Kelsey McNeal/ABC (2)
November 06, 2008 12:00 AM

Her Swan Song: Soap legend Susan Lucci was served her DWTS walking papers Wednesday night, but the actress took her ouster in stride just as her TV alter ego Erica Kane would have. “My eyes have been opened to so many things, the underground mambo clubs of New York, the way that I can still move my body.” Lucci said. And if anything, Lucci left on a Dancing high note after Monday’s performance of the paso doble, which drove judge Carrie Ann Inaba to instruct Lucci to utter, “I AM good!” “I had no idea where Carrie Ann was going with that, and it is so not my style to scream out, ‘I am good!'” Lucci said. “But I know how she meant it, and I took it as tremendous encouragement.”

Behind Every Good Woman… : Is a loving husband. “I am so grateful to him,” Lucci said of her ever-present husband Helmut Huber, who sat front row week in and week out of the competition. “Helmut has been there every step of the way, he’s been fantastic.” Lucci’s partner Tony Dovolani couldn’t agree more: “He’s a special man. He deserves a trophy of his own. I don’t know how either one of us could have made it this far without his help.” The Bold and the Barefoot: New pro Lacey Schwimmer continued stirring the DWTS pot during her taped segment in which she proclaimed, “I’ll go barefoot all over your face, Len!”, as a response to the head judge’s criticism to her and partner Lance Bass’s barefooted rumba. “I don’t even know what that means,” Schwimmer said of her comment Wednesday. “To be perfectly honest. It just came out, and a little bit of my inner self came out before I could censor myself.” But Schwimmer added, “It’s all in fun.”

Still the Dancing Queen: Sixth season contestant Marlee Matlin took a seat in the front row on Wednesday night, perhaps to brush up on some dancing? Matlin has been announced as a member of the upcoming DWTS tour, and the cheeky actress is looking forward to her stint back on the dancefloor. “It’s a dance fantasy,” Matlin told PEOPLE, adding she’s getting her very own tour bus. “It’s a good thing that I’m married and sober,” Matlin said through her interpreter. “I’d like to live like a rock star, and I used to think of myself as Marcia Brady from The Brady Brunch, but now I know, I’m Alice the Maid!”

In Place of Julianne: “I didn’t want to disappoint Cody or Julianne or their fans,” said Edyta Sliwinska, who is subbing for Hough as she recuperates from surgery. “I was praying, Please, God, not tonight! It would have been the worst night of my life.” Given a week to work with the easily distracted Linley, Sliwinska went straight to Hough for advice on how to train the 18-year-old. “The best advice that Julianne gave me was that I have to be more tough on Cody than I would on anyone else because he’s younger,” Sliwinska said. “I wish I could put horse blinders on him and maybe a leash so that he doesn’t wander around.”

More from Inside the Ballroom: •Kim Kardashian played the role of supportive pal from the front row. “I’m so proud of everybody” she gushed. And though Kardashian would like to see frontrunner Brooke Burke take that trophy home, Kardashian has visions that boyfriend Reggie Bush may hit the parquet one day. “He says that he doesn’t think he would go for it, but he’s such a great dancer, so I think that he would do so well,” Kardashian said of her beau. “I think he totally could take the trophy.”

•Shannon Elizabeth hit the dancefloor at the end of the night to pay a visit to boyfriend Derek Hough. Hough explained why his former dance partner has been persona non grata in the ballroom. “She just got back from filming,” Hough said of Elizabeth, “and she had a meeting in Santa Monica, so she stopped by. She saw our foxtrot in rehearsal the other day, and she said, ‘You guys are going to get three tens!'” –Reagan Alexander

READ MORE: Susan Lucci Bids Farewell to DancingKelsey McNeal/ABC (2)

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