'Dancing with the Stars' cuts Nastia Liukin and partner Derek Hough in surprise elimination
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/13/2015
Dancing with the Stars eliminated former Olympian Nastia Liukin and her professional partner Derek Hough during Tuesday night's results show broadcast heading into next week's twentieth-season finale.
Nastia and Derek received the lowest combined total of judges' scores and home viewer votes from Monday night's performance show and were therefore ousted from the competition during last night's broadcast.
In the last few weeks, Dancing with the Stars Troupe member Sasha Farber had been filling in for an injured Derek, however, Derek got to dance Monday night in what turned out to be an emotional tribute to judge Len Goodman's ability to dance in his younger years.
"I definitely wanted to make it to the finale, especially because last night was so great to dance with Derek again, but, you know, I kind of thought last night was a magical night and not just for us but for everyone here," Nastia said following her elimination.
"And I just want to thank Len specifically for giving us that magical dance and to be able to finish my experience with that dance meant a lot."
Derek added in a subsequent video montage that Nastia handled the challenge of balancing school with Dancing with the Stars with such class. He said it was a privilege to work with her on the show.
Tuesday night's elimination was a shock because Nastia and Derek had tied with another couple for first place on the judging leaderboard Monday night with a perfect score of 70 out of 70 points. Rumer and Val, on the other hand, landed in third place on the leaderboard because they had earned two less points than the first-place couples.
In addition to Rumer and Val, also dancing in the twentieth-season finals will be R5 frontman Riker Lynch and his partner Allison Holker as well as U.S. Army veteran Noah Galloway and his partner Sharna Burgess.
To review Monday night's leaderboard scores and what each couple danced, click here.