'Dancing with the Stars' cuts John Ratzenberger and Edyta Sliwinska
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/02/2007
Former Cheers star John Ratzenberger and his partner Edyta Sliwinska were the sixth couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' fourth season during last night's live results show on ABC.
"I'm so excited to have been part of this," said Ratzenberger upon learning he was the sixth celebrity participant eliminated. "Especially under the tutelage of Edyta. Her kindness and patience and friendship has really been astounding and I want to thank you all. Thank you everybody!"
Ratzenberger, currently the host of the Travel Channel's John Ratzenberger's Made In America, was a replacement for The Sopranos actor Vincent Pastore, who dropped-out due to the "physical demands" of the competition, giving Ratzenberger and his partner two weeks less preparation time than the season's other couples had. Still, Ratzenberger didn't perform too poorly, considering he was also the oldest celebrity participant at 59-years-old. However entering this past Monday night's performance episode, he and Sliwinska were the only pair out of the six remaining couples who had previously appeared in the bottom two based on a combination of the judges' scores and viewers votes.
On Monday night, Ratzenberger and Sliwinska performed a rumba and foxtrot, achieving a combined score of 45 out of 60 from the judges for their two routines. "You've obviously been to dance rehab," said Dancing with the Stars judge Bruno Tonioli following the foxtrot, "because the difference in a week is unbelievable."
Despite the improvement, Sliwinska's Dancing with the Stars experience came to a familiar end. She is the only professional dancer to appear in all four installments of Dancing with the Stars -- she paired with Evander Holyfield in Season 1, George Hamilton in Season 2, and Joseph Lawrence during Season 3 -- however she's never won the competition.
"I've learned a lot from John. Stay positive, not listen to what anybody says, keep working," said Sliwinska when she and Ratzenberger were sent packing. "He's so professional in what he's doing. It was a great lesson for me, so thank you John."
While Ratzenberger and Sliwinska were the pair eliminated this week, they did not receive the lowest score from the judges on Monday night. For the third time out of seven performance episodes, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus and his partner Karina Smirnoff had the lowest scores from the judges, receiving a combined score of 38 for their samba and waltz. After performing a "Bubba Chicken" jive routine last week, Cyrus joked he and Smirnoff performed the "Hillbilly Waltz" this week. Once it was announced Ratzenberger and Sliwinska were in the bottom two, Cyrus sensed (hoped?) he and Smirnoff would be joining them.
"You can ask John, I walked straight over to him and said, 'I'll see you in just a little bit,'" said Cyrus before it was officially revealed that he and Smirnoff were the other pair in the bottom two. Once it was revealed, the country crooner commented, "Understandably so." However they were spared since they received enough viewer votes to counteract their low scores from the judges.
Each remaining couple performed two Dancing with the Stars routines on Monday night, and two pairs stole the show. Professional boxer Laila Ali and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy scored a 29 for their quickstep and a perfect 30 out of 30 for their samba, giving them a combined score of 59. They were tied atop the judges' leaderboard with former N Sync singer Joey Fatone and partner Kym Johnson, who scored a 29 for their foxtrot and a perfect 30 out of 30 for their jive. Tonioli referred to Fatone and Johnson's jive as a "smashing showcase of talent."
"I'm just trying to make things a little more exciting. You've got to raise the bar every time, you've got to step it up," said Fatone.
Just a few points behind the two couples atop the judges' leaderboard were two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and partner Julianne Hough, who scored a combined 54 out of 60 for their renditions of the foxtrot and mambo; and former Beverly Hills 90210 actor Ian Ziering and partner Cheryl Burke, who also scored a combined 54 for their performances of the tango and mambo.
Dancing with the Stars' eighth performance episode will take place on Monday, May 7 on ABC from 8PM ET/PT to 9:30PM ET/PT, with the five remaining couples each being scored on both a ballroom and Latin routine. On Tuesday, May 8 beginning at 9PM ET/PT, another couple will be eliminated from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores and viewer votes.