By Carrie Ann Inaba
May 13, 2009 at 12:00 PM EDT
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Well, Ty was sent home this week. He was such a joy to watch. Every season, we have someone that touches the hearts of the masses and really reminds us that anything is possible. I love that about our show. Ty Murray was that person this year. We actually had a few people that really brought heartwarming stories to our show — Steve-O, and Steve W. both pulled on our heartstrings as well. And I have to say that Lil’ Kim also really surprised everyone. I still wish she could have been in the final three. Derek does such great choreography that it would have been nice to see their final performances.

But who would they have replaced in the finals? That is something I wouldn’t want to address….

We’ve had good stars this year, all unique and strong but each withvery different performance styles. At this point, I think Gilles hasthe most well-rounded performances. He moves with incredible grace andpassion. He finishes his moves with polish and clarity and conviction.That is what earned him his 60 points Monday night. Melissa seemed tobe having problems this week with Tony. They were out of sync with eachother a bit, and she looked a bit timid out there, both emotionally andphysically. This is such a difficult show for the performers — I don’tthink the general public knows how hard they all work to do this showand to be as good as they are. We also have Shawn who is the precisionqueen. Jive was not her best dance but it’s over now and she’s still inthe finals. She is so cute and adorable, and so focused. She is so muchyounger than the rest of the performers, with so much less lifeexperience so she has to make up the emotional element of the dancewith technique and precision.

Gilles and Shawn appeal to different tastes. Melissa is right in themiddle. I get frustrated a bit with her because out of all thecompetitors, she is the most gifted in the physical attributes thatwould help her in this competition. She’s got grace, flexibility,lyricism and athleticism. Sometimes the people who have the mostnatural tendency to be a great dancer don’t have to work as hard andthat can hurt them. In my career, I have seen many a dancer who wasgifted with incredible natural talent — but didn’t have the work ethicto bring it to the edge with each moment. They didn’t have to work thathard to be good and when the others caught up, they easily would passthem by — no fault of theirs, but it makes it more difficult for themlater when the ones who have had to struggle more catch up. Hard workand talent = luck. And only the lucky ones really go far. I’m notsaying that Melissa doesn’t work hard. Everyone who joins our showworks hard. I’m just saying that dancing comes easily for her on manylevels, which doesn’t allow for her to dig deep.

I also think that Melissa’s injury may still be bothering her. I had ahairline fracture in my rib and to this day, it hurts me. It’s astrange injury. When I watch her movements, where she holds back andwhere she seems timid, it seems that her injury may still be hurtingher. She is a trooper though because she is not complaining. Shecontinues on.  And I commend her on that…

We had a great performance this week by Julianne, Derek, Mark and Laceyin the Design a Dance. And congratulations to Rebecca Farmer, whodesigned and created their costumes. It was a high-energy performanceand those Design a Dance performances have been consistently good now.And I’m looking forward to next years dance.

Raphael Saadiq performed at the top of the show last night and it was atreat. I had never heard of him before last night but am going to buyhis album — or download it from iTunes today. High energy, greatmusic, a whole lotta fun! I hope he comes back to perform again. Ithink he’s a perfect match to our show. He’s a little retro too.

Tomorrow I go and work with one of the contestants for their “MasterClass.” Usually, it’s just Len who goes and helps the performers ontheir final performance. This year, they have changed the format –Bruno, Len and I will each be working with the finalists to help themprepare for their last performances. I’m excited and always love beingin the studio…so tomorrow’s going to be a good day.

Next week we have the finals. I know one thing — it’s going to be atight race to the finish. They are all dancing in a dance off thatfeatures the Paso Doble — which is one of my favorite dances becauseit’s so dramatic and dynamic. Every one of them did well with theirprevious Paso performances so I think we are in for a treat.

Thanks for watching and for all your comments.

See you Monday!
-carrie ann

More on Dancing With the Stars:
Carrie Ann’s blogs: Week 9, Week 8, Week 7, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4, Week 3, Week 2
Annie Barrett’s ‘DWTS’ elimination recap: And Then There Were Three
‘DWTS’: Season 8’s Crazy Costume Watch!

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