I wish “Dancing with the Stars” knew how to quit Joe Amabile. The “Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise” reality star known to his fans as Grocery Store Joe isn’t going anywhere, even after the double elimination on Country Night. But while he survived yet another cut, he just achieved an unfortunate milestone: he’s the first contestant ever to receive seven last-place scores in one season, breaking his tie with Bill Engvall who finished last six times in season 17. Amabile could add an eighth low score during next week’s semifinals. And maybe a ninth if he advances beyond that.
There were actually two dances on Country Night, an individual dance between the celebs and their partners and a team dance. Both of Joe’s routines were the lowest scored, so that technically gives him eight last-place scores this season already. But since it’s the combined score from those two routines that count towards next week’s results, we’re counting it as just one last-place total score.
For a minute there it looked like Amabile had finally escaped the judges’ wrath. On Halloween Night they thought his monstrous “Frankenstein” Argentine tango was his best performance yet. They gave him his best score to date (22 out of 30), and it was the first time he wasn’t at the bottom — that night it was John Schneider who fell short, leading to his ouster on Country Night.
But while the judges appreciated Amabile’s effort during his Country Night tango and loved his spirit during his team dance — he was even the team captain! — he still couldn’t keep up with the pace of the competition. When his two scores were combined he ended up with a total of 47 out of 60, which was 6 points fewer than second-to-last dancers Bobby Bones and DeMarcus Ware.
To be fair, though, Amabile isn’t really the worst dancer in “DWTS” history. Most of his routines are watchable for a beginner (though the less said about his striptease trio salsa, the better). The reason his low scores have reached historic status is that it’s unprecedented for the audience not to have voted someone out by now after all those low scores. No one has ever made it this far solely on the votes of viewers, even other “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” alums who have appeared on the show before.
The season started with 13 contestants, and Amabile is now in the top 6 without ever having scored higher than second-to-last, so we’re in uncharted territory with this one. Could the “Bachelor” Nation actually carry him all the way to the finals?
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