Dancing With the Stars Season 28 has said goodbye to its first contestant. During the Monday, Sept. 23 elimination episode, which fell on contestant and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer's 48th birthday, fans and fellow pros and celebrities said goodbye to The Supremes' Mary Wilson and her partner Brandon Armstrong.
Wilson, who at 75 was the oldest dancer on the ABC competition series, and Armstrong had taken the stage with a Cha-Cha to Aretha Franklin's "Think," which the judges noted had plenty of missteps, though they genuinely enjoyed it.
"You're full of freedom. But, Mary it's a joy to see you out there," Len Goodman had said of the performance.
Unfortunately, their score of 15/30 was not enough to send them through to the next round. The duo had been voted into the unsavory bottom two along with former pro football player turned commentator Ray Lewis and his partner Cheryl Burke, whose Foxtrot had also earned them a score of 15/30 and was filled with "tons of mistakes," as judge Carrie Ann Inaba noted.
Unfortunately, thanks to this season's newly introduced format changes, which include online- and text messaging-based voting and a judges' save option for one of the bottom two couples, Wilson and Armstrong were sent home.
While Inaba selected Wilson to stay and Bruno Tonioli cast his vote for Lewis, Goodman made the final decision to keep Lewis and Burke around.
"If I'm totally honest neither of these couples should be in this position. However they are and it's very difficult because one, I want to judge from my heart, the other, I have to judge with my brain," he said. "And my brain says I've got to save Ray and Cheryl."
The elimination proved controversial, as many had been hoping that Spicer would be sent home. Spicer's casting this season had drawn criticism from both fans and those working on the dancing competition, though his call for support from supporters of President Donald Trump seemed to help him on to the next round, despite his 16/30 score.0comments
Meanwhile, the top contestants so far are The Bachelorette star Hannah Brown and Alan Bersten, who earned a 24/30 for their waltz to Taylor Swift's "Lover," The Office actress Kate Flannery and Pasha Pashkov with a score of 21/30, Pop star Ally Brooke and Sasha Farber (20/30), Comedian and actor Kel Mitchell and Witney Carson (20/30), and Dawson's Creek actor James Van Der Beek and Emma Slater (20/30).
New episodes of Dancing With The Stars air Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.