‘Dancing with the Stars’ video slugfest: Debating that elimination mix-up, Skai Jackson’s perfect 10 and more [WATCH]

“I mean, it made things interesting,” says Cordell Martin about the surprise ending on “Dancing with the Stars” during “Top 13” night. The person eliminated wasn’t surprising (many of us had predicted it would be Anne Heche), but an error caused the wrong bottom two to be named by host Tyra Banks. Martin discussed that and more with me and Jeffrey Kare in our video slugfest about this week’s show. Watch it above.

“Going into this week I was pretty sure it was going to be [Monica Aldama] and Anne in the bottom two,” Martin explains. But then Aldama was announced as safe and Heche was revealed to be in the bottom two with football pro Vernon Davis, while Chrishell Stause was still on stage waiting to hear her results. Banks clarified that there had been a mistake and Aldama was actually in the bottom two with Heche. But the judges decided to save Aldama, so Heche was eliminated anyway. “Clearly you guys already had a card that said [Aldama] was safe,” Martin adds about the mix-up, “so what are you doing there?”

Executive producer Andrew Llinares chalked it up to a “technical issue,” though it left us wondering whether Davis really was near the bottom, even though he didn’t end up in the bottom two this time. Perhaps the show inadvertently showed us that he hasn’t been getting as many viewer votes as he’d like.

One dancer who was nowhere near the bottom was Skai Jackson, who topped the leaderboard in week one, struggled in weeks two and three, and then topped the leaderboard again in week four. On top of that, she received the season’s first perfect 10 from judge Carrie Ann Inaba for her moving dance in honor of her late Disney Channel co-star Cameron Boyce, who died in 2019 after an epileptic seizure. Martin thought it was a “much-needed dance for Skai” after a couple of off performances, and Kare agreed it was a “beautiful routine.” But does that put her back in front-runner position for the season?

Martin says “it’s too close to call right now” with Jackson, Justina Machado, Kaitlyn Bristowe, Nev Schulman and Johnny Weir all spending time at the top of the leaderboard this season so far. “But I’m just loving that each week it’s a new person at the top.” It sure keeps the season interesting — but in a good way, not like getting the results wrong at the end of an episode. Goodness knows we’d want to avoid that by the time we get to the finale.

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