Dancing With the Stars 2014: Tavis Smiley Gets the Boot in Week 2 of Season 19

Tavis Smiley gets the boot on “Dancing With the Stars.”

ByABC News
September 23, 2014, 9:43 PM

— -- Talk show host Tavis Smiley was voted off “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday night, saying his performance suffered from lack of rehearsal time.

“Our competitors on this show had 35 to 40 hours to rehearse, and I had a book tour,” he said in an interview with “Good Morning America” after being voted off. “The most we could do were 8 or 10 hours a week. You cannot perfect the cha cha in eight or 10 hours – I don’t care who you are; you can't do that.”

After judges’ scores and viewer votes were combined, Smiley and NASCAR legend Michael Waltrip were both in danger of being eliminated.

After he learned his fate, Smiley hugged his pro partner, Sharna Burgess, and said he believed in “the art of dance,” and acknowledged that dance needed to have more time devoted to it.

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Despite his disappointment, Smiley spoke highly of his time on the show and working with Burgess.

“Sharna has been wonderful to work with. No one had to pick up bags and travel literally five or six cities every week trying to teach me fox trot or the cha cha,” he said. “It’s been a wonderful experience. I wish everybody all the best. I loved it.”

Burgess shared Smiley’s sentiment. “It was wonderful meeting him and getting to know the other side of Tavis Smiley,” she said. “He is just so wonderful and funny and free.”

Smiley is the second competitor booted from the show, which is in its 19th season. Olympian Lolo Jones was voted off last week.

Actress Lea Thompson shot to the top of the leaderboard on Monday night with her feisty jive, while Waltrip brought up the rear with his samba. Smiley was in a four-way tie for the second-lowest score on the leaderboard.

Tuesday’s show featured a dance performance by former “Dancing” pro and the newest judge, Julianne Hough, surrounded by all of the show’s male pros. By popular vote on social media, Janel Parrish reprised the crowd-pleasing foxtrot that she performed on Monday night.

Pop duo Nico and Vinz sang their hit, “Am I Wrong,” and Sia performed her hit, “Chandelier,” accompanied by dancers Maddie Ziegler, who appears on “Dance Moms,” and “Dancing”’s newest pro, Allison Holker.

In addition to Waltrip, returning to compete next week are actors Randy Couture, Antonio Sabato Jr., Alfonso Ribeiro and Jonathan Bennett, Thompson and fellow actress Janel Parrish, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, reality TV star Sadie Robertson, YouTube beauty guru Bethany Mota and comedian Tommy Chong.

The stars will compete every week for scores from the judges as well as votes from viewers. The star with the lowest combined total will be eliminated each week until the final three compete for the trophy.

The show’s co-host, Tom Bergeron, announced tonight that head judge Len Goodman would not appear on next week’s program. Actor/comedian Kevin Hart will step in as a guest judge, Bergeron said.

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