Dancing with the Stars is a dance show where celebrities compete in ballroom dancing. They are scored by judges on the show, but the celebrities also rely on votes from viewers. A celebrity could be a terrible dancer, but still remain on the show for weeks if they have a loyal fan base. On the other hand, a celebrity could be an excellent dancer and be sent home way too soon due to not having enough fan support.
There have been many shocking instances over the years during Dancing with the Stars' incredibly long run on ABC and we've compiled a list of some of the most shocking eliminations from the show. Can we have each of these celebs return for an all-star season, please? That would be amazing.
15 Heather Morris
Heather Morris, who has danced for a major part of her life and worked as a backup dancer for Beyonce, initially struggled with ballroom dancing on Dancing with the Stars. Dancing on your own and dancing with a partner in ballroom dancing are two completely different styles of dance. Even though Heather had worked as a professional dancer, joining the show was a completely new experience for her.
Not only did Heather struggle with learning how to ballroom dance during the first few weeks of the competition, but her partner, Maksim, injured himself and was out for several weeks, leaving Heather to rehearse and dance with another partner, Allen.
After much improvement, Heather earned a perfect score of 40 one night... and was eliminated. Everyone from the judges to the audience to viewers at home were shocked. There were still several weeks of competition left and she certainly deserved to stay longer than she did.
14 Aly Raisman
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman made it to 4th place during her season on Dancing with the Stars, but she definitely deserved a spot in the top 3. Her athletic ability was outstanding and her and her partner, Mark Ballas, performed one of the most unique freestyle dances to ever be seen on the show.
While Aly did have her struggles when it came to dancing, such as toe point and not being able to count to the beats of the music, she did remarkably well when performing on the show. She worked very hard and improved every week. She took the judge's comments and applied them. Although she was used to being stiff and perfect during gymnastics routines, Aly was able to let loose and have some fun on Dancing with the Stars and gave us some memorable performances while she did just that.
13 Sabrina Bryan
Mark Ballas often couldn't catch a break. Even though he was often handed talented partners, he often got booted from seasons way sooner than he should have. One such occasion was when he danced with Cheetah Girl Sabrina Bryan, whom he was engaged to for a short time. Everyone from viewers to critics online were shocked when they were eliminated. Sabrina even came back a few weeks later to perform with Mark one last time, because she was such a fan favorite.
Sabrina was such a good dancer and had such high scores that many viewers thought she would win the season, which made her elimination in week 6 such a shock. She even earned perfect 30's early on in the season. Her elimination was just a reminder that viewers need to vote!
12 Nastia Liukin
Olympic gymnast, Nastia Liukin, was sent home right before the finals, where she ended up in 4th place. She was a really great dancer on the show and really worked hard to give great performances every week. Nastia was a student at NYU at the time and had to fly back and forth between New York and Los Angeles every week for the show, along with Derek Hough, who was her partner and doing a show on Broadway at the time.
Derek got injured one night during a rehearsal and was out for a few weeks. Sasha had to step in for him and be Nastia's partner for a while. Dealing with an injured partner and traveling across the country every week didn't stop Nastia from turning out beautiful and riveting performances week after week and she most definitely deserved to be in the top 3 and to have a shot at the mirror ball trophy. Sadly, she was voted off a bit too soon.
11 Jodie Sweetin
Not all of Jodie Sweetin's dances on Dancing with the Stars were top-notch, but she was definitely a gifted dancer and performer and shouldn't have gotten voted off when she did.
Jodie suffered a painful leg injury during rehearsal one day, but that didn't keep her from competing and giving her best. The Full House star ended on a great note. Her last performance was during week 8, when her and her partner Keo danced the jive. Jodie said "I literally laid everything inside of me out on that floor. I sweated and poured everything I had into that dance."
Jodie ended up getting a perfect score of 30 on that dance as she exclaimed to her mom in the audience, "mommy, I did it!" She then told Erin Andrews that her mom really wanted her to get a perfect score. So sweet!
10 Simone Biles
Simone Biles is a great athlete and has been called the best gymnast of all time. However, that didn't necessarily transfer over into the world of ballroom dance. She had a rough go of it throughout the season as the judges tried to get her to bring out some emotions in her dances. Simone likes to be picture perfect and that is not what dance is about. Dance is a way of expressing yourself and that is something that Simone had to learn the hard way.
On her final night as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars, Simone finally brought her personality out on the floor with her and Sasha's Jive and Rumba in week 9.
Simone ended up receiving two perfect scores that night, one for each of her dances. Shockingly, she was eliminated that night, leaving her in fourth place.
9 Jana Kramer
Actress and country singer Jana Kramer turned out to be a surprisingly gifted dancer. She also had legs for days. She churned out some truly memorable dances during her run on Dancing with the Stars, including a joint contemporary with gymnast Laurie Hernandez and an incredibly sexy tango to Selena Gomez's "Can't Keep My Hands to Myself."
Sadly, Jana was eliminated and ended up in 4th place, taking her out of the top 3 finalists. Although Jana definitely deserved a spot in the top 3 and we were sad to see her go, she was in a season that had an incredible amount of talent and so many of the dancers that season deserved to be in the final 3. If Dancing with the Stars ever does another all-star season, we would love to see Jana come back.
8 Kristin Cavallari
Reality television star, Kristin Cavallari, was shockingly voted off her season of Dancing with the Stars in week 3 of competition, which left judge Len Goodman in disbelief. "This is truly crazy," he said. He expected Kristin to make it to the finals and possibly go home with the mirror ball trophy, but unfortunately, Kristin's journey on the dance show was cut a bit too short.
Kristin was definitely a talented dancer and we definitely wish we could have seen more of her talent throughout the rest of the season. Kristin's partner, Mark said that the scores were close that week and it all came down to the viewer votes, which he believed was the beauty of the show. Kristin believed she got voted off because the story of her most memorable year wasn't as great as some of the other competitors.
7 Shannon Doherty
Shannon Doherty, who was partnered with Mark Ballas, was voted off in week 2 during her season on the show. We weren't lying when we said Mark Ballas could never catch a break.
Even though Shannon turned out a good performance and definitely showed that she had potential as a dancer, she said that she was an actor, not a dancer, but she was grateful for the opportunity to be on the show.
Mark happened to get injured during that week and he would have been out for 6 weeks, so if Shannon had continued on the show, she would have had to dance with someone else and she said that she wouldn't have wanted to continue without him. So sweet!
Even though Shannon was eliminated far too soon, we are thankful we got to see her dance.
6 Aaron Carter
Aaron Carter showed that he was an incredibly talented dancer when he was on the show, but unfortunately his talent didn't transfer into votes, as he was eliminated from the show during week 8 of the competition.
Even Len couldn't let Aaron go without saying some kind words about his journey on the show. He said "I think the dedication that you have shown week after week is absolutely fantastic. I think you're an inspiration to all young people that anything is possible."
Aaron told Entertainment Tonight that he learned a lot on the show that he will carry with him for the rest of his life. He also said that Len meant a lot to him and that his kind words made him feel good about himself, which he really appreciated.
5 Maria Menounos
Maria Menounos and Derek Hough earned the first perfect 10's of the season during her run on Dancing with the Stars, but that didn't lead her to the mirror ball trophy. Maria was eliminated during the semi-finals. While her and her partner, Derek, received near perfect scores that night (59/60) and were at the top of the leader board, the two didn't make it to the finals.
Derek kind of had a feeling that they were gonna go home that night, so he prepped Maria just in case. He told her that if they were eliminated, they went out the best way possible, with five 10's and standing on top of the leader board. If you gotta go out, you might as well go out on a high note!
4 Brandy Norwood
Brandy Norwood was a gifted dancer but was unfortunately voted off the show in the semi-finals during her season on the series. Her and her partner, Maksim, delivered a "fantastic performance," according to judge Bruno and received excellent scores the night before her elimination, but once again, viewer votes were the deciding factor in an excellent dancer's exit from the show.
Bruno took the moment of Brandy's exit to remind viewers that voting is very important on the show, as the judges scores can often come so close and votes from viewers are what really matter. Bruno, like us, was very disappointed when Brandy was let go, because he really wanted to see her freestyle. She definitely deserved a spot in the finals, but sadly was gone one week too soon.
3 Chynna Philips
Chynna Philips got along well with her partner. Tony, and according to him, they were the only couple on the show that never fought or had drama. Tony felt incredibly bad when they were eliminated in week 4 of competition and according to a video interview posted by DisneySisters.com, Tony said he was incredibly disappointed that he "didn't get to take Chynna all the way to the end."
Chynna was no doubt a good dancer and definitely deserved to go further in the competition than she did. She did make a mistake in her dance, but America unfortunately did not give her a second chance and she was voted off the show.
Tony was their for his partner, though, and on GMA the next morning, he said he went into "dad mode" and immediately wanted to take care of Chynna and talk her through the rest of the dance, as she felt pretty bad about her mistake.
2 Willa Ford
Willa Ford competed in the third season of Dancing with the Stars and although she didn't have a ton of fan support, she was a great dancer and performed some amazing numbers with her pro partner, Maksim. Sadly, the two were eliminated from the competition in week 5 and Willa didn't go as far as she should have.
Willa and Maks were actually in a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard when they were eliminated, which made their exit such a surprise, however, all of the scores that week were really close and it came down to the viewer votes as it so often does.
It's such a shame when good dancers go home too soon on this show, which is why viewers need to vote, because every vote really does count.
1 Willow Shields
Willow Shields, most famous for playing the role of Prim in The Hunger Games series, and the youngest contestant to ever compete on Dancing with the Stars, was surprisingly voted off in 7th place. Willow was one of the top scoring dancers on the show each week and without a doubt deserved to be in the finals.
Due to Willows age and child labor laws, Willow was required to have a day off each week and was not given as much time to rehearse as the other contestants on the show. That didn't stop her from performing some amazing dances, though, including a dance inspired by The Hunger Games as well as a creative and memorable Alice in Wonderland dance on Disney night.
Sadly, she didn't receive enough viewer votes and was eliminated from the show way too soon and sadly, before lower-scoring couples.