Olympic speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno will not win the gold on Season 15 of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
He and partner Karina Smirnoff were one of two couples eliminated at the end of the Nov. 20 results show. Football legend Emmitt Smith and partner Cheryl Burke were also shown the door.
This season features past champions and finalists. Ohno and partner Julianne Hough won the mirror-ball trophy in 2007. This time, out of 13 celebrities, Ohno made it to the Final Five.
Rankings were based on votes from the public and scores from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli.
For the first routine on Nov. 19, the type of dance and theme for each couple had been picked by one of their competitors. Ohno and Smirnoff were assigned “big top” jazz, which they performed to Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting for?” Ohno admitted that the circus-themed routine was one of the most difficult he had ever rehearsed.
Inaba loved the concept, but thought they were out of sync a lot and the dismounts were sloppy in a disjointed dance. Goodman said Ohno was a fighter. Tonioli didn’t think the routine was disjointed and said it was a nice blend of jazz even though there was one noticeable slip by Ohno. Scores of 8.5, 9 and 9.5 gave them total of 27.
For the second segment, each couple chose a classic Michael Jackson tune. Ohno and Smirnoff did the rumba to “Man in the Mirror.” Inaba said Ohno reached into her heart and melted it. Goodman said there was wave after wave of emotion. Tonioli said the dance was perfectly pitched and there was a great flow of movement. Scores of 10, 10 and 10 gave them a perfect 30 and a grand total of 57 for the night.
On Tuesday, Ohno and Smirnoff gave an encore performance of their sensual rumba. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson and partner Derek Hough learned they were safe. After a performance by The Wanted, reality TV star Melissa Rycroft and partner Tony Dovolani were sent to the finals, and Ohno and Smirnoff got the bad news. A montage of the departing couple’s greatest moments was shown.
After performances by Paula Abdul, who was a guest judge earlier this season, and Derek Hough, Smith and Burke learned they were going home, which meant that actress Kelly Monaco and partner Val Chmerkovskiy were safe.
Ohno, Smith and their partners appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that evening and “Good Morning America” the next day — a tradition for DWTS castoffs. Ohno said he was disappointed but also proud of what he accomplished — and relieved because the competition was so grueling.
The final showdown will take place Monday, with results announced on Tuesday.