LOS ANGELES (AP) - All those red-eye flights finally ground soap opera star Cameron Mathison down.
After working to become the consensus most-improved celebrity on "Dancing with the Stars," Mathison, who spent the season shuttling between Los Angeles and New York (where "All My Children" is filmed), was eliminated Tuesday night.
"In five seasons, no one has traveled as much, or has had as much on their plate, as you have," host Tom Bergeron told Mathison moments after the elimination was announced.
Still standing for next week's semi-final were two-time Indy 500 champion Helio Castroneves, Melanie "Scary Spice" Brown, "Beverly Hills, 90210" alum Jennie Garth and singer/performer Marie Osmond.
Mathison and partner Edyta Sliwinska impressed Monday night with an elegant Viennese Waltz, but all three judges agreed that their Cha-cha-cha was wooden and lacked flow.
Gracious to the end, Mathison, who plays Ryan Lavery on the long-running ABC daytime drama, praised his fellow competitors. "Not one single bit of me wanted to go home. Clearly this has been a great competition."
Moments after judge Carrie Ann Inaba told Mathison that he was the season's most improved dancer, his partner, Sliwinska, put it another, less political way: "I'm truly, truly proud of Cameron. I've got to tell you, I never thought you were going to go so far."
Osmond, who returned to the competition after missing last week's elimination show following the death of her father, looked shocked when Bergeron announced early on in the show that she was safe.
She appeared to utter a single-syllable word under her breath, causing Bergeron to chuckle as he said: "Did you say what I think you said?"