In recent weeks, having some of your best dances and highest scores on Dancing With the Stars means the kiss of death in the competition. Both Florence Henderson and Audrina Patridge succumbed to elimination even though they weren’t the lowest scorers of the week and were coming off of successes, and this week the tradition continued with Rick Fox and partner Cheryl Burke’s shocking elimination.
With the couple receiving 37 points out of a possible 40 for their quick-step (plus an addition 24 points for their group dance), the couple tied second on the leaderboard with 61 out of a possible 70. Still, it was not enough to save them after the viewer votes revealed fellow competitors Bristol Palin and Kyle Massey (who both scored lower) would dance again next week.
“This is the most shocking elimination I have been through in ten seasons,” Cheryl said after the news. “It just shows you that you really need to vote, as no one is safe.” “It’s now happened with Florence and Audrina,” added Rick.
After proving to America that he could dance, Rick leaves the show a very different man, according to girlfriend Eliza Dushku, who tells In Touch, “I have seen him in make-up and eyeliner. He’s played every role, it’s like he is Dollhouse, every week he is someone else. On a personal level, there was a level of commitment and a perfectionist drive. We are a lot alike in that respect and that made me all the more proud of him. He worked so hard and I have seen a lot of new sides to him that I like.”
Rick and Cheryl are looking forward to dancing again at the show’s finale in November, but until then it’s family and a few business commitments that will be filling his time. “I’m looking forward to going to see my daughter’s basketball games and swim meets,” laughs the family man.
For more with Rick and Cheryl click here.
Rick Fox and Cheryl Burke
Eliminated: November 2
What did you learn about yourself by doing the show?
Rick: It’s a very demanding experience. When you have a life that is structured and flowing along and it’s disrupted, in a positive way like this has been in so many different ways, it challenges you to step up. I have had to step up as a performer, learn dances and also how to be in communication in different ways with my daughter, girlfriend and business partners outside of this experience. It’s made me a stronger person and my relationships stronger across the board.
Are you leaving a changed man?
Rick: There is a side of me as a professional athlete that is very closed and shut down and also very controlling. Perfectionism is a trait of mine and the microscope I can pull out and analyze things with was something Cheryl fought for me to put down, even for a few minutes. I felt like we did that in the quick-step. It took seven weeks but we did it and that is something I get to take moving forward - that it’s okay not to have full control.
Cheryl: It was amazing to see and just this week that we came together. This was the best dance and we actually had fun. We let everything go and didn’t worry about the technique – we just had fun. I feel like this was his breakthrough week and we got amazing scores.
What are you going to miss most?
Rick: I’ll miss the new dance on Wednesday and the fresh new struggles and challenges. Just the week passing and getting more confidence to be excited for the show on Monday. And the time together, getting to know Cheryl more and our relationship as friends. Just being here with the other contestants and pro-dancers, getting to know them and rooting for them. Even the team dancing! That took me back to days as an athlete and that’s one of my fondest memories.
Is there anything you could have done differently?
Cheryl: Absolutely not. We did the best we could and there is nothing I would take back. It was his best night and our best night. It’s better to go out like this - on top.
What are you looking forward to getting back to doing?
Rick: I’m looking forward to going to see my daughter’s basketball games and swim meets. Work out again and see a basketball game. Just the little things that are part of my everyday life, though it will be sad not to be here.
Do you feel like you accomplished everything you set out to do on the show?
Rick: That has so shifted. It started off with, “I am going to win” and that was the athlete competitor in me that had to compete. I saw where that got me and what I was missing out on – the true joy of this experience is expressing yourself through dance and I think I got that a couple of weeks ago, then really hit it last night. Maybe America just saw me as the athlete to beat.
Will you continue to dance and what’s next?
Rick: Why not? Only the dancing will be in a different form and I’ll get the chance to do it again at the finale in a few weeks. I put some business matters on pause that will pick up. There is some stuff happening in February. Getting eliminated may be perceived as a negative experience but, we need to say good-bye, too. For now, I am just trying to stay in this moment.
Cheryl: I’ll be back for results shows in the next few weeks and I have my book coming out on February 14, so I am preparing for that. It’s called Dancing Lessons, a memoir related to dance.