The only question about Tuesday’s Dancing With the Stars was whether Ralph Macchio’s fanbase could possibly be strong enough to overtake Kirstie Alley, who was third in the judges’ opinion this week. But it was not to be: the onetime Karate Kid, now a sore-kneed 49-year-old, was voted out in fourth place, just one week short of the finals. Kirstie, Chelsea Kane, and Hines Ward will compete for the 12th Mirror Ball Trophy.
By the time the elimination rolled around, Ralph had processed what would likely happen, and had kind words for everyone associated with the show, including partner Karina Smirnoff. But footage from Monday’s show indicated he was displeased with the scores for his salsa, as he was heard muttering that he had seen dancers getting 10s for the same routine that netted him a 23 (two 8s and a 7).
Ralph’s scores, and the decision to award 15 winner-take-all points to Chelsea, seemed to suggest that the judges believe her to be the best dancer this season, and didn’t want to risk a finals where she was on the sidelines and a pair of older “fan favorites” were going for the crown. This was as blatant a case as we’ve ever seen on the show of the viewers not really being able to choose who went home this week, and it will be interesting to see if there is any angry fallout going forward.
Last night’s first hour featured a rundown of memorable freestyle performances from the DWTS vaults, and this season’s would-be champs offered a sneak preview of what we might be seeing from them next week once the rule books get tossed aside. Best guess is that it’s Chelsea’s to lose as far as the judges’ scores go, but it’s still not likely she can overcome Hines and probably even Kirstie once the viewers have their say. We’ll see next Tuesday.