A Few ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Judges Didn’t Hold Back on Sean Spicer’s Last Dances
Late in Sean Spicer’s improbable Dancing With the Stars run, the former Trump administration official really began to stand out. Once half the contestants had been eliminated, the former Trump administration official found himself surrounded by much better dancers.
But wasn’t just Ally Brooke scoring perfect 10s or James Van Der Beek looking like he could probably dance professionally. It was the fact that Spicer had barely improved after months of one-on-one coaching by elite dancers and choreographers.
At that point, you couldn’t blame anyone who thought ABC had botched the voting system for Season 28. And you didn’t need anyone to explain why the show’s ratings had fallen. But to their credit, DWTS judges mostly kept their cool.
However, there was no escaping the brutal evaluations the judges handed down prior to Spicer’s November 11 elimination. Spicer’s opening tango fell below even his own graded-on-a-curve expectations.
From ‘clompy’ to ‘lacking’ to ‘can’t even comment on it’
After Spicer’s brisk routine of the Argentine tango, guest judge Joey Fatone (of NSYNC fame) was first to offer his feedback. “From the waist up, your frame was actually really good,” he said, prompting Bruno Tonioli to crack up at what sounded like a backhanded compliment.
In critiquing Spicer’s footwork, Fatone used the word “stompy,” which could describe Spicer’s entire run on the show. Tonioli was up next, and you could see him struggling to find a positive. “You’re trying very hard,” he began. “At this stage, you’re competing with people who are better than you — it’s obvious.”
After describing his dance as “an Argentine struggle,” Tonioli shouted down some boos from the audience. “I am talking the truth,” he said defiantly to the camera.
Carrie Ann Inaba also looked for positives. “I appreciate how much effort you put into this,” she said. But eventually she had to talk about how Spicer might improve. “What’s missing is the artistry,” she said, referring to Spicer’s awkward transitions, which she called “a little lacking.”
Len Goodman wasn’t amused by Spicer’s effort or execution. “The best thing about it: It wasn’t very long,” he quipped. “Just walkin’ about! Just a series of walking about, peregrination, and then a couple of flips of the [forearm] … no, I can’t even comment on it.”
Spicer scored even worse on his 2nd dance of the show
While Spicer got bad feedback across the board for his first dance, he did manage to get 26 total from the four judges. He actually scored lower on his second and final dance (a fox trot). Tonioli had quite the evaluation for Spicer.
“Well, I have to say, no surprises there! You’re definitely solid and consistent. And your technique definitely always goes in one direction — reverse, my darling,” Tonioli said, to howling laughter from the crowd.
This time around, Inaba mostly avoided talking about Spicer’s dancing, instead repeating how much she appreciates his heart and effort. Goodman was not as kind.
“It flowed, then it splattered,” he said (also to raucous laughter). “Then there was a couple of drips, then it flowed again, and somewhere in the middle it stopped completely.” Fatone, doing his best to stay positive, repeated how he loved Spicer’s dedication.
However, Fatone noted that it was time for Spicer “to step up.” Despite the various ways they spoke of Spicer’s dancing, all four judges gave Spicer a score of six, for a total of 24. So he was so far behind the others no audience vote (or Trump tweet) could save him.