The dance contest finally overtook the popularity contest this season on ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer was ejected Monday night. Spicer and country singer Lauren Alaina were revealed to be in the bottom two in the closing moments.
Judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli saved Alaina from elimination because she had shown more skill. But Tonioli praised Spicer for being entertaining and a good sport.
Spicer lasted for nine weeks, and his long run caused controversy as better dancers were ejected. President Donald Trump rallied supporters to back Spicer and keep him in the show. After Monday's results, Trump tweeted: "A great try by @seanspicer. We are all proud of you!"
Despite the furor, Spicer's fellow dancers seemed to enjoy him, and the judges praised his hard work.
But he was easily the weakest of the celebrities on Monday's show, a celebration of boy bands and girl groups. Joey Fatone of 'N Sync served as guest judge for both rounds. Emma Bunton of the Spice Girls had to bow out because of a scheduling conflict.
Singer Ally Brooke had the best Monday, earning perfect scores for a proper samba and a jazz routine that became a delightful production number.
Comedian Kel Mitchell earned perfect scores for a fluid Viennese waltz. His paso doble wasn't as sharp, but Tonioli raved about its power.
Fatone praised actor James Van Der Beek's effortless dancing on a jive and the "amazing" choreography on a jazz routine that celebrated 'N Sync. But Len Goodman wanted more dancing between the actor and his partner, Emma Slater, on the latter, which became a production number worthy of a boy band.
Hannah Brown of "The Bachelorette" delivered her best dance yet, a precise tango. She also performed a difficult salsa, but judges faulted the ragged lifts.
Alaina was at her best on a sensuous rumba, and Goodman liked the fluid movements. Inaba said her quickstep was "fantastic," although the other judges found problems with the routine.
The show is down to its final five couples. The winner will be named in two weeks, and Oscar winner Cher will take part in the finale.
Who wins? Despite Brooke's excellent Monday, "Dawson's Creek" star Van Der Beek has been the most consistent.
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