April 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM ET
The Dance Duel on "Dancing With the Stars" claimed its second victim on Tuesday night, and unfortunately for Motown, it continued the legendary label's bad week on the show with the elimination of star crooner Gladys Knight.
The singer found herself at the bottom of the leaderboard Monday after delivering a 21-point rumba that, according to the judges, lacked steam. On top of that, she forgot part of her routine. The Cha-Cha Challenge didn't help either, as she and her pro partner, Tristan MacManus, were the first of the remaining couples to get pulled out, and earned only three extra points for the night.
"I am not naive. I know we're at the bottom of the leaderboard," she told the "Dancing" cameras Monday night after the show. "More than likely they're gonna have us in the Dance Duel tomorrow night. WHATEVER!" Gotta love the spunk!
Joining Gladys in the spotlights of shame were ... three promising couples?! Yes, seems "DWTS" decided to drum up some extra excitement on elimination night. Also in jeopardy on Tuesday were Maria Menounos, Melissa Gilbert and Roshon Fegan.
But it was the young Disney star who ended up facing off against the singing legend. Like Gladys, Roshon was dinged by the judges Monday for a lack of sexiness in his 23-point rumba. He also exited the Cha-Cha Challenge surprisingly early, and earned only 5 extra points. That put him a total of 28 for Monday, only 4 points ahead of Gladys and earning him the spot just above hers on the leaderboard.
Though the singer was facing off against a man nearly five decades her junior, she was confident. "I operate pretty good under pressure most of the time," Gladys explained.
And boy, did she! The two star hoofers took on the jive for the first time in their Dance Duel, with Roshon delivering a frantic, jerky performance, and Gladys offering graceful moves on the dance floor.
But with the Dance Duel, it's the judges'call to make -- based solely on this final dance, supposedly. And they chose to save the Disney star despite him making the same "overexaggerated," "clipped and jerky" moves they complained about Monday night. But it wasn't unanimous. Judge Carrie Ann Inaba voted to give Gladys another shot in the competition, while Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli opted to side with Roshon.
Despite the vote not going her way, Gladys was her usual classy self. "I am so amazed at this journey. It's been absolutely extraordinary," she said in her exit speech. "I've learned so many things and found so many friends. ... I wish them the best. I got a family."
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