By People Staff
Updated November 04, 2009 12:00 AM
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Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC

It was the second double-elimination in a row as former NFL star Michael Irvin and Iron Chef America host Mark Dacascos were eliminated Tuesday night on Dancing with the Stars.

Irvin, who improved his dance scores each week, says the voters kept him and his partner Anna Demidova in the game for seven weeks.

“We have great love out here,” Irvin told PEOPLE after the show. “The voters kept us in. We were scoring 13s and 14s. That makes you feel great!”

Unfortunately, he scored the lowest among the seven couples Monday night and didn’t have a chance to compete in the dance-off, which featured Dacascos and pop star Aaron Carter. The judges raved about both performances, but in the end, the judges preferred Carter’s jive to Dacascos’s cha cha.

“Would I trade the experience? Heck, no!” says Dacascos. “It was one of the best professional experiences I’ve had in my life!”

It was a tough week for the TV host. His partner Lacey Schwimmer caught the flu last week and was unable to perform Monday night. Instead, he rehearsed once with Tony Dovolani and then performed with Anna Trebunskaya. Still feeling sick, Schwimmer said she couldn’t stay away for elimination night.

“I probably shouldn’t have come here today and danced but I begged to be here,” Schwimmer said. “There was no way I was going to let him leave on a sour note. We danced one last time.”

With only five couples left competing for the mirror ball trophy, the celebs and dancers say they have formed a bond that makes it hard to say goodbye.

“I’m happy I met her,” Irvin says about his partner Demidova. “I’ll miss her more than anything.” –Elaine Aradillas

Tell us: Did the right two couples go home? Which of the top 5 are you rooting for to take the trophy?Craig Sjodin/ABC