12:17am PT by Natalie Stone
'Dancing With the Stars' Says Goodbye to 'Mean Girls' Actor
Though Monday’s Dancing With the Stars Latin night was an evening of improvement for Jonathan Bennett and professional partner Allison Holker, the couple’s jazz outing was their final performance to see the dance floor.
After a tense and hurried jitterbug during week five’s “switch up” with Peta Murgatroyd that earned him 24/40, the Mean Girls actor was put in jeopardy at the top of Monday’s show.
During training for week six’s dance, Holker gave Bennett a simple piece of advice: “Be you.” The heartfelt words aided in earning the pair 32/40, but Bennett’s delivery was too late to change the combined decision of judges and audiences.
“It’s disappointing because I feel like this was a huge arc for us," said Holker. "It was a really big chance for us to make it and show the judges why we deserve to be here. I think there were a few weeks when Jonathan, they were just so hard on him, so rough, and I feel like it definitely affected him." She added: “But then he rose to the occasion this week and really came back on top. So I really wish that we at least had one more week, or two more weeks, to show the progress because I could feel the change inside him.”
While rookie professional Holker survived six weeks in her first DWTS season, she was uncertain what to think of America’s and the judges’ opinions of her dance technique. “I think they brought me onto the show knowing that I was going to bring something different and that’s what they really loved. I feel like the judges had mixed feelings about us,” Holker said, adding: “Some weeks they loved me, and then some weeks I kind of feel like they ate me alive like as if I was their prey. But at the same time, I know that I’m the new girl, so I know that they’re trying to teach me.”
NASCAR professional Michael Waltrip also saw a night of improvement, earning a 30/40 for his Argentine tango with partner Emma Slater and being safe from elimination. While Alfonso Ribeiro and Witney Carson earned the highest score of the night at 39/40 for their salsa, both were injury-prone: Carson fell during rehearsals and the live performance, and Ribeiro suffered a groin injury at the wrap of the dance. Still, the duo remains the couple to beat after their near-perfect performance.
Latin rapper Pitbull entertained audiences by opening the program and joining the judges’ table on Monday, while season 17 contestant Leah Remini — who was formerly paired with Tony Dovolani — served as a substitute co-host alongside Tom Bergeron as Erin Andrews was reporting on the World Series.
Tune in next Monday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC to see which partners are paired for the season’s team dances.