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'Splash' celebrity diving competition eliminates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/24/2013 

Splash eliminated retired NBA basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during Tuesday night's broadcast of the new reality diving competition's sixth episode on ABC.

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"I feel great, and you know, it was a lot of fun except for last week. So I had a great time, I got in better shape, I learned a few things, and I made some new friends. So it's just been wonderful," Kareem said following his ouster.

Kareem was eliminated from Splash after he lost the dive-off against fellow contestant Drake Bell, a Nickelodeon star.

Splash judges David Boudia, a London Olympic U.S. Gold medalist, and Steve Foley, an Australian Olympic athlete and USA Dive Team director, both opted to save Drake because they believed his dive was substantially better than Kareem's.

Had David and Steve come to a split decision, the live audience would've determined which contestant would be sent home.

Kareem and Drake were forced to compete in the dive-off after they had both received the lowest combination of judges' scores and the audience's scores for their first dives of the night.

Tuesday night's broadcast required the remaining contestants -- Kareem, Drake, professional soccer player Brandi Chastain, extreme skier Rory Bushfield, and actress Nicole Eggert -- to each participate in a synchronized dive with a junior diving champion.

Kareem's initial dive with Michelle earned an average score of 7.25 from the judges, while Drake received an average score of 7.0 from David and Steve for his dive with Luca. While the audience's vote ended up counting for half of each contestant's overall score -- although the numerical values of the audience's vote were not revealed -- Kareem and Drake still landed in the bottom two.

Rory was in the bottom three alongside Kareem and Drake, and Splash host Joey Lawrence announced the three guys' audience vote was separated by only four-tenths of a point. It was the closest score yet this season.

The three other celebrity participants dived and survived during last night's episode after undergoing weeks of training with medaled diving legend Greg Louganis.

Brandi earned an average score of 9.75 from the judges for her dive with Daria. She received a perfect score of 10 from David and a 9.5 from Steve.

Nicole and Sophie received an average judges' score of 8.25. Rory and his junior diving champion partner Jake earned an average score of 8.0.



(Photo credit ABC)


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