. But he added: “It’s a been a blessing.”

“It’s been a tremendous experience,” Emmitt said. “It’s been a great ride.”

So, who has what it takes to win it all? Discuss in the comments below.

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