The odds weren’t in “Hunger Games” actress Willow Shields' favor Monday night. The 14-year-old actress was voted off ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in an elimination that stunned the ballroom audience and judges.
Shields and actress Rumer Willis were both in jeopardy of going home tonight even though they’ve earned high judges’ score throughout the season. Elimination is based on a combination of judges’ scores and viewer votes.
Shields immediately teared up when her name was announced.
“We are all sad we are shocked,” said the show’s co-host, Erin Andrews.
Shields’s pro partner, Mark Ballas, praised Shields.
“I just want to say, first of all, a big thank you to Willow," he said. "I couldn’t be more proud.”
At the show’s closing, Ballas hugged Shields while the rest of the dancing cast surrounded them to offer support.
Tonight’s show was dedicated to dance styles from varying eras.
The couple with the highest overall score was granted immunity from elimination tonight, and the other couples had to compete in a dance-off -- to either a salsa, cha-cha or foxtrot -- for bonus points.
Due to an injury sustained last week, pro dancer Derek Hough didn’t compete. His partner, Olympian Nastia Liukin, was partnered with Sasha Farber tonight.
Riker Lynch: Judges were thrilled with the actor/musician’s 1920s-style quickstep. Bruno Tonioli called the routine full of content and “absolutely brilliant,” but cautioned the musician about tense shoulders when dancing in hold with his pro partner, Allison Holker. Carrie Ann Inaba agreed with Tonioli. Julianne Hough said Lynch and Holker were versatile and innovative but told Lynch to work on his frame, especially given the height difference between him and his partner. Head judge Len Goodman gave hearty approval of the routine by awarding the pair a perfect 10. The other judges gave the couple 9s each, for a total of 37 out of a possible 40 points.
Chris Soules: The “Bachelor” star won judges over with his wartime-inspired foxtrot. “That was awesome. ... I loved it, it was wonderful,” Hough said, commending Soules’ pro partner, Witney Carson, on the routine. Tonioli said Soules was “turning into a dancer,” adding that he believed the reality TV star took great care and attention with his footwork and his improvement was evident. Inaba said she thought Soules was gaining momentum at the right time. “You’re the most exciting one for me to watch right now,” she said. Goodman noted that he saw more fluidity and footwork from Soules, but asked him to work on polishing up “those little moments in hold.” Soules earned three 8s and a 7, for a total of 31 points.
Rumer Willis: Judges told the actress her jive could have been better. Inaba said she believed Willis had lost some of the unique quality she had in the beginning of the season. “It just felt a little bit safe ... and I can only be this critical without you because you’re so good,” Inaba said. Goodman said it was “better to be safe than sorry.” He praised Willis’s technique but said the routine “could have had a tad more flair.” Tonioli said he loved the nostalgic feel of the routine but cautioned Willis on her arm movement. Hough agreed with Tonioli about Willis’s arms, but said she believed Willis had done “an awesome job tonight.” Willis earned three 9s and an 8, for a total of 35 points.
Noah Galloway: The U.S. Army veteran’s 1970s-inspired jazz routine brought Inaba to her feet in excitement. “What was that?” she shouted, a broad smile on her face. “What was that? That was insane!” Goodman called the routine strong and clean, adding to Galloway, a double-amputee: “I’ve got to say, you may have half the limbs of most guys but I tell you you’re twice the man. ... It’s as good as any dance I’ve seen you perform.” Hough said Galloway had swag and groove. “That was the most fun I think I’ve ever had sitting at this table,” she said of watching the routine, and Tonioli added: “You two are badass, hot and yet so cool it gives me chills … .” Galloway earned a 10, two 9s and a 8, for a total of 36 points.
Robert Herjavec: After a disappointing performance last week, the “Shark Tank” star’s steamy 1980s-inspired Argentine tango had judges praising his improvement. Goodman said Herjavec’s dancing tending to go up and down, telling him that this week he was up. Hough called the routine clean and said Herjavec’s timing was “so much better.” Inaba told Herjavec that he and pro partner Kym Johnson had chemistry that was “incredible,” although she said she thought he appeared overwhelmed at times by Johnson. Herjavec earned three 8s and a 7, for a total of 31 points.
Nastia Liukin: With Liukin’s pro partner, Derek Hough, sidelined with a broken toe and sprained ankle and therefore playing an extra during the performance, the Olympian danced her Charleston with Sasha Farber. The routine, set on a train, was a hit with judges. “That was the best subway ride I have ever taken!” Tonioli said. Inaba hugged Liukin and told the gymnast that she was proud of her and that’s she embraced dancing. Hough said Liukin had weathered a tough schedule and the difficulty of having a new partner. “You guys killed that dance,” she said. Liukin earned two 10s and two 9s, for a total of 38 points. Because she had the highest score of the night, she earned immunity from elimination.
Willow Shields: Judges appreciated the actress’s ninja-inspired jazz routine. “I must say, you’ve got a really fertile and creative mind to come up with a number like that to that music,” Goodman told Shields’s pro partner, Mark Ballas. Tonioli said the routine had “a mystic, hypnotic quality that was awesome.” Inaba, speaking at first in Japanese, said the routine was “fantastic,” and Hough agreed. Shields earned three 9s and a 10, for a total of 37 points.
With Liukin safe, the remaining went head to head, squaring off in three pairs to dance either a salsa, cha-cha or foxtrot. The winning couple in each dance-off earned an additional two points for the night.
Lynch vs. Shields/salsa: Lynch and Holker danced first, followed by Shields and Ballas. While judges said the scoring was very close, all four chose Shields and Ballas as the winner of the contest, giving the pair an extra two points.
Galloway vs. Herjavec/cha-cha: Galloway and Sharna Burgess took on Herjavec and Johnson, and with the judges evenly split between the couples, the show’s rules says Goodman’s choice breaks the tie. He picked Goodman.
Soules vs. Willis/foxtrot: Soules and Carson went up against Willis and Chmerkovskiy, with each judge picking Wills over Soules.
Tonight’s Scores (Individual Routine (bonus points from dance-off)
Willow Shields and Mark Ballas: 37 (+2): 39
Nastia Liukin and Derek Hough: 38
Noah Galloway and Sharna Burgess: 36 (+2): 38
Riker Lynch and Allison Holker: 37
Rumer Willis and Valentin Chmerkovskiy: 35 (+2): 37
Chris Soules and Witney Carson: 31
Robert Herjavec and Kym Johnson: 31