'Dancing with the Stars' eliminates Cloris Leachman and Corky Ballas
By Steve Rogers, 10/29/2008
Dancing with the Stars judges' nightmare is over. Cloris Leachman and her professional partner Corky Ballas were revealed to be the seventh couple eliminated from the reality dance competition's seventh season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
Leachman and Ballas -- who had managed to remain in the competition despite finishing near the bottom of the judges' scoring in all of the competition's first six performance rounds -- were 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.
"I'm not leaving," Leachman shouted as Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron began to announce whether Leachman and Ballas or All My Children actress Susan Lucci and partner Tony Dovolani -- the only other couple still on-stage facing elimination -- would be going home.
"I'm afraid you are," Bergeron replied as he revealed Leachman and Ballas' ouster.
"I couldn't have been voted off by any nicer people than you, thank you," Leachman told the judges after her elimination was announced.
Leachman decided to sit on the set's dance floor after thanking and shaking hands with the show's judges, forcing Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris -- whom Leachman had already brushed off once when she initially made a bee-line for the judges' table -- to squat in her evening gown as she attempted to get some parting comments from the 82-year-old actress.
"I'm not leaving," Leachman told Harris. "I'm going to get a pretty costume and be here next week. I'm going to sit right over there [in the audience]."
"Thank you everybody," Leachman said as she waved to the show's audience after Ballas helped her stand back up.
"My darling, you've got to be the only person in the world able to sell such nonsense as a cha-cha," Tonioli told Leachman after the performance. "And people buy it! They buy it!"
"You're an inspiration to older people [and] my father told me I better not say a bad word about you tonight, but I also have to shoot straight and be honest with you," Flately told Leachman. "I think you're incredibly lucky to have a talented young man like [Ballas] helping you each week to stay in the competition."
"You know I love you... but I gotta tell it to you, we lost Toni Braxton [last week] for this, and that kinda makes me sad because it's unfortunate to watch a great dancer leave the competition and then watch this," Inaba told Leachman.
"I know I'm going to be hated by all of you, but it's the truth," Inaba continued as the studio audience booed her comments.
Lance Bass and professional partner Lacey Schwimmer had led Monday night's judges' leaderboard with a score of 27 for their jive performance. The round had marked the first time all season that former Rock Star host Brooke Burke and professional partner Derek Hough hadn't finished in first place on the leaderboard.
Burke and Hough had finished in second place on the judges' leaderboard after receiving a score of 26 -- which included a perfect 10 from Flately -- for their rumba performance.
Former NFL star Warren Sapp and partner Kym Johnson had received a score of 25, leaving them in third place.
Lucci and Dovolani had received a score of 23, which had left them tied with Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley and partner Julianne Hough for fourth place on the judges' leaderboard.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist track star Maurice Greene and partner Cheryl Burke had received a score of 21, which had left them in sixth place but only one position ahead of Leachman and Ballas' last place finish. During Tuesday night's broadcast, Linley also provided update on his partner, who was missing from the results show after undergoing ovarian cyst and appendix removal surgery earlier in the day.
"Julianne['s] operation went as planned," Linley said. "She's at home and resting, so that is very, very good news."