‘Dancing with the Stars: Juniors’ elimination: It was closing time for Mandla Morris after this futuristic paso [WATCH]

Things were looking up for Mandla Morris on “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.” The son of music legend Stevie Wonder got his two highest scores in the last two weeks of competition: Juniors Choice Night and Giving Thanks Night. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite keep up with the rest of the field on Time Machine Night, so his time was up. Do you think he deserved to be sent home after this week’s paso doble? Watch it above.

The top five contestants performed routines celebrating different eras. Most of them performed dances inspired by the past, but Morris went back to the future for a number even he and his pro partner Brightyn Brems had trouble understanding. Their mentor Cheryl Burke conceived a scenario involving wormholes and brainwashing, but once you got past the odd sci-fi concept it turned out to be an engaging piece of paso choreography.

But did Morris dance it well? He didn’t have the polished technique of his competitors Miles Brown, Sky Brown, Ariana Greenblatt or Mackenzie Ziegler, though he did embody the intense character of the bullfighting dance (in space). At least, I thought so. The judges weren’t as convinced. Val Chmerkovskiy was hoping for “a little more fight in that.” Mandy Moore appreciated Morris’s passion but noted some problems with his technique.

And Adam Rippon damned with faint praise, saying that what Morris has accomplished without any dance experience is “incredible” — true, but that’s the kind of thing you say to avoid talking about the actual dance. The scores were solid — straight 8s for a total of 24 out of 30 — but those were the same numbers he put up on premiere night, so he didn’t seem to have progressed very far. And he ended up at the bottom of the leaderboard, which led to his elimination when studio audience votes were combined with the judges’ scores. Do you think he deserved to go? Vote in our poll below to let us know.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Sunday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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