(LOS ANGELES) — Emmitt Smith and Apolo Anton Ohno, who both won their respective seasons of Dancing with the Stars, were voted off Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars Tuesday night — just one week shy of the finals.
Ohno’s results were announced at the show’s halfway mark, and the ballroom audience reacted with a mix of boos and applause.
Ohno, an Olympic speedskater, took the Mirror Ball trophy in season 4.
After he learned he wasn’t going to the finals, he called his pro dancer partner Karina Smirnoff “a champion,” and said the show was amazing.
“Every single person who does this show is a champion because it forces you to become a champion in your own right. It forces you to become more confident, stronger and it’s been a blessing. Every single week the fans have been so amazing,” he added.
NFL legend Emmitt Smith, the show’s season 3 champion, smiled when he learned he would not advance to the finals. “You know, it’s been a tremendous experience. It’s been a great ride,” he said, adding that his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, has pushed him “to another level.”
“Season three was something else, but this right here takes it over the top,” Smith added.
Following Monday night’s semifinal performances, Smith and soap opera star Kelly Monaco were tied for last place on the leader board.
Ohno, who got a perfect score for one of his two performances on Monday, ended up in third place on the scoreboard. Olympian Shawn Johnson and TV personality Melissa Rycroft were the top scorers.
Elimination is based on a combination of judges’ scores plus audience votes. Smith and Ohno had the two lowest overall totals after the audience votes and judges’ scores were combined.
Rycroft, Johnson and Monaco will return next week to battle it out for the all-stars championship.
The results show also featured the British pop band The Wanted performing two of their big hits, and singer/dancer Paula Abdul singing and dancing a mash-up of four of her number-one hits.
Twenty-one-year-old New Zealand dancer Parris Goebel earned a standing ovation for her routine during the show’s AT&T Spotlight Performance.
This is the 15th season of ABC’s reality dance competition, and the first featuring a cast of performers who appeared on previous seasons of the show.
Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Lisa Respers France, CNN
Brian Stelter, CNN
Chandrika Narayan, CNN