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'Dancing With The Stars' contestants relieved as finals near

November 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Ricki Lake and partner Derek Hough danced their way to perfection Monday with their Samba in week nine of "Dancing With The Stars."

They also scored a near perfect 29 out of 30 points for their Argentine Tango.

It was a tough week for all the dancers, but the end is in sight.

"We're tired, we're exhausted," Hough said. "We thought, 'Let's just take the pressure off ourselves.' We're not worried about making the final, we're not worried about winning, we're not worried about anything else other than just getting through this week. I felt that sort of pressure taken off.

"I did too, I really enjoyed myself," Lake said. "I hope to be back next week and I hope to give whoever wins a run for their money."

Rob Kardashian had his best showing yet, earning 55 out of 60 total points for his two individual dances and winning the highest score from the judges for the Cha Cha relay.

"I literally shock myself every single day, but from like the beginning of the competition I was freaking out, like, 'What am I getting myself into?' And now, I'm like, 'All right, that mirror ball trophy is one step closer to my hands,'" Kardashian said. "Hopefully we get to those finals and we can prove to everybody that we really want that trophy."

J.R. Martinez slipped to third place, in part, due to a severely sprained ankle.

He may be disappointed for himself, but he's thrilled for his castmates.

"All week we joked with Rob about how, 'Oh, you're taking our spot. You get to close the show,' and he closed it well - very well. He did a great job," Martinez said.

But Martinez is not one to dwell on his misfortunes and he's hoping for another chance to dance next week.

"One thing about me, when given an opportunity to come back and redeem myself, I definitely try to do the best that I can," he said.

Hope Solo and partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy were the fourth couple in the semi-finals. They landed in a distant fourth place, and chose not to talk to most of the press after last night's show.

In an exclusive Eyewitness News poll conducted by SurveyUSA, 31 percent of respondents said it should be Solo that gets eliminated. Another 29 percent chose Kardashian to leave, 21 percent said Lake should exit and 10 percent picked Martinez to be kicked. Nine percent said they weren't sure.

We'll find out who goes home at 9 p.m. Tuesday on ABC7. Special guests include The Muppets.

View photos from week nine of "Dancing With The Stars."

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