This season, Joanna Krupa proved that models have all the moves on Dancing with the Stars, but her time on the hit ABC reality show fell just short of the finale as she was eliminated on Tuesday night.
Joanna lit up season nine with consistently strong performances with partner Derek Hough including last week, when they broke boundaries with their memorable Paso Doble.
But, although she and Derek earned a score of 27 for each of their three dances on Monday night, good for second place — and judge Carrie Ann Inaba said she’d like to see her in next week’s finale — it was not to be.
Kelly Osbourne and partner Louis Van Amstel, who were in the bottom two with Joanna and Derek, got voted through with Mya and her pro Dmitry Chaplin, along with Donny Osmond and his partner (and OK! blogger) Kym Johnson.
After the show, Joanna, 30, told OK! “It was a really tough competition, being in the top four. In the beginning, I came in as the underdog. I was competing against people with bigger fan bases and I was just honored to be in the final four.
“I was really competing against amazing professionals and to even get to this level, I’m really blessed and happy to have had this opportunity. I definitely exceeded my expectations, and there were three other couples that were great, talented, and had huge fan bases.”
The Polish-born model said she learned a lot about television during her DWTS journey: “I think I overcame a fear, the whole live thing. The first week I was like, oh, my gosh, can I do this?
“Every week was really hard because it was a live show and you really don’t get used to it. The whole experience just made me a stronger person. I’m more confident.”
And she lucked out with her harmonious partnership with 24-year-old Derek, who said he was “incredibly proud” of Joanna, and felt this season was his own dream come true.
“I was always excited to see this pretty face and teach her how to dance,” he said. “A lot of people go on the show and make the finals or the semi-finals but have very flatlined seasons.
“I think we’ve had an amazing season — very colorful, dynamic — everything from me getting sick and she had to dance with Maks [Chmerkovskiy], then we did this mambo [group dance off] which was brand new for the show, and we won, and it was fun and exciting.
“Then we did this futuristic Paso Doble which was kind of groundbreaking for the show. We finished on a high with top scores. That’s why I’m happy. I’m not even sad.”
Joanna said she’ll take one day off to catch up on all the sleep she’s missed while doing the show, but she already has work and meetings lined up. She expects to continue modeling and told OK! she might like to have her own reality show someday.
“I want to do more TV,” she says. The longtime animal lover will also spend time on a cause close to her heart, supporting PETA.
She’s gained something else from the show: a hot new body. “I definitely worked my butt off. And my cleavage. I’m definitely leaner and stronger so I’m going to try to figure out how I can get the other two things back but keep everything else how it is.”
When asked about the reception to her nude spread in the December Playboy, Joanna said, “It’s amazing how great a response it’s received.”
She laughed that DWTS host Tom Bergeron brought her Playboy issue to rehearsal yesterday. And Derek, who had vowed not to look at Joanna’s sexy magazine spread until after their dance partnership was done, crowed, “I’m going to look at it now!” He laughed, “I’m going to get a glass of red wine, sit down [with it] — just kidding!”
But seriously, longtime pro dancer Derek said he loved some of the changes on DWTS this season, including the competition group mambo, but he candidly admitted starting with 16 couples was a “terrible idea.”
“Nobody wants to see that many couples dance! I’m sure that won’t be repeated [but] I could be wrong.”
Meanwhile, Mya, Donny, and Kelly moved on to next week’s finals. The remaining celebrities and their partners had to skip doing interviews Monday night so they could go straight into rehearsals.
But before Kelly left the ballroom, her proud parents Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, who watched her avoid elimination on Tuesday night, enveloped her in hugs and kisses.
The reality show princess, who is facing surgery on her feet, wiped away tears of joy as family members, friends, and fans offered congratulations and well wishes for next week.
By Carole Glines