'Dancing with the Stars' eliminates Ian Ziering and Cheryl Burke
By Christopher Rocchio, 05/16/2007
Former Beverly Hills 90210 actor Ian Ziering and his partner Cheryl Burke were the eighth couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' fourth season during last night's live results show on ABC that revealed the Top 3 pairs who will compete for the show's mirror ball trophy in next week's finals.
"I've learned how to dance! It's been like a ramp up, but I learned the grace and elegance of ballroom dancing," said Ziering upon learning he was the eighth celebrity participant eliminated. "There's still a long way to go. Obviously [the Top 3 couples] are tremendous competitors and I've got to take my hats of to these guys. They're just... It doesn't get much better. The competition is so tough."
Throughout the competition, Ziering and Burke had constantly scored in the middle of the pack with Dancing with the Stars' three judges but always received enough viewer votes to avoid being in the bottom two. During Monday night's semifinals performance episode, the couple performed a tango which the judges scored as a 28 before Ziering donned an Elvis wig as well as rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for their jive, a performance that gave he and Burke their first perfect 30 out of 30 of the season from the judges.
"Hallelujah!" screamed judge Carrie Ann Inaba following the jive. "Finally Ian! This was the Ian that I've been trying to pull out of you week after week... It was a really great jive!" Commented Ian following the score, "I never thought we'd ever get three tens in a row, and tonight, we knocked it out of the park!" Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron told Ziering it must feel "bittersweet" to achieve his first perfect score of the season on one night and then be sent packing the next. However all Ziering could think about was the 30.
"It felt great. It was truly a victory for me to get three tens and I never really expected to get this far," said Ziering after his elimination. "I always hoped for the best and tried my best, but honestly, if I hadn't been dancing with Cheryl, I don't think I would have made it to the semifinals."
No doubt Burke played a big role in Ziering's success during Dancing with the Stars' fourth season. Burke was the two-time previously undefeated Dancing with the Stars professional partner champion who won the series' second season with former 98 Degrees member Drew Lachey and its third season with former NFL star Emmitt Smith (she did not participate in the show's first season). However her fourth season journey with Ziering came-up just short of the finals, but she's not going home empty-handed.
"You know I take home a great friendship with Ian, and in my eyes, Ian is a winner just like Drew and Emmitt were and Ian I'm so proud of you. It's been an honor," said Burke before offering some words of wisdom to the three remaining couples. "You know what guys, go out there, have fun... You guys are all so talented and never give up. You guys all have the talent and you're all winners."
The talent possessed by the Top 3 couples was on full display during Monday night's performance episode. Former N Sync singer Joey Fatone and partner Kym Johnson scored a perfect 30 for their foxtrot and another 30 for their jive, giving them a perfect score of 60 out of 60 and once again placing them atop the leaderboard. However they weren't there alone, as professional boxer Laila Ali and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy received a 30 for their quickstep and another 30 for their cha-cha, giving them a combined score of 60 as well.
Not far behind them were two-time Olympic gold medalist speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno and partner Julianne Hough, who scored a perfect 30 for their quickstep but were then hit with a 29 for their cha-cha, which judge Len Goodman described as "raunchy." While it may have cost them the seventh perfect 30 handed out by the judges during the ninth week of competition, Ohno and Hough were still able to make the finals when the judges' scores were combined with viewer votes.
"You know what, before we even got the scores last night, just hearing the crowd and everybody in the audience just kind of go crazy, that made my night," said Ohno during last night's live results show. "I think everybody here -- even the ones who have not moved on -- there's something to be said that everybody has worked so hard and come so far. This is more than just a dancing show, and I've been able to realize that. I feel special to be part of it."
Dancing with the Stars' tenth and final performance episode of its fourth season will take place on Monday, May 21 on ABC from 8PM to 9PM ET/PT, with the three remaining couples performing a dance style chosen by the judges as well as a freestyle routine of their own creation. Then on Tuesday, May 22, Dancing with the Stars will air a special two-hour 8-10PM ET/PT live results show and reveal which remaining couple will take home the fourth season's mirror ball trophy.