'Dancing with the Stars' cuts Marlee Matlin and Fabian Sanchez
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/23/2008
Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin and her professional partner Fabian Sanchez were revealed to be the sixth couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' sixth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
The couple was booted from the competition based on a combination of the judges' scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
"All I can say is thank you to the judges. I have the utmost respect for you," signed Marlee -- who is deaf -- after her ouster was revealed. "I want to thank the magnificent Fabian for giving me the most beautiful art of dance. I want to thank my family and my children for their support. Lastly, I want to thank Henry Winkler for all his support throughout the years. He really supported me when I needed him. I had a great time. Thank you to all the fans."
"Marlee and I have known each other for years," said host Tom Bergeron. "I just want to step outside the host role and tell you as a friend I am so proud of you."
Marlee and Fabian had performed a mambo routine during Monday night's performance episode and the judges scored it a 21 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest judges' score of the night.
"Every time you come out here I try to put myself in your position to understand what you're going through out there, and I just can't. You blow my mind," judge Carrie Ann Inaba had commented after the performance. "But tonight you did the mambo, and the mambo is less about story. It really is about your connection with the music. This one I think was going to be your hardest dance of all. I think you guys looked like you were forcing and struggling. It kills me to say that because I wanted to see so much more."
"I think you've proved the only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself," added judge Len Goodman. "I think you're a real inspiration to so many people. To come out and attempt -- last week the samba, which is one of the most difficult dances -- and again this week the mambo. I thought you did a great job, it just looked uncomfortable throughout."
Judge Bruno Tonioli described watching Marlee dance as "life affirming."
"What you do is unbelievable," he said. "But mambo -- very, very fast. Timing is crucial, and you lost it quite a few times and a few stumbles. But then again, it's a great achievement what you do here and a plus for sure."
"I just want to thank everybody on the show, all the fans, and especially Marlee," said Fabian. "I had an amazing time. You made my first season here the best season I think I could ever have."
Before Marlee and Fabian's ouster last night, Tom revealed R&B singer Mario and his partner Karina Smirnoff were the other couple in the bottom two based on a combination of the judges' scores from Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.
Mario and Karina performed a rumba during Monday night's episode, and it received their highest judges' score of the season -- a 28 out of 30 possible points, which included a 10 from Bruno.
Sitting atop the Dancing with the Stars judges' leaderboard for the fifth week in a row were Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas. After scoring a 29 out of 30 possible points over the last two weeks, Kristi and Mark achieved the sixth-season's first perfect 30 out of 30 for their jive routine on Monday night.
Following Mario and Karina's 28 were telenovela actor Cristian de la Fuente and his partner Cheryl Burke, who received a 27 for their foxtrot; and Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and her partner Tony Dovolani, who received a 26 -- their highest score of the competition -- for their Viennese waltz.
Rounding out the judges' leaderboard with 24 out of 30 points were NFL star Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska for their cha-cha, and actress Shannon Elizabeth and her partner Derek Hough for their samba.
Shannon was criticized on Monday night for lacking hip action during the routine -- the second week in a row she received such a comment.
"I did the hips," said a tearful Shannon on Monday night after receiving the judges' comments.
"You're commenting on her hip action?" added a fired-up Derek. "What about the heel leads happening out there? What about the horrific, demented lines people are making out there? And you're giving them 9's and 10's? Are you kidding me?!"
Derek and Shannon apologized for their Monday night tirade after they were revealed to be safe last night.
"We got really heated last night and we want to apologize because we're really passionate about what we're doing and we worked really hard," said Shannon. "We just got a little carried away so we apologize."
"That's not really like me. I'm not that type of guy," added Derek. "It was very heated, but like Shannon said we're really passionate and we really want to do well."
In addition, Derek's forehead and cheeks were covered with lipstick kisses after he and Shannon were revealed to be safe last night -- as the partners were presumably having some fun with recent rumors that they're a romantic couple after photos of the two kissing and canoodling on a Malibu beach surfaced last week.
Dancing with the Stars' next sixth-season performance episode -- the first in which all the remaining couples will each perform two routines -- will air Monday, April 28 at 8PM ET/PT.
On Tuesday night beginning at 9PM ET/PT, one couple will be eliminated based on a combination of the judges scores from Monday night and home viewer votes cast immediately following the broadcast.