Marissa Jaret Winokur Takes Her Final 'Dancing' Bow

Marissa Jaret Winokur battled from behind to make it to ‘Dancing’s’ final four, but the Tony Award winner’s run was cut short on Tuesday night when she was eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars.”

Marissa, who was paired with professional dancer Tony Dovolani, hit the bottom three several times at the start of the competition, but she battled back, winning over fans as well as the judges including Carrie Ann Inaba, who once had even branded one of her dances “boring.”

With a smile on her face, Marissa had positive parting words as the news was announced.

“It’s been incredible,” the curly haired star enthused. “No one expected us to get this far. I didn’t expect us to get this far, Tony didn’t expect me to get this far. He has worked so hard with me.”

As the camera showed Kristi Yamaguchi battling back tears (the final four stars – Jason Taylor, Cristian de la Fuente, Kristi and Marissa, have grown close), Tony complimented his partner.

“I could not be more proud of this woman,” he said. “We’ve been the lowest score for quite a few weeks, but she never ever gave up.”

The plucky Broadway star may have been eliminated, but before she left, she had some encouraging words for the audience.

“I just want everyone to go out and have fun and do something that makes you feel sexy and shake what your mama gave you,” Marissa laughed.

Marissa certainly won’t be missed for long though, as she scored a television talk show talk show deal with Sony Pictures Television, set to premiere in fall 2009, following a heated bidding war amongst several studios.

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