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Backstage Drama? It was clear from the rehearsal footage on Monday’s Dancing with the Stars that pros Maksim Chmerkovskiy and his former fiancee Karina Smirnoff are bonding with their star partners Debi Mazar and Aaron Carter. And both pros say that they’re focusing on those bonds to get through the awkwardness of working with an ex. Amidst speculation of an attraction brewing between Karina and Aaron (which he denied earlier in the day), Maks wouldn’t comment except to say, “I just feel betrayed.” Luckily, he’s got a tough woman helping him through. “He’s going through a very rough period in his life,” Debi explained. “I’m giving him a lot of support and positive energy.” For her part, Karina is focusing on herself and winning. “Aaron and the show are the only things I’m concentrating on, and I think he’s doing the same thing with Debi.” No one is expecting reconciliation any time soon. “We’re both trying to figure out our lives, and work on ourselves,” she says. “At this moment, we’re happy to be where we are.”

Managing Expectations: After a smash hit performance in her opening week, Kelly Osbourne disappointed herself with a few missteps her tango Monday night. The one thing she was relieved about? “I’m glad my dad wasn’t here,” she says. “I really would have lost it!” The reality star, who still had a smile on her face when she greeted fiance Luke Worrall and mother Sharon after the show wrapped, says she had a perfect performance in the dress rehearsal. “It was great,” she says. “Then I got out here and I was like, ‘I did so well last week, I’ll never be as good as that.’ I let the pressure go to my head. But I’m glad it happened, you need something like this.”

Donny’s Close Call: In Dancing‘s second week, Debi Mazar is nursing a neck with torn muscles, Tom DeLay is struggling to keep balance on a foot with a pre-stress fracture and Donny Osmond came thisclose to being sidelined before his performance Monday night. “I had to have a chiropractor work on me before the show,” he says. “I fell on my hip and twisted my lower back.” Donny was able to pull it together, though, thanks to dance partner Kym Johnson. “She’s a tough teacher, and she demands a good performance,” he says. “I try to give it to her. I’m chiropracticing!”

Melissa’s Tiny Dancers: Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas were disappointed that their jive didn’t get better scores from the judges despite vast improvements over her waltz last week, but the actress says she’s getting plenty of support from her family. Her husband Mark Wilkerson, who breathed a sigh of relief in the front row after she finished her routine, “is so excited, but he says he’s going to punch the judges!,”she says. “It’s hard for him to take the criticism.” Her 3-year-old Mason is also getting into the show. “My husband made me a video of him dancing with his friend. They danced the waltz like we did. “It was so cute!” Check out Melissa’s tiny dancers on her Web site.

Shrinking Waistlines: Mark Dacascos blames a shrinking waistline for slipping up during his quick step misstep Monday night. “We’re dancing so much, and I’m losing weight,” he says. “I’m usually between 153 and 156 lbs., and right now I’m at 148. It feels good, but I have to make sure my pants still fit me!” Debi Mazar said she’s also watching the pounds fly off her midsection, having already gone from a size 4 to a size 2 much to her displeasure. “I’m starting to lose a size in my clothes. I like to have a juicy butt, and I eat a lot, but my metabolism is starting to go through the roof. I can’t go to a zero,” she says. Her defense mechanism? “I’m eating lots of chocolate ice cream!” –Lisa Ingrassia

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