'Dancing With the Stars': Actress Marilu Henner Axed Ahead of Semifinals
Actress Marilu Henner was eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars” tonight, just one week shy of the show’s Season 23 semifinals.
The “Taxi” actress started the competition strong, routinely earning judges’ scores that placed her solidly in the middle of the pack. She hit a high note in week 5 when she earned 27 out of a possible 30 points from judges for her Viennese waltz, and earned rave reviews -– and 36 out of a possible 40 points tonight -– for her samba.
Henner was eliminated tonight because she had the lowest combined total of judges’ scores and viewers’ votes from her performance last week, when her judges’ scores put her at the bottom of the leaderboard.
“Oh, my God, I’ve had such a blast ... and it’s such an incredible family here,” she told co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews at the end of the show.
Henner commended the “Dancing” cast, crew, the judges, and her pro partner, six-time mirror ball champion Derek Hough.
Five stars -– IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, “Pretty Little Liars” actress Jana Kramer, former NFL player Calvin Johnson Jr. and reality TV star Terra Jolé – will return next week to battle it out in the semifinals.
Before Henner’s fate was announced the six competitors and their pro partners performed two routines –- one set to music from a Broadway hit, and the other team challenge in which competitors collaborated in teams of two. They were judged by Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Julianne Hough and guest judge Idina Menzel.
Menzel, the award-winning theater and film actress, was filling in for head judge Len Goodman. She also performed her new single, “Queen of Swords,” live on the show.
Singer Leona Lewis, who appeared in the revival of “Cats” on Broadway, sang “Memory” – the iconic song from the musical – live on the show while Johnson Jr. danced a waltz inspired by the production.
Team Last Men Standing: Hinchcliffe and Johnson Jr., paso doble. The two each earned 37 points.
Team Cubs: Henner and Jolé, jazz. The two stars each picked up an additional 36 points.
Team Sisters: Kramer and Hernandez, contemporary. Judges awarded each star 40 points.
Judges’ Scores (Individual routine, team challenge, total.)
Laurie Hernandez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 40; 40. Total: 80
Jana Kramer and Gleb Savchenko: 40; 40. Total: 80
Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber: 38; 36. Total: 74
Calvin Johnson Jr. and Lindsay Arnold: 37; 37. Total: 74
James Hinchcliffe and Jenna Johnson: 36; 37. Total: 73
Marilu Henner and Derek Hough: 36; 36. Total: 72 (They were eliminated last night.)