Martina Navratilova Reacts to 'DWTS' Elimination

by Robert Pace 2:45 AM PDT, March 28, 2012
Playing Martina Navratilova Reacts to 'DWTS' Elimination

After two shows of dance and fun on Dancing with the Stars, the inevitable first elimination came last night and Martina Navratilova and partner Tony Dovolani were eliminated from the competition. ET caught up with the duo backstage to hear their reaction to leaving the show.

"Nobody wanted to be the first," Navratilova said backstage. "I know that everybody felt sorry for me but I don't want that. I don't want pity. I messed up the first ten seconds of the dance yesterday and it cost us but it's not the end of the world. I gave it everything I had."

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Although Navratilova received the lowest score on her pre-elimination dance, her fellow contestants wished that she hadn't been eliminated because they enjoyed her presence on the show.

"I'm always lighthearted about everything but you can't help but feel it," Jaleel White said of the elimination. "I got to know Martina a bit...I know she feels bad for Tony. That just lets you know somebody's heart. She feels worse for Tony than she does for herself."

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Many of the other stars praised Navratilova's humility and approachability despite being a living tennis legend.

"When you really meet a legend, a person that you idolize in your mind and grew up with, and then you realize how cool and kind and sweet she is, it takes it to [a] whole new level," said dancer Karina Smirnoff, who is paired with Gavin DeGraw this season.

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Dancing with the Stars continues next Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.