Dancing With the Stars has had its first elimination of Season 29. The couples facing expulsion were Carole Baskin (Tiger King) and her pro partner Pasha Pashkov, and basketball star Charles Oakley (New York Knicks) and his partner, Emma Slater, a previous Mirror Ball winner.
Dancing With The Stars First Elimination
The show’s trio of judges — Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli — were charged with stating which couple they wanted to keep and needed to factor in which couple had improved and shown the greatest potential.
In the first week, Oakley and Slater danced a salsa to In da Club by 50 Cent. They earned 12 points out of 30. In week two, they danced the cha-cha to Never Too Much by Luther Vandross. Their scores increased by a point from each judge for a total of 15.
Baskin saw progress, as well. In her premiere, she danced the Paso Doble to (what else?) Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. In week two, the Tiger King documentary subject danced to another feline-themed song — Tom Jones’ What’s New Pussycat? “That was a big improvement,” said Hough. The judges gave the couple 15 points for this week’s performance, a vast improvement from the 11 points they earned in week one.
Voting plays a huge role in keeping a couple on the show. Oakley and Slater had support from Drake, who has a massive amount of social media followers. “When the Drake, the GOAT posts about voting for your partner 🙌🏻 @champagnepapi (I’ll be back I’m just gunna lie down) ….” Slater posted. “@therealoak34 LISTEN TO DRAKE GUYS! Vote!!!!!!”
While Oakley and Slater had Drake’s backing, the judges were divided on which couple should stay. Inaba voted to keep Baskin and Pashkov. Tonioli voted to keep Charles and Emma. That left Hough, new to the judging table, as the tie-breaker. While he’s new to being a judge, he’s an expert at what it takes to be a DWTS pro, having won six (!) Mirror Ball Trophies over the course of the series. As the show was live (and running out of time), he had to quickly give his choice as to who he wanted to stay without being able to elaborate on why.
Based on her improvement, Hough opted to keep Baskin, but Oakley took the news like a true sportsman. “I had a blast!” he enthused on Instagram after being eliminated. “Now that was downright fun. Thank you for the experience, and to my great teacher and guide @theemmaslater — new friend of the Oakley family for life, thank YOU. @mrsoakley34 @charlesoakleyfoundation @dancingabc #dwts.”
Pashkov checked in with his followers on show night. “Did you guys watch?” he asked. “I hope we kept you entertained and put a smile on your face 😁😁😁 Thank you all for tuning in 🙏❤️ @dancingabc #dwts @carolebaskincat.”
“You looked so regal tonight!” chimed in Kate Flannery (The Office), Pashkov’s partner last season. “She’s much improved! ❤️.” Next week, Dancing With The Stars returns to its regular timeslot, Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC just in time for Disney week!