I Woz Spared: Computer whiz Steve Wozniak was the surprise hit of Tuesday night’s show. The Woz got the shock of his life when he and partner Karina Smirnoff were declared safe from elimination — to the delight of the studio audience. When the show went to commercial following the announcement, the couple was surrounded by the cast of pro and celebrity dancers offering up congratulatory hugs. The crowd continued to applaud and Wozniak wiped away tears of joy from his eyes. “I watched the audience and there was a huge response and even the other dancers were so nice and responded so nicely,” Wozniak said after the show. “It was the biggest emotional shock I can remember. All the air comes out of you. I couldn’t believe it.”
Even after the show, the excitement of The Woz’s save was still in the air. “It just goes to show you that the fan votes really do matter,” Cheryl Burke told PEOPLE. “He’s pure entertainment. People love to watch him.” David Alan Grier says he’s a fan of Wozniak’s, too. “I’ll vote for him if he gives me a new Mac computer!” Grier quipped. Support Group: Moments after pairs Holly Madison and Dmitry Chaplin and Denise Richards and Maksim Chmerkovskiy were announced to be in the bottom two, the show went to commercial. That’s when Smirnoff rushed out onto the stage to offer some words of wisdom to each of the couples. “I told Dmitry and Holly good luck and to Maks and Denise, I told them to dance like it’s your last dance because you have nothing to lose,” Smirnoff said. “Last week I was in the dance-off and for the first five minutes I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re in the dance-off, what are we going to do?’ But then I thought what’s the worst thing at the end of the day — we have to go home?”
And according to Smirnoff, there is no downside being partnered with Wozniak–no matter how long the partnership lasts. “Steve finds the positive in everything and everything was so positive, I got to meet Steve, you know?” said Smirnoff. “So that’s why I came out and told them dance like it’s your last dance, you’re gorgeous and just enjoy yourself.”
The sentiment was not lost on Madison, who told PEOPLE after the show, “the support around here is so amazing, I don’t want to leave … – not because I want to win a trophy or earn money … because it’s fun to hang out with everybody every day. This is really an amazing place to be.” As for the dance-off, “it was scary,” Madison admitted. “But now that I’ve done it, it’s over and if I have to do it again some time it won’t be as scary.”
Paddle Battle: The final minutes of Tuesday’s Dancing got a little tense when host Samantha Harris received conflicting information on what the correct score was for Richards and Chmerkovskiy’s dance-off samba. A production staffer told Harris the total of the judges’ scores was 21. No slouch at basic math, Harris saw on the monitor that the sum of the scores on the judges’ paddles — a six and two sevens — added up to 20. As the show went to commercial host Tom Bergeron clarified what had happened: someone thought Inaba gave the couple a seven, but was holding up the number six paddle. “No, no, I wrote a six,” Inaba insisted.
The show went to commercial and a conference of sorts took place at the judges’ table between the judges, a production staffer, and the stage manager. The way the scoring process goes, as soon as the judges see a dance, they each scribble their respective score on paper. The three papers are then handed to a production staffer who rushes them to the control booth just outside the soundstage. That’s when the scores are tabulated and ready to appear on the screen. Somewhere in between a mix-up occurred and indeed, the final score was a 20. All during the conversation, Inaba held up the number six paddle. Fortunately, the situation was resolved and nobody received a spanking.
No Complaint Zone: As a minor, Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson is restricted in the amount of time she can spend working on the show. “Because I’m only 17, I can only work six days instead of seven, and I can only practice six hours each day,” she told PEOPLE. But Johnson says she refuses to consider herself at a disadvantage, especially when she looks at her fellow competitors who are injured (Steve-O and The Woz) or came into the competition late (Melissa Rycroft and Holly Madison). “Everybody here has disadvantages they are dealing with so this really isn’t a big deal,” Johnson said. “It’s a challenge for us but we’re not going to stand here and whine,” Johnson’s partner Mark Ballas added. “We make the most of our time together. We take Wednesdays off and then we hit it hard the rest of the days straight through and that way she can remember better what I’m teaching her.” –Monica Rizzo
READ MORE: Denise Richards Is Booted from DancingCraig Sjodin/ABC