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Looks like Kathy Ireland couldn’t beat the models’ curse on Dancing with the Stars, as the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl was the latest celebrity to be eliminated from the hit ABC show.

On Monday night, the 46-year-old onetime supermodel — now a businesswoman with her own clothing line — had tied ex-congressman Tom DeLay for the lowest score (18) of all the competitors. So her ouster, along with pro partner Tony Dovolani, wasn’t much of a surprise.

“We’re not happy about leaving [but] we’re happy about the experience,” Tony told OK! after the elimination.The twosome weren’t shocked to get the cut, as Tony revealed, “We were making sounds like ‘baaa!’ backstage.“

“Like sheep going to the slaughter,” added Kathy.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom from the bright-eyed beauty. “I feel privileged that I got to have the experience,” she admitted. “And I, of everybody, won the jackpot as I got Tony as my teacher, my mentor.”

Kathy, who suffered a leg injury while surfing before the competition and had to get stitches (from her own husband, Dr. Greg Olsen), brushed off the suggestion that it hurt her on the show. “If anything, it took the pain away from the muscles and the aches and pains of everything else,” she laughed.

Kathy plans to continue to run her company and raise her three kids with Olsen and support charities. She donated her DWTS salary to charity and said the show gave her “a great gift of health and strength. I can keep up with our kids better.”

She feels in top physical condition after learning how to dance but isn’t sure know how much weight she lost. Tony said, “We threw the scale away. We’re not about weight loss. We’re about the way you look and feel.”

Kathy told OK!, “I really didn’t realize how de-conditioned I’d become. Dancing is an Olympic sport and it takes such focus and concentration and physically, it’s so demanding. I’ve got so much respect for Tony and all the professionals. It’s truly difficult.”

Kathy’s close friend, Elizabeth Taylor, closely followed her on the show and urged people to vote for her. Kathy said, “I’m so grateful to have such a supportive friend [and] she got to meet Tony!”

The other celebrity dancers were sorry to see her go, including Donny Osmond and his partner (and OK! blogger) Kym Johnson.

Backstage, Donny told OK! that Kathy was a generous and classy competitor who “sent everybody yellow roses last week. Backstage, she had a smile on her face and made everybody feel so wonderful.”

Meanwhile, despite his foot injury and low score, Tom DeLay wasn’t even in the bottom two with Kathy. Surprisingly, Debi Mazar and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy faced the red elimination light with Kathy and Tony, but their score of 21 in the tango pulled them through.

By Carole Glines

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