April 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM ET
Sabrina Bryan. Brandy. Audrina Patridge.
Besides not winning the coveted mirror ball trophy on “Dancing With the Stars,” the three former contestants have something else in common: earlier than expected ousters from the ballroom bash despite their dancing abilities.
But no more! Host Tom Bergeron revealed on the elimination show Tuesday that "after next week and for the subsequent three weeks," it’s the judges who will get the final say.
“We’ve gotten a lot of feedback from you, unhappy to see good dancers go,” Tom explained. “The bottom two couples will dance simultaneously for the judges, who will then decide who goes. This dance duel will give … one last chance for the best dancer to stay in the competition.”
Not a bad move to ensure that the celebs with more dancing ability but smaller fan bases will stick around. So goodbye for a month, unexpected eliminations!
However this change may not address what appears to be the judges playing favorites, and may make matters worse for a short while. So step it up, Melissa Gilbert! (The judges will likely be back to nitpicking the actress next week, especially since it seems head judge Len Goodman had shared some of the happy pills he admitted to taking Monday with Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.)
Would the new change have impacted this week’s elimination if it had already been in place? It’s hard to tell.
Actor Jack Wagner and musician Gavin DeGraw were left standing under the spotlights of shame after it was revealed they received the fewest votes this week, but both received very positive comments from the judges.
Len called Jack’s samba his “best dance,” and said Gavin’s rumba showed good week-to-week progression. Both men had received a (very) generous 24 for their performances.
But in the end, Gavin’s fans gave him an edge, and he’ll be back to perform next week for Rock Week.
It was a bittersweet exit for the former star of “General Hospital” and “Melrose Place.” With this being Memorable Year Week, he danced to the memory of his first meeting with his long-lost daughter, Kerry. “I’m just so grateful to be part of last night,” he said of the chance to perform that special moment for viewers.
“It was a great time, I had a great time. It was fun to test myself,” the actor said of his brief time on the show. “Good luck to everybody else.”
Good luck indeed, because soon, fans won’t necessarily be able to save who they think deserves to move on.
What do you think of the change to eliminations? Is it fair? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page! And don't forget to join me next week for a live chat during the East Coast airing of the performance show!