It’s week six on Dancing With The Stars, the week when the were-never-going-to-win-anyway contestants have been cast out (Charo, Mr. T, Chris Kattan, some Housewives lady) and the competition heats up significantly. The eight remaining contestants include five professional athletes, two people who partly dance for a living, and poor Bachelor Nick Viall, hanging in there surprisingly well for someone with no dance experience. So this week Viall looked like the sure bet to be sent home, as the Boy Band/Girl Group theme divided the contestants into the remaining four men and four women. In a surprise turn of events, it was revealed that the men (ex-Cub David Ross, NFL star Rashad Jennings, rodeo star Bonner Bolton, and Viall) were all safe, even though the four women—Olympians Simone Biles and Nancy Kerrigan, Fifth Harmony’s Normani Kordei, and Glee’s Heather Morris—were at the top of the leaderboard in judges’ scores.
So in that drawn-out segment at the end of the episode when the two contestants in jeopardy are revealed, Kerrigan and Morris had to stand there and await their fate. The fact that Morris was up there at all was even more shocking as she had just delivered the first perfect score (a 40, with 10s from all four judges) of the season, in a flawless, seductive rumba with partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. But alas, the decision on who gets sent home is based on the performance of the week prior, with a combination of judges’ scores and call-in votes from viewers. Based on last week’s less-inspiring Frozen number on Disney night, it was announced that Morris was the contestant to be sent home this week.
To be fair, Morris’ involvement in Dancing With The Stars was controversial from the get-go: Before she was on Glee, she was a backup dancer for Beyoncé, which set her up as less of a fan favorite and more as a kind-of ringer. Still, the elimination came as a shock, with host Tom Bergeron remarking that in 24 seasons he’d never heard such a negative reaction from the in-studio crowd, who booed voraciously. It’s especially painful that Kerrigan was the other elimination candidate, as she sometimes appears to enjoying her time on DWTS about as much as she once did that Disney World parade. At one point in last night’s episode, as Kerrigan went off on another one of her crying jags during rehearsal, her beleaguered partner shrugged to the screen and said, “It’s supposed to be fun, y’know?”
At least Morris got to go out on a quite literal high mark, and will now go down in the annals of unfairly ousted reality-show contestants like American Idol’s Michael Johns and Jennifer Hudson. If DWTS is smart, they should bring her back as a pro next year, or at least a guest judge. In the meantime, we’ll always have this: