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Video: Alley's tumble on 'Dancing With the Stars'

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    >> talking about " dancing with the stars ." kirstie alley was on. there was a snafu.

    >> his knee jerked.

    >> is it a hoolea they are doing?

    >> you can see. that's a rumba?

    >> here is the good news. her score, she ended the night with 21 points which is in the middle of the pack. he said he was fine. he said it had nothing to do with her, he just fell.

    >> yeah. i'm sure they are going to make jokes about it. it's not funny. she is doing really, really well. good for her. had she been wearing thomm's shoes, it might not have happened.

    >> she is the person who i'm rooting for. you want her just to make it through this whole deal. you see some of the other dancers. there is something she has some kind of attraction with the crowd, the audience. i hope she does well.

    >> people lived through her struggles through the years. she's been vocal about her struggles with weight. she's been able to laugh at herself about it. that creates such goodwill with people good. for her.

    >> we are going to find out tonight. now the audience votes. again, she was in the middle of the pack.

    >> i think wendy williams will be sent home. i don't watch the sure. i was getting a pedicure late. jackie was doing it at my house. she said my favorite show is on. i said let's turn it on. it was nice to turn the news off a little bit. first time i've seen it this year. i saw a couple of dances. it wasn't wendy's best night. i haven't seen her before. we'll see if i'm right. did you

TODAY contributor
updated 4/4/2011 11:49:51 PM ET 2011-04-05T03:49:51

Monday night was “story night” on “Dancing With the Stars,” and the overall tale seemed to be expect the unexpected. Some good dancers weren’t so good, some bad dancers weren’t so bad and one usually upright dancer found herself flat on the floor.

The story Kirstie Alley intended to tell with her classic rumba was one about the hope that can be found after despair. It was a lesson Alley learned years ago after losing her mother and nearly losing her father. It was a lesson aptly reinforced moments after her routine began.

Shortly after the music started, Alley’s pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, suffered a cramp or possible muscle pull in his left thigh. The ill-timed injury caused the pro to fall back and take Alley along for the ride. The audience winced, Alley appeared momentarily confused, and no doubt a slew of late-night talk-show types started composing low-blow jokes about the blunder.

The good news for Alley was that soon after her dance-floor despair, she was able to finish the routine with a remarkable rebound.

“You can’t keep good talent down,” judge Bruno Tonioli said.

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But evidently, you can keep a good score down. Even though the panel raved about Alley’s moves, and Chmerkovskiy made sure the judges knew the fumble was his fault, they clearly deducted for it when they awarded her just 21 points out of 30.

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In an equally unexpected but much more pleasant turn of events, back-of-the-pack dancer Petra Nemcova ended the night in the top spot (an honor she shared with still-hot hoofer Hines Ward).

The supermodel’s story came from the courage she encountered when she returned to Thailand for the first time after the 2004 tsunami struck. She hoped to capture that with a soothing, ethereal waltz. She succeeded by not only performing a beautiful and fluid routine that earned her 25 points, but by performing the best dance of the night. (No offense, Ward.)

Another comeback kid, although he didn’t comeback nearly as far as Nemcova, was boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard. After a “let’s get ready to pasooooooooooooooooooooooooo” introduction from legendary announcer Michael Buffer, Leonard took the floor to present his story of beating the odds, and received what is likely to be his personal high mark in the competition.

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The paso doble allowed Leonard to focus more on the costume, the drama and the fighting spirit and less on the, you know, actual dancing. The improvement via distraction worked, as he left the floor with a 20. That’s a three-point lead on his last two attempts.

Other stars who ended the night on a high note include Chelsea Kane, who more than made up for last week’s not-a-jive with this week’s hip-shaking cha-cha-cha, and Kendra Wilkinson, who put her past pole moves to work in a sexy rumba.

On the other end of the “Dancing” spectrum, the night saw a big slip, too.

After being dubbed the one to watch by head judge Len Goodman last week, Romeo was told he’d taken “a huge step back” with the rumba he dedicated to his late cousins. The son of Master P dropped three points from his previous score to a 20.

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Still, it could be worse. A bad week for Romeo means he’s neck-and-neck with Leonard on his best week.

Besides, it’s not as though Romeo has anything to worry about when Tuesday night’s results show rolls around. Neither do the evening’s other lackluster gents, Chris Jericho and Ralph Macchio. No, the next exit looks like a lock for the worst hoofer overall, Wendy Williams. She ended the night — and probably her dancing career — with a 15-point fox-trot.

Ree Hines didn’t cry during Chris Jericho’s tribute to his mom. There just was something in her eye. Yeah. Follow @ReeHines and tell her which moments totally didn’t bring tears to your eyes.

Want the latest TV and reality TV news? Follow our blog, The Clicker, @TODAY_Clickeron Twitter and "like" us on Facebook.

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Photos: 'Dancing With the Stars' cast

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  1. Time to dance

    "Dancing with the Stars" hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke announced the 11 celebrities heading to the dance floor this season during a live news conference. As always, the cast includes athletes, models, actors, and a few people whose names aren't recognizable to your average American. (Adam Larkey / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Sugar Ray Leonard

    Retired boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, who has a cameo in the Oscar-winning film "The Fighter," surely had fast feet in the boxing ring, but can he fit in to the ballroom?

    Leonard is paired with pro Anna Trebunskaya. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Petra Nemcova

    Czech-born model Petra Nemcova is perhaps most famous for surviving the 2004 tsunami resulting from an earthquake in the Indian Ocean. Her then fiance died in the tsunami, while Nemcova broke her pelvis and managed to cling to a palm tree for hours before being rescued.

    Nemcova is paired with pro Dmitry Chaplin. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Ralph Macchio

    Ralph Macchio came to fame as the star of "The Karate Kid" in 1984. He was a teen idol of the 1980s, but has played only minor roles in film and TV since.

    Macchio is paired with pro Karina Smirnoff. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Kirstie Alley

    When Shelley Long left the hit sitcom "Cheers" in 1987, Kirstie Alley stepped in as bar manager Rebecca Howe. Recently her yo-yoing weight has become a public issue, as she was a spokesperson for Jenny Craig and starred in a show called "Fat Actress."

    Alley is paired with pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Hines Ward

    Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward was voted MVP of Super Bowl XL in 2006. He is half Korean and half African-American, and has worked as an advocate for biracial youths in South Korea.

    Ward is paired with pro Kym Johnson. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Chris Jericho

    Chris Jericho has had plenty of success in the wrestling ring, but he's also served as a radio and television host as well as a rock musician.

    Jericho is paired with pro Cheryl Burke. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Mike Catherwood

    Mike Catherwood, known as Psycho Mike, is assistant producer for the syndicated radio show "Kevin and Bean," and is also co-host of "Loveline" with Dr. Drew Pinsky. A former addict, he uses his own experiences to help callers.

    Catherwood is paired with pro Lacey Schwimmer. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Romeo

    Rapper Romeo withdrew from the second season of "Dancing With the Stars" in 2006 and was replaced by his father, Master P, who is infamous in "Dancing" circles for barely moving his feet. He's now back for the 12th season.

    Romeo is paired with pro Chelsea Hightower. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Chelsea Kane

    Chelsea Kane is an actress who is best known for playing Stella Malone in the Disney Channel sitcom "Jonas L.A.," and has also appeared in other Disney shows and original movies.

    Kane is paired with pro Mark Ballas. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Wendy Williams

    Wendy Williams hosts her own syndicated talk show, "The Wendy Williams Show," and is a former New York radio DJ.

    Williams is paired with pro Tony Dovolani. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Kendra Wilkinson

    Kendra Wilkinson is best known as a former girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and as such starred on the reality show "The Girls Next Door." She is now married to Minnesota Viking Hank Baskett and has her own reality show, "Kendra."

    Wilkinson is paired with pro Louis Van Amstel. (Bob D'amico / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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