Tom Delay didn't let twin stress fractures stop him from hitting the dance floor Monday, but they did cause him to bow out of the competition from now on, the former congressman announced last night on "Dancing With the Stars."
Delay and his partner, Cheryl Burke, weren't the only ones to see their DWTS dreams dissolve as Debi Mazar and partner Maksim Chmerkovsky were eliminated from the competition the old fashion way: by low votes and judges' scores.
All four eliminated dancers appeared on "Good Morning America," where Delay said he regretted dropping out of the competition.
"I'm really disappointed I can't go any further," Delay said. "[But] you have to practice in order to be in this competition. It was too hard. I decided it was time to bow out."
Delay's partner, Cheryl Burke, said she urged Delay not to dance on Monday, but he would not be stopped.
"Tom just wanted to get through it," she said. "I could not have done what he did Monday night."
Mazar, who also slightly injured herself during the Foxtrot by straining a neck muscle, said the much-hyped drama between her and partner Maksim Chmerkovsky was exaggerated, but her frustration with dancing often was not.
"They like to build the drama, build the reality," she said. "For me, not being a dancer, it got repetitive and boring."
Week three was "Latin Night" on "Dancing With the Stars," as the 13 remaining couples tried to samba and rumba their way to the top.
With Len Goodman back at the judges table, former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul in the audience, and Tom "The Hammer" DeLay dancing with two stress fractures, the drama and excitement were as high as ever.
Former house majority leader DeLay earned a mere 15 points, dancing against the advice of both his doctors and producers.
"What's a little pain when you can party?" DeLay joked, as he and two-time champion Burke danced their samba to "Why Can't We Be Friends?"
DeLay -- clad in patriotic stars and stripes complete with elephant and donkey decals, as well as special hiking boots because of his injuries -- did receive support from the judges. Judge Bruno Tonioli called him a "Super Trooper" and Goodman said if he "had a stress fracture in both feet, I wouldn't be judging, let alone dancing."
"GMA" co-anchor Bill Weir asked if, due to his injury, Tom Delay would change his stance and support a public health care option for ballroom dancers. Delay said "No, I don't think so."
The day after he was announced as a contestant, DeLay told "Good Morning America" co-anchor Chris Cuomo that he "jumped at the chance" to appear on the show.
"I love dancing ... you've got to love dancing if you're from Texas," DeLay said. "Conservatives can have fun too. Conservatives can let their hair down ... and put on some dancing shoes."
"My biggest fear is I might embarrass myself," DeLay said during rehearsals.
He and Burke -- who said she didn't know who DeLay was and had to Google him -- danced the Cha Cha to the song "Wild Thing" during the show's premiere.
"I've got bigger critics than those judges," DeLay said after his debut performance.
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