So is the dance duel only cruel when they have to actually judge two good dancers side by side, and that there wasn't an obvious boot in the mix that they could let go? I don't remember Len saying that the previous two weeks. Or in season 9. Maybe he just likes to rhyme. I think it makes CA's vote to Gladys last week even more pathetic. This would have been the week that might have qualified for a split panel, not last week.
Power to the voters! 'Dancing With the Stars' fans silence the judges
Adam Taylor / ABC
Surprise! "Dancing" fans voted to save Maks and Melissa, and after a dance-off against Roshon, Jaleel and Kym (pictured) were sent packing.
By Anna Chan
The “Dancing With the Stars” judges may have the final say while the Dance Duel is in effect, but on Tuesday, it was the viewers who proved that they still have a very strong voice, dance-off or no dance-off.
After Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba on Monday took jabs at “Little House on the Prairie” star Melissa Gilbert and pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy for their Argentine tango, then gave the duo’s Team Paso effort alongside Donald Driver and William Levy surprisingly low scores for a great overall performance, fans of the show made sure their displeasure with the judges was heard. And we’re not just talking about the very loud boos from the audience after the team's total score was revealed.
Sure, Melissa and Maks’ Argentine tango earned only a measly 21 (no, she didn’t forget any of her steps to her incredibly challenging routine, though she looked rather stiff and terrified), and the group paso doble earned them an additional 26 points. The result? Last place.
As far as the fans were concerned, the judges were playing favorites with their critiques and scoring, and it wasn’t right. (Check out the rants against the panel on our Facebook page.) The solution? Vote! And boy, did they. Though Melissa and Maks knew they were in big trouble (the pro even tweeted that he knew the judges would send Melissa packing if she landed in the bottom two), the viewers came to the rescue, much to the surprise of the pair. Melissa was left stunned by the save while Maks cheered excitedly.
So who found themselves standing in the spotlights of shame instead? Jaleel White and Roshon Fegan. The two men faced off in the Dance Duel with a rumba that was a bit problematic for both. The young Disney star had trouble bringing the sexiness to the steamy dance, while the former “Family Matters” actor seemed to lack chemistry with his partner. (But Jaleel did try to appeal to Bruno and Carrie Ann by showing off his six pack, something the scrawny Roshon isn’t able to do.)
The result? A difficult decision for the panel of judges.
“The duel is cruel because we’ve got to decide,” griped Len. “... It breaks my heart that one of you’s got to go.” (Maybe because he was expecting to say goodbye to Melissa and Maks?)“Side by side, you guys are pretty much equal,” Carrie Ann noted.
“It really is a matter of taste,” Bruno said. “You both did very, very well.”
But kind words aside, it was obvious the judges felt Roshon did better -- supposedly based solely on this one dance, as the rules state -- because they voted unanimously to save him.
As Jaleel bid the ballroom and his fellow dancing hopefuls farewell, he shared that he was happy to have made it this far. “I really only thought I’d last about three dances in this competition,” he admitted. “I’ve made incredible friends, the fans have been incredible. I love Roshon Fegan! I’m happy they saved him. He has a bright future. Len, give him a 10!”