"I was a little disappointed," Inaba toldOK! Weekly on Wednesday.
"We haven't had a female dancer who moved with such strength and flexibility and fluidity in a while. And she hasn't had any performing experience. I was really excited to see how far she could grow throughout the ten weeks of our show."
Coughlin and Mazo had actually ranked higher on the judges' Monday night performance show leaderboard than retired NFL star Michael Irvin and professional newcomer Anna Demidova, however they failed to land enough home viewer votes to stave off elimination.
"Unfortunately for Natalie, I think that people didn't know who she was," Inaba told OK!.
"Maybe the fan base of her sport isn't watching our show or maybe it isn't as big as someone like Michael Irvin's fan base, which is basketball."
Irvin's fan base is actually from football, but regardless of where his viewer support is coming from, it has been enough to keep him in the competition despite finishing at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard four times during the competition's first five weeks.
(Photo credit ABC)
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