12:55am PT by Natalie Stone
'Dancing With the Stars' Eliminates UFC Fighter, Awards Two Perfect Scores
UFC star Randy Couture couldn’t pack the final punch and was eliminated on Monday’s Dancing With the Stars movie night, while two celebrity competitors received perfect scores.
At the top of the show and moments before their opening dance, host Tom Bergeron announced that Couture and partner Karina Smirnoff were in jeopardy of elimination alongside Jonathan Bennett and Allison Holker and Antonio Sabato and Cheryl Burke. Couture and Smirnoff’s Paso Doble Rocky enactment was not enough to keep them in the competition. Audiences, along with the judges' scores, released him from the ring.
After the low-scoring opening number, viewers were surprised to witness not one, but two perfect scores on the same night. They were awarded to Janel Parrish and Valentin Chmerkovskiy and Bethany Mota and Derek Hough.
Parrish and Chmerkovskiy chose to dance to West Side Story and faced a challenge when forced to change the dance 48 hours into rehearsal.
“What are the things that give me the most anxiety on the show? [These] are the things: we talked about production…and emotionally getting invested into a certain idea and getting excited about it,” Chmerkovskiy said, adding “And you invest all that energy into it, and two days later they tell you that you can’t do any of that. So it kind of takes the wind from underneath you.”
Parrish and Chmerkovskiy still wowed audiences and scored a perfect 40/40.
“I was very shocked," said Parrish. "It was unexpected, and it just added to the perfection of the night. I already had an amazing time with this routine. I love Broadway, so I was just having the best time ever. So it was a cherry on top of an already perfect night.”
Judge Julianne Hough said that the performance was momentous and predicted it would open doors for Parrrish's career. “I would love to create an opportunity for [Janel] to have a leading role on Broadway,” Chmerkovskiy said of his partner, who said she hopes to make it back onto Broadway as an adult.
YouTube starlet Mota and partner Hough also received perfect scores for their jazz ensemble to Dancing in the Rain. “I was not expecting it at all. It’s still blowing my mind right now. Amazing,” Mota said about earning a perfect score.
Comedian Kevin Hart joined judges Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli in critiquing the evening’s performances.
Tune in Oct. 6 at 8/7c on ABC to see who is eliminated next.