It was a sad sight this week to see fiery and flirtatious Maksim Chmerkovskly standing solo, without partner Melissa Gilbert, awaiting the verdict of the vote on "Dancing with the Stars." Even typically swooning fans who watch only in hopes of seeing the sexy, sometimes surly, Slavic sensation shirtless were overcome with sadness as they learned that Melissa had made her exit by ambulance instead of by last dip on the floor. The TV movie favorite, and precocious sibling to by the book Melissa Sue Anderson on "Little House on the Prairie" could only hint that her return was "probable," but not certain, to waiting reporters the next day. Like the true survivor, though, the actress kicks herself in the behind and goes on. Melissa Gilbert has a regained spirit now, it seems, and is already back with Maks for her first gentle swirls across the ballroom floor.
Replying to her friend, Craig Bierko on Twitter, Gilbert sounded as determined as her "Prairie" persona, vowing, "nobody puts Halfpint in the corner," and stressing she was "very happy to be back on campus rehearsing" with her patient partner, whom she had called "her champion" even though nearly concussed. If pity pulled votes though, plenty more afflicted stars would still be standing, so there's no crying under the crystal chandeliers. Gilbert dubbed her first moves post-ER sedation as "gentle," and maybe the timing is just perfect, since the judges have yearned to see more soft, sensitive sashays instead of the steady prancing of recent weeks. Will Melissa make it to her finish? Well, modern medicine has worked greater miracles, and some powerful Motrin mixed with extra muscle from Maks should do the trick. A waltz for the next dance wouldn't hurt, either.