The first night of “Dancing with the Stars” Season 29 was full of tiger stripes and claws. Carole Baskin received the lowest score of the night.
Warning: Spoiler alert for “Dancing With the Stars” second elimination.
“Dancing With the Stars” Week 3 was Disney Night, which should have been filled with great outfits, joy and ABC-Disney corporate synergy.
Yet, there was something dark on the dance floor Monday night, as the judges took the gloves off for “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin’s attempts at dancing. And if you guessed that the animal activist danced to the “The Lion King,” you were not alone.
Of course she did, in a resplendent lion costume, which earned judges’ raves.
Here’s what went down:
Carole Baskin scratched from ‘DWTS’ after ‘Lion King’ mishap
Baskin was pulling out all the stops in Week 3, after barely surviving an elimination in Week 2 that came down to Derek Hough’s final vote in her favor.
During her preview, Baskin got teary talking about saving big cats, her pet project. Of course, her “Lion King” costume was sublime. But the samba with pro Pasha Pashkov to “Circle of Life” nearly broke the circle.
“I am stunned. I have never ever seen a samba like this,” roared judge Bruno Tonioli. “You just walked through it. You cannot sleepwalk through it.” Tonioli gave the dance a lowly 3 score.
Judge Carrie Ann Inaba could only point out that Baskin showed “beautiful hands. It was lacking most of the other things.” She awarded a 5.
Hough sidestepped hard criticism, giving a “10 for costume, hair and makeup” and a 4 score. Baskin’s total tally of a 12 left her in a serious situation.
When tallied with the final votes, Baskin and fellow contestant, actress Anne Heche were in ejection jeopardy. The final decision went to the judges, and there was not much doubt which way it would go this week.
Even the ever-politic Hough couldn’t come to the animal rescue for the second week. “Unfortunately, I cannot save you,” he said. He voted to save Heche.
Tonioli was next, and that was obvious. “I have to do my job,” he said, voting to save Heche.
Ever-positive, Baskin never stopped smiling, even after her elimination.
“My husband is going to be so happy I’m coming home,” she said, after hugging her partner.
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