'Dancing with the Stars' eliminates Penn Jillette and Monica Seles
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/26/2008
Magician Penn Jillette and his partner Kym Johnson and former professional tennis player Monica Seles and her partner Jonathan Roberts were revealed to be the first two couples eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' sixth season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
Penn and Kym were eliminated because the Penn & Teller: Bullshit! magician had the lowest combined score among the six male celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Monday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.
"I want to make it very clear -- we are not giving up. We're going to rehearse all week and we're going to be back in the parking lot for those who can't get in," joked Penn after his ouster was revealed. "There's no way my dance career ends now... There's a whole world of dance outside of this."
"I'm going to miss so much about Penn. He's been such a joy to work with," added Kym. "He taught me some magic tricks, which has been great, and he's just been so much fun."
Monica and Jonathan were eliminated because the nine-time Grand Slam winning professional tennis player had the lowest combined score among the six female celebrity participants based on the judges' scores from last Tuesday night's performance episode, this Monday night's performance episode and home viewer votes cast following both broadcasts.
"I've never danced before and I'm a huge fan of dance now," said Monica after her elimination was revealed. "I look forward to continuing, and I want to thank Jonathan because he's made every single day for the past five weeks a lot of fun."
Penn and Kym performed a cha-cha-cha routine during Dancing with the Stars' premiere broadcast last Monday night and the judges scored it a 16 out of a possible 30 points -- placing them only one point ahead of radio personality Adam Carolla and his partner Julianne Hough, who had the lowest score of any of the six male couples who performed.
"I've got to say Penn, I thought you captured the flavor of the cha-cha-cha," commented judge Len Goodman. "It was fun. It was entertaining... Your problem is your feet -- that is a real big problem in a dance competition. You've got to try to work on the technique of your footwork."
Fellow judge Bruno Tonioli compared the routine to a trailer for the movie, Shrek Goes Cha-cha-cha.
"Unfortunately the footwork was very, very heavy and the hip action was more like replacement hip action," he added. "You've got to refine it. You've got to try to be lighter on your feet."
Dancing with the Stars third judge Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with Len and Bruno that Penn has a lot of energy and a great attitude, but also thought his footwork was lacking.
"The truth is you've got to work a little but on you footwork -- we do see your feet -- and you've got monstrous feet there," she said.
Penn and Kym then performed a quickstep routine during this Monday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges scored it a 17 out of 30 possible points, which was the lowest score of any of the six male couples.
"When you're doing illusions, you have to convince the public that what you're doing is the real thing," said Len. "By in large, I thought you convinced me that you were having a go at a proper quickstep... But Penn, you're feet are terrible."
Bruno commented Penn's tricks during the routine -- a tie that moved on its own -- wasn't enough to get him "out of this mess."
"The footwork was really, really, really bad," said Bruno.
"Three realies!" answered Penn. "You modified it three times!"
"Atrocious..." answered Bruno.
Carrie Ann once again agreed the footwork was "not so good," but said she enjoyed Penn as a performer.
"You are so entertaining!" she said. "I enjoy watching you."
Monica and Jonathan performed a foxtrot routine during last Tuesday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges scored it a 15 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest score of any of the six female couples who performed and tied with Adam and Julianne for lowest overall.
"Monica, I love the fact that you set off a beautiful, romantic tone for the dance -- which is absolutely right -- a Grace Kelly-like feel," said Bruno. "Unfortunately, as the dance progresses, it turned a little bit into Grace Adler."
Bruno suggested Monica "engage her core," which would help her technique. Len agreed with Bruno on both points -- he liked the romantic aspect of the routine but also noticed her core was lacking.
"I'm surprised, because as a tennis player I thought you'd have a really strong core," he said.
"I think it takes a lot of confidence for someone like you because this obviously doesn't come very easy for you," added Carrie Ann. "But you've gone out there and you went for it. There's a beautiful delicateness that I'd like to see develop with you."
Monica and Jonathan then performed a mambo routine during this Monday night's performance episode broadcast, and the Dancing with the Stars judges once again scored it a 15 out of 30 possible points -- the lowest score of any of the six female couples and lowest overall.
"Monica, you know I love you, but I have to tell the truth," said Bruno. "It seems to me sometimes you're running on alternating currents. Either you're on, or you're off, or you're on, of you're off. You have to connect to the music. You have to manage to feel it and be on it."
Carrie Ann said it's evident Monica was "struggling" with the routine but liked her attitude.
"You came out and you attacked it. You were really going for it," said Carrie Ann. "This is a huge step for you."
"I can see that you're really out of your comfort zone," said Len. "It is a real pressure for you... It was a good job, you tried your hardest, but there's just so many technical problems at the moment."
Penn and Kym and Monica and Jonathan were then revealed to be eliminated during last night's live results show broadcast -- Dancing with the Stars first ever double elimination.
Atop the Dancing with the Stars judges' leaderboard following the first two sixth-season performance episodes are Olympic gold medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and her partner Mark Ballas. The couple received a 27 for their foxtrot routine last Tuesday night -- an all-time Week 1 performance record -- and scored another 27 for their mambo on this Monday night, giving them a combined 54 out of 60 possible points.
Hot on their heels are R&B singer Mario Barrett and his professional partner Karina Smirnoff, who scored a 24 for their cha-cha-cha and a 26 for their quickstep, giving them a combined score of 50.
Rounding out the top of the judges leaderboard are NFL star Jason Taylor and his partner Edyta Sliwinska, who received a 22 for their foxtrot and a and a 27 for their mambo giving them a combined score of 49; and Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin and her partner Fabian Sanchez, who received a 22 for their cha-cha-cha and a 24 for their quickstep giving them a combined score of 46.
In the middle of the pack on the judges leaderboard are actress Shannon Elizabeth and her partner Derek Hough, who received a 21 for their cha-cha-cha and a 24 for their quickstep, giving them a combined score of 45 and tying them with actress and Elvis' ex-wife Priscilla Presley and her partner Louis van Amstel, who received a 24 for their foxtrot and a 21 for their mambo.
They're followed by telenovela actor Christian de la Fuente and his partner Cheryl Burke, who received a 21 for their cha-cha-cha and a 20 for their quickstep for a combined score of 41; and Tony Award-winning actress Marissa Jaret Winokur and her partner Tony Dovolani, who scored an 18 for their cha-cha-cha and a 21 for their quickstep for a combined score of 39.
Tied with Adam and Julianne at the bottom of the judges leaderboard are popular 1980s actor Steve Guttenberg and his partner Anna Trebunskaya, who received an 18 for their foxtrot and a 16 for their mambo for a combined score of 34.
Dancing with the Stars next sixth-season performance episode broadcast will air Monday, March 31 at 8PM ET/PT, in which each of the 10 remaining couples will perform either the tango or jive.
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.