Toni Braxton and Alec Mazo eliminated from 'Dancing with the Stars'
By John Bracchitta, 10/22/2008
Toni Braxton's hope to have her "breakthrough performance" were dashed as the singer and her professional partner Alec Mazo were revealed to be the sixth couple eliminated from Dancing with the Stars' seventh season during last night's live results show broadcast on ABC.
While she was "a little disappointed" about her elimination, Braxton -- who suffers from coronary microvascular angina -- focused on her personal achievements.
"My goal was reached. I wanted to do better, I wanted to breathe better, and I definitely was breathing better," Braxton told Dancing with the Stars' host Tom Bergeron after he revealed she and Mazo been eliminated over All My Children actress Susan Lucci and partner Tony Dovolani, the other members of the week's bottom two couples.
"I've come a long way form Week 1 to 'Week Now.' My heart is much better so my goal was definitely reached," she added.
"I had a great time this season," Mazo told Bergeron of his time with Braxton. "Toni improved a lot and we had fun. I'm sad and sober now but she had a great time on the show and I'm really proud of her."
Braxton had been criticized by judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Len Goodman -- who gave her a 22 for her West Coast swing during the show's sixth performance show on Monday -- for not tapping into her potential to become a great dancer.
The West Coast swing had been one of four dances -- along with the hustle, salsa and jitterbug -- that Dancing with the Stars had featured for the first time ever on Monday.
"You are slinky and sexy [aren't] you. And when you want to you can actually deliver," Tonioli told Braxton after her Monday performance. "You were doing some parts that resembled the [West Coast swing], but why [are you] doing the moonwalk? Why is that? I know you can do it, so if you do it carry on with it [and] don't stop halfway. You've got it in you.
"It's so hard because I know the West Coast swing [and] these are foreign dances to you and your professionals as well," added Inaba. "But what's so great about that dance is that it's so difficult to do and the difficulty is trying to make it look so easy. I thought that you were over-dancing it. It's not so presentational. It's much more the feeling which I expected you would just do so well because I know you know that music."
"Things are not happening," Goodman told Braxton. "When I look at you, you have all of the credentials to be a fantastic dancer. You've got a great professional. I think you've got to sit down and regroup the whole thing now [and] get a bit more excitement coming into the dances. Your potential is huge and we're just not seeing it."
Prior to Braxton's elimination, co-host Samantha Harris also revealed that due to "an impossible schedule" resulting from his weekly travel between Los Angeles and the U.K. to judge Strictly Come Dancing, Irish step dancer Michael Flately will serve as a guest judge replacement for Goodman on next week's Dancing with the Stars episodes.
Former Rock Star host Brooke Burke and professional partner Derek Hough had led Monday night's judges' leaderboard for the sixth consecutive performance round, receiving a score of 29 for their jitterbug performance.
Hannah Montana actor Cody Linley and partner Julianne Hough's jitterbug performance had come close to matching Burke and came in second with a score of 28.
They were followed by two-time Olympic gold medalist track star Maurice Greene and partner Cheryl Burke, whose salsa performance earned a score of 27 that had placed them third.
Former NFL star Warren Sapp and partner Kym Johnson had received a score of 25, earning them fourth place.
Braxton and Mazo' West Coast swing and Lucci and Dovolani's hustle had each received scores of 22, which had tied them for sixth place.
Former The Mary Tyler Moore Show star Cloris Leachman and partner Corky Ballas' salsa and singer Lance Bass and professional partner Lacey Schwimmer's West Coast swing had each received scores of 21 on Monday, which had tied them for last place.