Just two weeks in, “Dancing with the Stars” has already made headlines for a hunky competitor (William Levy) and a surprising leaderboard frontrunner (Katherine Jenkins), but one celebrity took the spotlight on Tuesday for the wrong reasons – their elimination from the competition.
(SPOILER: This story contains the results of Tuesday’s show.)
Martina Navratilova conquered center court, but the tennis champion couldn’t master the ballroom, and on Tuesday night, she was eliminated from Season 14’s competition, taking professional dancer Tony Dovolani out too.
Gavin DeGraw quickly rushed to Martina’s side after she was given the news (he and Karina Smirnoff were part of the Bottom 2 pairs), and whispered into her ear, “It was an honor to be on this stage with you.”
Speaking to the show hosts, Martina said her time on the show was enjoyable.
“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “I just wish it had lasted longer. I gave it everything I had, but I blew it yesterday, and you know it cost me, unfortunately. Hopefully I get to do the jive the last week here. I look forward to coming back and I wish everybody great luck.”
With no previous dance training, the athlete had hoped to beat at least one of the celebs who had some ballroom experience.
“From what I understand, 8 of the 12 competitors have some dancing experience… So I want to beat one of the people who have dancing experience, because I have none,” she said on Access Hollywood Live on March 16. “Of course everybody wants to win, everybody wants to go all the way, but I think if we just last through the second half of the season… Most of all, it’s just the first dance.”
Two weeks worth of low scores were part of the reason the pair were eliminated (in addition to the public vote).
On opening night, Martina and Tony – with their foxtrot — tied for the bottom spot on the leaderboard with pairs Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff, and Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
And on Monday, Martina had trouble again, losing her place on the jive, which earned the night’s lowest score – just 17 out of 30.
“Oh, my darling,” judge Bruno Tonioli said after their number, “I think that serve went into the net.”
In related “Dancing” news, Maria Menounos, who will return to the ballroom next week, brushed off a rumor she is hitting the dance floor with broken ribs.
“I’m great,” she told Brooke Burke, when the “DWTS” co-host asked her what was going on with her ribs. “I’m ready to dance. Bring on the rumba, baby.”
Asked if she was concerned about the pain, Maria said, “I’m Greek. We’re strong. We can do this. It’s all good. I’m happy. I’m so excited.”
“Dancing with the Stars” returns on Monday night at 8/7c on ABC.