'DWTS' eliminated contestants: 'How much more could they have done?'

One of the eliminated contestants on Dancing with the Stars Tuesday said it best after the show: “How much more could I have done?” Not much — except maybe move around the dance floor like a limber ex-gymnast. To read the parting words from the latest victims of a double elimination night, head to the jump:

Emmitt Smith is not sure how much harder he could have worked to make it to the end. So the fact that he, along with Apolo Ohno, were the latest to leave the ballroom floor doesn’t necessarily fill him with regret or sadness. “How much more could I have done?  I mean, I did 23 ½ hours of work last week. I mean, [should I have done] 25, 30?  40?  A broken ankle?  A broken toe?  Messed up back? Laying it on the line, I think that’s what each and every one of these dancers has done and she’s [partner Cheryl Burke] been there by my side the whole entire time so I think we pushed the limits. I’m not necessarily saying we worked harder than most but we pushed the limits in terms of the number of hours we’ve been in the studio, for a reason, trying to get it to perfection and obviously, right now, it just wasn’t good enough. It’s no reflection on her. For me, I only have so much I can give. There’s only so much I can do and she’s done great.  She’s been excellent to work with.”

Ohno was equally resigned about his fate. “It’s sad because we tried so hard but at the same time, for me, I’m never one to look at my season, and say, ah, man, I wish we could have gone to the final. I’m proud of how far we’ve come and the fans have shown so much incredible support and I think we both have shown how much passion and focus and determination. Hopefully we’ve set a great example for so many people in the show and for those people who watch the show to be able to say, I can do that, too, and relate it to their own personal lives.”

But what about that big top jazz routine on Monday, Apolo? Does he think the judges — who gave him and Karina Smirnoff a 27 – thought it was maybe a bit too over the top? “I personally thought that her Big Top Jazz choreography  was absolutely amazing and it was supposed to be strange. It was supposed to be out there and abstract and avant garde and I think that’s something we’ve never seen before on the show and it was a risk and I thought it was one that we both said, let’s do it.”

Now that it’s all over, Smith’s wondering how he’s going to keep off the 15-plus pounds he lost while hoofing it with Burke.”How am I going to replace those hours of cardiovascular?’ said the ex-NFL pro, who will head home to Texas. “I just don’t know how I’m going to do it and make it as impactful as she’s made it on me.”

As for the other eliminated couple, Ohno has a TV project in the works while Smirnoff will ask her fans to put their support behind Tony Dovolani and Melissa Rycroft. “It’s season 15 [for him] and he didn’t have a lot of opportunities to be in the final before, not because he wasn’t able to get there but sometimes, as dancers, we have to work with what we have and Tony has an amazing opportunity and to me, he is the underdog so I want him to do well. I’m rooting for him.  I’m going to ask my fans to root for Tony and Melissa, too.  He’s staying true to his Olympic family.” — With reporting from Carole Gilnes

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