'Dancing with the Stars' eliminated contestant: 'We didn't in any way embarrass ourselves'

Gee, haven’t we danced down this road before? Bristol Palin earned the lowest score Monday but remarkably, the teen activist and her partner Mark Ballas lived to see another day on Dancing with the Stars. Who went home instead on Tuesday? Find out after the jump:

Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke earned 37 out of a total 40 points for reinterpreting Helio Castroneves’ “Banana Man” quickstep with Julianne from season 5, but it wasn’t enough to convince those oh-so-unpredictable fans to keep the tall hunk and send a lower-scoring hoofer home instead. The ex-forward from the Los Angeles Lakers became the seventh contestant to leave ABC’s top-rated show.

Not surprisingly, Fox took the rejection with grace. “I’m flooded with memories of the past few months, all the joy we’ve had through the experience, and I think, wow,” he told EW afterwards. “I’m still processing not being able to go forward, but it doesn’t take away from everything we’ve done. I’ve had an amazing time. I’ve got no regrets.”

Unlike some of his competitors, Fox said the grueling dance schedule hadn’t slowed him down. “My body about two weeks ago turned a corner and hit its stride. Would I get to a point where, like Jennifer Grey,  I would be exhausted? But I just felt more energized and really in a good place.”

Fox’s health was of particular concern to his family and girlfriend, actress Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse), who attended every performance of Stars. “We’re both really happy that he didn’t get injured,” Dushku told EW exclusively after Tuesday’s show. “That was one of his big fears going into this because he ruptured his tendon, which ended his career. He’s had a really healthy attitude about it, for sure. He knows it’s a show and he wanted to fight for it and bring it every week, but if it were to end, it would end. I’m sure he’s gonna be disappointed in a way, but I also know how great he felt about his performance last night. He really got to show that sweet playful side, and he went out with a bang!

“He’s really transformed,” Dushku continued. “This is a guy who never in a million years would be able to go out there every week and yet he played a different role every week. We joked that it was his Dollhouse! Every week he was a different character. He did beautifully. His family and I were just really proud of him.

His performance was so impressive Monday that fellow dancers like Grey expressed shock afterwards that he was eliminated, though her partner Derek Hough understood why fans wanted to keep someone like Palin around, instead – even with her low scores. “It doesn’t surprise me that she is still here. You root for her, you can’t help it. I think she’s more surprised than anybody else, to be honest. Her face was, `what??'”

Burke echoed Hough’s comments about Stars still being more of a popularity contest rather than a dance competition. “People relate and grow to love each personality,” said Fox’s partner. “I don’t think viewers really know how to judge dancing. If you don’t dance yourself, it’s hard to really see what’s wrong  and what’s right. It’s about your packages they see beforehand and if you’re relatable. At the end of the day, people will vote for who they want to see stay in the competition.”

Speaking of those packages, Laker coach Phil Jackson appeared in one, in which he implored Fox to outlast ex-NFL quarterback Kurt Warner. Will Jackson and the team be bummed? “I think if they watched, they would be proud,” Fox said. “We didn’t in any way embarrass ourselves. And I can say this –  not everyone’s a Lakers fan.”

Comments (117 total) Add your comment
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  • Brenda Barrett

    Is ‘Vote for the Worst” still around? Or perhaps there are just a lot of tubby, right-wing nutballs out there voting for Bristol. Seriously, she forgets her steps every single week. I’m just glad the always classy and entertaining Kurt Warner is still around.

    • Anne

      I do think there are alot of people who thinks it’s funny to vote for the worst performer… either that or they think it’s funny to force Bristol to keep dancing since she looks so miserable doing it. Either that or the Tea Party is banding together every Monday night to keep her in there.

    • Frank

      I call it the Dushku effect. The horror of watching the mismatched ex-Dollhouse star and Rick Fox dry-humping in the rehearsal package was a sight that was too much to bear for America.

      • princesspr


        I hate to say it….but, I was thinking the same thing..

        Come on…let’s be real..you go from Vanessa Williams to Dushku..

      • DanceFan

        Thats EXACTLY what I think!!! I really like Eliza but that was just uncomfortable to watch!! I am not a Bristol hater, but it is soooooo time for her to go!!!

    • Carla

      My thoughts exactly, Brenda! Geez, did the ENTIRE, brain dead nation vote Republican on EVERYTHING yesterday??? Bristol should have been gone 2 weeks ago!

  • Glenda

    Every week I have been totally shocked to see who gets eliminated. It is such a joke. Now I’m beginning to believe this is somehow rigged. Bristol should have been gone a long time ago and Mark should have gone tonight. What is wrong with the voting public? I just can’t believe it.

  • Ruth p

    Bristol should have been voted off weeks ago. Do not understand how she is lowest but stays on

  • lorib

    I really dont think the voters have anything to do with it.I dont think the voters are that stupid.

    • Carla

      You don’t think voters are that stupid, Lorib? Check the national poll results!

      • Meg

        Hey–O’Donnell didn’t win her district and marijuana remains illegal in California. Voters aren’t entirely stupid.

  • Dee

    Agree with you Brenda on all points.

  • Dee

    This show is so rigged. It doesn’t make sense. I’m so disappointed.

  • deb

    I’m a little upset that cheryl was eliminated. I like Bristol but she really is not a very good dancer. But on the other hand It will probably be her next week. To be honest, as good as Jennifer Gray is I think she is a diva and I’m tired of her wining every week Poor me, my poor body, I need to take a break, I’m 50yrs old, I’m tired of her bellyaching. Then she should have never signed up for the show.

    • Reta


  • Elaine

    Bristol is still around and RICK FOX had to leave?? That’s crazy. All of Alaska must be voting for her or something … I wanted the winner to be Rick or Jennifer.

  • texas

    Something is not right. It is no way Bristol should still be on. She has been the worse dancer since it started. Whose counting those votes??

  • anna

    This show is full of it and im no longer a fan.. I believe its rigged as well!

    • devyn

      I have been saying this from the beginning to everyone. There is no question the show must be rigged. America does not like Bristol clearly. Theres no way her votes overpowered rick fox’s. Its all part of the election in my opinion.

  • Nancy

    This makes two couples that had to go home when Bristol was the worst. She has the state of Alaska and the republicans voting for her. Don’t mix politics with entertainment.She is not even a star and shouldn’t have been on the show in the first place. Shame on DWTS. Now they are seeing how this is screwing up the show and making the judges’ scores valueless. Real stars are NOT going to go through all that work, pain and time if they are not on a fair playing field. I’m really disgusted. Her presence there has been inappropriate and has made a farse of the show and all the people on camera, dancers and judges. Like stuffing the ballot box for your own party. Its like its fixed !! I really feel for Rick Fox getting a raw deal for having danced so well and gotten scored a 10 and 9s. Makes you not want to tune in anymore.

    • jace

      I agree with you Nancy, I think DWTS is as rigged as our political system. I’m not sure I can stand another week, watching great dancers get dumped for more of Bristol’s footwork.

      • tango2

        WHAT footwork??

    • fedup

      I couldn’t agree with you more Nancy. I actually stopped watching. I only watched part of the Monday show and did not watch the Tuesday show. One commentator rightly said that this is not a dancing competition for the fans, because the fans dont really know about dancing. They just vote for who they like, regardless of if the person could dance or not. This is a popularity contest. Just now real stars will not want to go on the show. I’ve stopped watching. Bristol may even beat the best dancer on the show, Brandy, and that would be so pathetic.

  • clarence palmer

    The Tea Party are really voting to keep Bristol in. She is really baaaaad. She might win this!

  • mum

    Bristol had a boob job and liposuction so she can be on DWTS and she is still a fatty sloppy and cant dance.

  • Mary

    I think all of Sarah’s fans are voting for Bristol. But you have to admit, Bristol is a sweet girl.

    • mum

      All girls that age are sweet but the pure ones are sweeter

      • laura

        which you are clearly neither

      • Carla

        Right on , Mum! The pure, NON-HYPOCRITICAL girls are much sweeter.

  • Diane

    I shut the tv off as soon as the elimination was announced! This is b.s., how much is Bristol’s Mama paying for her to still be there???

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