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Dancing With the Stars season 19 said goodbye to its first contestant, Lolo Jones, on Tuesday night for her low-scoring performance on Monday’s premiere.
The two-time gold medal world champion was sent home after audiences witnessed the athlete crumble in her live cha-cha performance with first-time professional dancer Keo Motsepe. Jones attributed the mishap to a technical difficulty involving a miscued text that was an introductory part of the dance.
“I just felt everything swirling inside and for me, obviously, I have two past Olympics, or three now, where I’ve come so close to a medal. Every time those things happen, people tease me. They’re like, ‘You’re such a failure in the spotlight,’ ” Jones said. “And so literally, when that dance happened, I had that moment. I was like, here it goes again. Now everybody is going to say I have a bad attitude.”
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After performing on Monday night’s premiere episode and receiving a low score of 22/40, Jones received more than bad attitude commentary from onlookers. “Last night was hard, but what’s even harder is having people send me all these messages like we hate you, you have such a bad attitude,” she said. “How is me being competitive bad?”
“It was definitely just disgust at myself because I knew that dance,” Jones said.
DWTS was a commitment for Jones, and the Olympian showcased that by ending her track season early to allow for more time to practice and dedicate to learning the dances. More than being disappointed that she couldn’t perform the jive or samba — a preliminary tribute dance to the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Jones was heartbroken that she was the reason partner Motsepe’s rookie season suddenly wrapped.
Fellow first-time pro dancer Allison Holker empathized with Motsepe on his early departure from the show. “I think it’s disappointing that someone who is new to the show goes home the first week because you really want someone like that to get a chance to get momentum,” Holker told The Hollywood Reporter. “I would hope to see him back on a future season … because people need to learn who he is, see what his style of choreography is.”
Tune in Sept. 22 from 8-10 p.m. on ABC to catch week two’s performances.
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