Pop Culture

'Dancing With the Stars' elimination proves fan votes count more than judges' scores

Adam Taylor / ABC / Today
Joey Fatone and Kym Johnson's quickstep Monday didn't impress viewers.

“Dancing With the Stars” proved once again on Tuesday night that the judges can critique until they’re blue in the face and bust out the lowest paddles they dare, but what really matters in the end are the fan votes.

Bristol Palin landed at the bottom of the leaderboard Monday after a flawed 18-point “hoedown” quickstep, as head judge Len Goodman called it, but she was nowhere to be found under the spotlights of shame on elimination night. (Just for comparison, top-scorer Sabrina Bryan earned 26 points and the season’s first 9 paddle for her amazing quickstep.)

Instead, it was Joey Fatone, Kelly Monaco and – shockingly – Helio Castroneves who were in jeopardy, and none of them scored lower than a 22. Even more surprising, it was revealed that not only was the popular race-car driver in jeopardy, after the judges’ scores and viewer votes were combined,  Helio was in the bottom two alongside the N’Syncer.

But it seems that it was Joey’s goofy (and highly flawed) Charlie Chaplin-inspired quickstep that cost him his shot at mirror ball glory this season. Viewers agreed with Len’s criticisms (“poor posture,” “bad footwork,” lack of body contact and a bad frame) and decided they weren’t as entertained by the act as the judge was, and sent Joey packing.

“What’s great about me is that I always keep punching,” Joey told host Tom Bergeron after learning he was in the bottom two. “What’s great about it is my kids know that no matter if you go first or last, you’re always going to have a good time, have fun with it.”

Despite receiving the bad news of his ouster just seconds later, Joey kept his positive demeanor.

“I’ll miss everybody out here … I had a great time,” he said. “For me I’m actually going to a wedding tomorrow so I don’t give a damn! I’m going to have a good time! … People said I was fun, that’s all that matters. I don’t care. God bless you guys for your votes. I appreciate it, I respect it. But as long as I had fun, I don’t care what your votes say, but I appreciate it.”

Joey’s pro partner, Kym Johnson, wasn’t quite so upbeat. “I’m upset. I’m sad. I’m not going to lie,” she admitted.

Next week, expect even more distress from the pros. As Len revealed Monday night, the stars will be the creative directors of their performances, and the judges are expecting to see boundaries pushed and eye-popping moves. Not only that, Tom announced Tuesday that two – yes, two – pairs will be eliminated in week three of “All-Stars.”

So get your fingers ready to vote.

Should the judges scores count for more? Or is it fair for viewer votes to count for half of the total? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.


Related content:

More in The Clicker: