April 10, 2012 at 11:03 PM ET
It was the day the laughter was silenced and the fun squashed on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Earlier on Tuesday, host Tom Bergeron hinted on Twitter that “(the elimination) will make your jaws drop.” But he forgot to mention that it would also make the tears flow.
The crying started even before the elimination was revealed. When TV personality Sherri Shepherd and Disney star Roshon Fegan learned they had been left standing under the spotlights of shame (it was the first time in the bottom two for both), it was funny lady Sherri who cracked.
“I loved this whole experience,” she said as her voice began to tremble and the tears started to pool in her eyes. “I love to dance.”
And when it was announced that Sherri had danced her last dance Monday (an unfortunate 21-point tango), the heartbreak was evident.
“I just want to say thank you for letting me live a dream that I’ve always had,” the usually bubbly Sherri said through tears. “And I want to say to every person out there: That thing that scares you the most, that makes you say, ‘I don’t know if I can do it, I’m scared,’ run toward it because it’s so amazing on the other side.”
Her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, was equally upset. “She fought for me,” he said before giving a message to his celeb partner. “I’m just really, really sorry. I’m really sorry. I didn’t do a good enough job for you.”
After the show, the pro tweeted: "I'm just devastated for Sherri. She wanted this more than ANYTHING ... more than ANYONE!"
Even the judges were surprised by the bottom two.
“All of us judges are in total shock,” said head judge Len Goodman. “The standard is so high (this season), anyone can be in jeopardy, anyone can be safe. Don’t start shouting at me out in the streets ‘cause that’s what happens! Don’t bawl if you don’t call!”
It even looked as if the panel’s liveliest judge, Bruno Tonioli, had to turn away from the dance floor to hide his dismay.
But despite the major downer of an elimination, there was a little bit of good news at the beginning of the show. Even though actress Melissa Gilbert was absent, the former “Little House on the Prairie” star will be able to continue in the competition after suffering a mild concussion and whiplash during her paso doble on Monday.
“Dancing” aired footage showing the actress saying after her performance, “I hit my head. I hit my head.” Fellow competitor Gavin DeGraw ended up carrying her backstage, and she was later seen heading to the hospital in an ambulance.
“At her doctor’s advice, she’s taking a rest day,” Tom said of her absence. “She’ll be able to compete going forward.”
Her pro partner, ballroom bad boy Maksim Chmerkovskiy, gave props to Gavin and called him a “true gentleman” for helping Melissa. As for his partner, Maks said, “She’s a fighter, a trooper. I’m looking forward to next week, she’s looking forward to next week. She’s a little sedated, so she doesn’t know what she’s looking forward to.”
That would be Latin Week. And for those upset by Sherri’s surprising elimination, heed Len’s warning and vote. Starting next week, it’ll be the judges who’ll make the call as to which of the bottom two couples will be going home.
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