May 14, 2013 at 10:44 PM ET
On the night of its 300th episode, "Dancing With the Stars" revealed its season 16 finalists with little fanfare. But what was there to celebrate, really? Just earlier in the day, ABC had announced that next season, the very results show that aired Tuesday night would be a thing of the past, wrapped into a two-hour extravaganza that will take place only on Mondays. (Not that "DWTS" addressed this development.)
But the (existing) show must go on, so the ballroom bash drummed up what little drama it could with the couples it put under the spotlights of shame: "General Hospital" actor Ingo Rademacher and partner Kym Johnson, and Disney star Zendaya and pro Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Yes, Zendaya, the teen who has ruled the scoreboard since the first day of the season, was in jeopardy.
When the in-studio audience heard the news, their boos were long and loud. After all, Monday's senseless scoring had possibly contributed to her current predicament. After delivering a high-speed quickstep that wasn't quite as good as she usually is (and it certainly wasn't bad), Zendaya received a smackdown from the judges in the form of a 25-point score. That was just 1 point higher than Ingo's sloppy samba that happened to be his best dance of the season.
But the teen didn't need to worry for long. As the show prepared to the reveal the results, co-host Brooke Burke noted that the couples awaiting their fates were "not necessarily the bottom two." (You don't say!) The results were as many -- including Ingo -- had predicted: The soap star had fallen just one week shy of the finale.
"If I don’t go home ... somebody else is going to be very upset," Ingo had told the cameras after Monday's performance show.
The soap star was gracious in his exit. "This has been an amazing experience because I thought I’d be done in like, two weeks," he said after his elimination. "Kym has choreographed the most amazing routines and catered them to my two left feet."
As for the final four of Zendaya, Kellie Pickler, Aly Raisman and Jacoby Jones, "I really want to see them battle it out because I think it’s really close competition," Ingo said.
That finale battle next week will have three rounds of competition, including what host Tom Bergeron called a "supersized freestyle," as well as "all sorts of tricks."