'Dancing with the Stars' eliminates David Alan Grier and Kym Johnson
By John Bracchitta, 04/08/2009
Actor David Alan Grier and his partner Kym Johnson became the fifth couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' eighth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
"I don't know if people know that there's so much support and camaraderie backstage that it's really been awesome, and my biggest goal was to try and make Kym proud," Grier said following his elimination from the competition.
Johnson also said she had enjoyed dancing with her comedic partner, despite telling host Tom Bergeron that it had taken her a few practices with him to get to understand his humor.
"I've learned some new jokes. I can't tell them here," Johnson said with a laugh. "But I loved working with David and he's improved so much in this competition and he's just done amazing I'm very proud of him."
Grier and Johnson were eliminated despite winning a "Dance Off" against former NFL superstar Lawrence Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska. The couples were required to compete in the "Dance Off" because they had finished as the bottom two couples based on a combination of the judges' scores and home viewer votes from the Monday night's performance show.
The "Dance Off" gave both couples a chance to perform their Monday night routine a second time and have their Monday night judges' scores replaced with new scores. After each performance, the judges gave each team a new score, which was then combined with the prior home viewer votes to determine which couple was sent home.
Grier and Johnson began the "Dance Off" with an encore performance of their Monday night Viennese Waltz and were praised by judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba before being given a score of 24 -- a two point improvement over their previous night's score.
"I enjoyed it last night and I've enjoyed it again tonight, and I think you were finally focused," Goodman said. "I thought there was a little more expression, which I enjoyed watching, and it was a little bit better. Now I'm not sure if it's a whole point better, but it was an improvement. Well done."
Tonioli added that Grier had begun to establish himself as someone who works well under pressure.
"I think you should be in the dance off every week!" he said. "You are more composed, you are more focused, you're relationship with Kym worked better, and overall there was an edge in your performance today."
"The attitude turn was still a bit strange, but I felt the connections tonight," added Inaba. "You guys were together, there was harmony between you two. Much more passion, thank you."
Taylor and Sliwinska performed second in the "Dance Off" and netted a score of 20 from the judges for their Paso Doble -- the same score they had received the night before -- despite seeming to earn more positive comments from the judges.
"Lawrence, with you I think we've just seen the tip of the iceberg with you. If you stay in the competition you really have to go with the music, follow your feeling with the dance, don't separate yourself from your partner and the music," Tonioli told him.
"In the second half, as I said last night, when the beat kicks in you take off," he added. "At the beginning you seemed a bit lost. You have to trust yourself, trust the feeling and perform from the beginning but don't wait until halfway through. It's like a game, you've got to go for the kill straight away."
Inaba was also complimentary of the couple's dance, saying that the song they had chosen was an extremely difficult one and that their ability to get through the dance was a compliment in itself.
"I still find that piece of music one of the most difficult pieces to dance to and you stayed with it just the same, and you got that intensity," Inaba said. "I love watching your power on the dance floor."
Goodman agreed with Inaba, crediting the couple with getting through the dance relatively unscathed.
"The only thing I've written here on my piece of paper here is 'difficult music,'" Goodman said. "For me there was real improvement from last night, and if you can produce that standard of dancing to a tune that changes rhythm with different nuances throughout and come out an perform like that, if you come out next week with a jive or a rumba you're gonna really take off."
However, despite the judges' vote of confidence, the "Dance Off" proved to be meaningless as Grier and Johnson were still done in by their lack of home viewer votes in comparison to Taylor and Sliwinska.
Sex and the City actor Gilles Marini and professional partner Cheryl Burke had ended Monday night's performance show atop the judges' leaderboard for a fourth straight week with a score of 29 out of 30 possible points.
They were followed by the couples of rapper Kimberly Denise "Lil Kim" Jones and partner Derek Hough and Olympic gold medalist gymnast Shawn Johnson and partner Mark Ballas, who had both tied for second place with 26 out of 30 points.
Recently jilted The Bachelor bachelorette Melissa Rycroft had finished in fourth place with 25 out of 30 points.
Country singer Chuck Wicks and Julianne Hough, his partner and real-life girlfriend, had followed in fifth place with 23 out of 30 points, while Grier and Johnson had finished in sixth place with 22 out of 30.
Champion bull rider Ty Murray and partner Chelsie Hightower had come in seventh place with 21 out of 30 points, while Taylor and Sliwinska had finished in eighth place with 20 out of 30 points. Jackass star Stephen "Steve-O" Glover and partner Lacey Schwimmer had come in last place for the week with 18 out of 30 points.