12:16am PT by Natalie Stone
Kiss of Death for 'Dancing With the Stars’ James Maslow, Women Battle for Finale
A hot and heavy lip-lock turned into the kiss of death for James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd on Monday night’s Dancing With the Stars to kick off finale week.
The Big Time Rush star and his partner decided to raise the temperature on the dance floor and shock audiences during their first dance of the night by puckering up, but the judges' scores combined with audience votes proved inadequate to keep the last remaining male celebrity in the season 18 competition.
"We’re bummed...we didn’t expect to be here right now. But it’s all good," Maslow said. "We’ve worked our asses off, and we don’t regret anything. There’s nothing we would have done differently."
While the audience's jaw dropped at the joining of Maslow and Murgatroyd’s lips, the actor viewed the kiss as a prop-like addition to the dance. "We’re sick of these fake kisses. It was a kiss," Maslow said, adding, "There’s nothing wrong with that…it was a tango peck."
The eliminated couple, rumored throughout the season to be dating each other, performed a tango and freestyle dance and earned a combined score of 58/60. Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas, who suffered a shoulder injury earlier in the week and had his arm in a sling at the top of the show, had the lowest combined scores of the night but were guaranteed a spot in Tuesday night's finale.
Though Maslow was disappointed that he and Murgatroyd would not be performing for the title of Dancing With the Stars season 18 champions, the conclusion of the show will mean more personal time for him. "As sad and partially frustrated as I am to not be able to compete tomorrow, because we both really expected and wanted to be there…there’s also a sense of relief and excitement that this is the first time in six years that I’m going to be free to go and do what I want to do, not on a contract," Maslow said.
Maslow remarked that the end of his days on DWTS will allow him to "get to start my life as an individual." The first step in his emancipation: motorcycling from Mexico City along the Baja Coast to Los Angeles with a friend. While the actor will be taking a short sabbatical from dancing, Maslow is in the studio every chance he gets to work on his music, and he wants to continue his work in the realms of television and film.
On Tuesday night’s DWTS finale, all eliminated cast members will join the three remaining couples -- Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Amy Purdy and Derek Hough, Bure and Ballas -- to perform a final number to cap off the season.
Catch the Dancing With the Stars season 18 finale on Tuesday from 9-11 p.m. on ABC.