'Dancing with the Stars' ousts Mr. T and pro partner Kym Herjavec, Rashad Jennings tops leaderboard
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/11/2017
Dancing with the Stars eliminated Mr. T and his professional partner Kym Herjavec during Monday night's Season 24 performance show on ABC.
Kym and the professional wrestler became the third couple ousted from the competition based on the combination of Dancing with the Stars judges' scores and home viewer votes they had received during last week's episode.
"I said I couldn't dance. I tried. I'm surprised ya'll wanted me [on the show] after saying I couldn't dance! It was a great experience and I enjoyed myself. Thank you," Mr. T said following his ouster.
"Every single day has been amazing with Mr. T," added Kym, who previously went by Kym Johnson before she wed former DWTS contestant Robert Herjavec. "I just adore him. I'm going to miss dancing with him every day, but I had so much fun and I have a friend for life now."
Mr. T and Kym tied for ninth -- and last -- place on the judges' leaderboard last week with two other couples after receiving only 24 out of 40 possible points from Dancing with the Stars judges Bruno, Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Julianne Hough. Although the couple has been improving, Mr. T and Kym have landed towards the bottom of the leaderboard every week.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika "Erika Jayne" Girardi and partner Gleb Savchenko were the other couple in jeopardy last night prior to Mr. T and Kym's elimination; however, they were not necessarily one of the bottom-two couples based on judges' scores and America's votes.
Monday night's show featured the 10 remaining couples each performing one dance routine for "Most Memorable Year" week in which the celebrities paid tribute to one year in their lives that featured a life-changing event.
NFL player Rashad Jennings and partner Emma Slater topped the judges' leaderboard in first place last night after receiving 39 out of 40 points from the judges, which included the first 10's of the season, for their powerful contemporary routine.
Rashad recalled the year 2006 when he moved home from college despite his blossoming football career to help his father after he suffered a stroke, lost a leg via amputation and was diagnosed with diabetes. Although Rashad's relationship with his father was strained and distant during his childhood, the pair strengthened their relationship once Rashad returned home and he ultimately learned the meaning of unconditional love.
Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Simone Biles and partner Sasha Farber claimed second place on the leaderboard with 36 points after taking the stage with a Viennese waltz inspired by the year 2000, when Simone left a foster home and went to live with her grandparents. A couple of years later, the adoption became official, and Simone ended up calling the couple Mom and Dad. Her parents set an example for her of how to support and treat people.
Glee star Heather Morris and partner Alan Bersten -- who is still filling in for pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, who is recovering from a leg injury -- landed in third place on the judges' leaderboard with 35 points. The pair danced a cha cha in memory of the year 2015, when Heather got married to her high school sweetheart Taylor. The couple gushed about their forever type of love.
Iconic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan and partner Artem Chigvintsev finished in fourth place on the leaderboard with 33 points after they performed a foxtrot inspired by the year 1996, when Nancy became a mother to her son Matthew. Nancy tried for more children but suffered through six miscarriages in eight years. Nancy had to overcome immense shame and guilt, but she ended up becoming a mom to two more kids thanks to in vitro fertilization.
Bonner and Sharna danced the foxtrot as a tribute to the year 2016, when Bonner survived a life-threatening bull riding accident during a competition. Doctors didn't think Bonner would walk again after he was flipped off the backside of the bull and trampled by the wild animal, and he was briefly paralyzed thanks to a broken vertebra in his neck. However, Bonner overcame the odds, and Sharna called his recovery "a miracle."
Normani and Val took the stage with a rumba, recalling the year 2012 when the world learned her name. Normani danced in memory of her competing on Season 2 of The X Factor when she joined her Fifth Harmony group and found fame. Her life has never been the same since, and she became sisters to her remaining bandmates.
Seventh place on the judges' leaderboard at 31 points went to two-time World Series champion David Ross and partner Lindsay Arnold. The couple performed a Viennese waltz in honor of the year 2016, when David's Cubs baseball team won the World Series and it was his last year playing professional baseball. David hit his 100th career home run during that game, and he called it a "fairy tale ending" to his career.
Nick and Peta took the stage with a rumba inspired by the year 2016, when Nick met, fell in love with, and got engaged to his now-fiancee Vanessa Grimaldi. At the end of Nick's dance, he grabbed Vanessa from the audience, dipped her and gave her a big kiss.
As for Erika Jayne and Gleb, they danced the cha cha in memory of the year 1989, when Erika moved to New York City to pursue her dreams of an entertainment career. Before making it big, Erika worked her way up from modeling campaigns and singing in all-girl groups, and she eventually found fame by moving to Los Angeles.
Mr. T and Kym landed at the bottom of the judges' leaderboard in tenth -- and last -- place with 28 points for their waltz routine. Mr. T brought the audience to tears by talking about how his faith got him through a 1995 cancer diagnosis, which led to radiation and chemotherapy. Mr. T's rare form of cancer returned at one point, but he's been a survivor now for 22 years.
Next week, another Dancing with the Stars couple will be sent home based on judges' scores and home viewer votes from last night's broadcast on ABC.