James Van Der Beek deserves a second chance on ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ and so do these 12 other screwed celebs

Dancing with the Stars” was all over the place in season 28 with surprise eliminations and one uncoordinated contestant wearing out his welcome, but there was no surprise bigger than the elimination of James Van Der Beek in the Semi-Finals. I think the show should consider another all-star season, but this time the show should use it to give a second chance to stars like Van Der Beek who got screwed the first time around.

Van Der Beek’s ouster — the week his wife suffered a miscarriage, no less — will go down as one of the show’s worst, but since the show’s last all-star competition in season 15 he’s far from the only talented celeb dancer who went home way too soon. For instance, actress Elizabeth Berkley was one of the three best dancers of season 17 based on the judges’ scores, but she left the show in sixth place. Similarly, ice dancer Charlie White finished fifth in season 18 despite being one of the best in the competition; his Olympic partner Meryl Davis deservedly won the Mirror Ball Trophy that season, but White deserved better than he got.

Actress Willow Shields wowed in season 20 even though she was only 14-years-old at the time, but she was sent home way too soon, placing seventh despite the season’s fourth best judges’ scores. She’s 19 now, so it would be great to see how she and her dancing have matured now that she’s all grown up.

The show introduced a dueling married couple in season 21: actors Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega. They were both stellar, but neither of them made it to the finals. Neither did singer and talk show host Tamar Braxton, who might have been a threat to win that season if she didn’t have to withdraw due to illness.

Boyz II Men alum Wanya Morris also missed the top three in season 22 despite having one of the three highest judges’ scores of the season; I thought he belonged in the finals and would even have been worthy of the win.

The results got weirder from there. Actress Heather Morris was clearly one of the best of season 24, but she was eliminated in eighth place, though in that case she might have been hurt by backlash over the fact that she actually was a professional dancer in her career, and not an amateur like “DWTS” contestants are technically supposed to be. Still, she deserved better than that ignoble finish.

TV personality Vanessa Lachey deserved better in season 25 too. She was a promising dancer, but reported tensions with her pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy got in the way. Perhaps with a more cohesive partnership she would have done better than seventh place.

I kinda wish everyone from season 26 would get a second chance since that all-athletes edition only lasted four weeks, giving us little time to get to know the celebs on the dance floor, but figure skater Mirai Nagasu was cut before the finals despite the season’s second best scores, so she probably deserves another opportunity for a Mirror Ball most of all.

Everybody in season 27 not named Bobby Bones probably deserves a do-over too, but none more than Tinashe, the season’s fifth best dancer who was eliminated in 10th place, and Juan Pablo Di Pace, who was tied as the season’s best dancer but was ousted in fifth place.

That’s 13 celebs right there, which is a good number to fill up a “DWTS” lineup. And wouldn’t it be refreshing, at the start of a season, to know that everyone in the competition is worthy of the Mirror Ball? When was the last time we saw that? Vote in our poll below to let us know which of the above celebrities most deserves a second chance on the show.

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