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The Dancing Woz eliminated--Conficker to blame?

Steve Wozniak is eliminated from "Dancing with the Stars." It's hard not to believe the producers weren't happy to see him go after his criticism of the voting system. Or perhaps Conficker had something to do with it?

In cubicles all around Silicon Valley, geeks will be weeping Wednesday.

Yes, despite the best efforts of every possible method of social networking, Steve Wozniak was eliminated, ejected, rejected and thrown into the tango trash by the cruelty that is the voting process of "Dancing with the Stars."

A theory had wafted through the danceosphere that techies would hijack the online voting process and project their lovable, but not entirely ego-free, hero to the sinuous summit.

The fact that he was sent home suggests three possibilities.

One, the producers, deeply depressed at having their integrity besmirched by Woz's accusations of vote fixing made sure that he would go no further (making one of the less sexy humans on the planet perform the Argentine tango was not exactly an act of altruism).

Two, techies were so embarrassed by Woz's honest but heartily incompetent efforts at passing himself off as a super trouper that they performed the online equivalent of euthanasia. They pulled the plug on their Macs and condemned him to the dance of a thousand fails.

"All I feel is the pain of what might have been." CC Eric Rhoads

This despite the fact that the Twitter group supporting Woz numbered more than 103,000, which ought to have translated into a minimum of 2 million votes. (Woz admitted to his Facebook Support Group that he voted for himself: "I even voted and texted from my 2 cell phones last night, and this morning voted online from about 7 of my own email accounts.")

Or three, the chaps behind the Conficker virus interfered with Woz's inexorable rise to dancing's highest peak, fearing that his survival, and the uncontrolled excitement it would undoubtedly engender, would interfere with their attempt to dominate the online world April 1.

I think all three may have been to blame. (Although one has to be particularly suspicious about a voting system that claims to know when you have reached the limit of your allocated number of votes, but doesn't reveal the actual numbers)

Woz seems to have found himself in the middle of a perfect storm that might have blown Fred Astaire's umbrella clean out of his hands and into the arms of a passing lady of the night.

His professional partner, the infinitely sensual, flame-breathing Karina Smirnoff, did well to hide her displeasure as the ax fell gently upon her neck. At least she had avoided risk of injury in forthcoming weeks.

While Woz, as he stood for his final interview (together with the also-eliminated former Playboy model, Holly Madison), praised the show.

He even stretched credulity far beyond the four inches that he apparently shed from his waist with the constant jiggling, by praising the voting system.

Now we can only worry about his future. Will he become a regular on "Entertainment Tonight"? Will he occasionally step in for Drew Carey on "The Price is Right"? Or will he suddenly appear on "The Biggest Loser"?

Woz endeared himself to some and, frankly, enervated some others. But at least he showed character. Something the tech world's image has singularly and painfully lacked.

But if he calls you offering dancing lessons, perhaps it's best to take a rain check. Or, at the very least, claim a pulled hamstring, sore knee, ear infection, slipped disc, putrid patella, intestinal inflammation or just good old-fashioned gout.