Splitting the athletic votes, Olympic speedskating champion Apolo Ohno and football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith were sent home Tuesday night on the semifinals of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars."
It's surprising since both are past champions and both figured to be around for next week's finals. The three moving on are Olympic gymnastic champion Shawn Johnson, TV actress Kelly Monaco and TV star Melissa Rycroft.
"It's been a tremendous experience," Smith said on the TV show. "All of these contestants here have pushed me to another level. It's been wonderful."
Smith told Playbook that this season was a lot tougher than when he won in Season 3. In fact, his partner then was the same one he had this season, Cheryl Burke.
"This competition was so full of surprises," Smith told Playbook. "The competition was much stiffer. I have gained so much respect for all the dancers, knowing they put their bodies through six to eight hours a day to learn a routine."
Ohno, who won Season 4, has been flying under the radar all season and agreed with Smith that the season was tougher than the first time.
"This competition was hard from the beginning," Ohno said. "Every person who does this show is a champion. It forces you to become a champion in your own right. It forces you to become stronger."