With the semifinals just a week away, there was no denying former NFL star Kurt Warner and his partner Anna Trebunskaya had their sights set on that elusive Dancing With the Stars mirror ball trophy. The couple even had one of their best nights of the competition with Monday’s performance show and were awarded 24 out of 30 for their waltz and 24 for their instant cha cha cha.
But with frontrunners Brandy and Jennifer Grey tying for top place on the leaderboard, and Kurt’s closest scoring couple being Bristol Palin and Mark Ballas, it was Bristol’s fans who rallied to vote her through another week, leaving Kurt and Anna the last couple standing as their elimination was announced, continuing the theme of this season: dance well and you are eliminated. “Gosh it was unfair,” joked Kurt after the show. “We all think it’s unfair when we get kicked off.”
Given Kurt had zero dance training when he joined the show, he and Anna could not be prouder of how long he lasted. “I am so proud of Kurt and what he achieved,” Anna tells In Touch. “He was an amazing student and did everything I wanted him to do.”
“We felt for a long time we should have gotten better scores than we did,” adds Kurt. “So you are disappointed and a little biased, but there are so many things that go into this and at this point I am just glad it’s me and not one of these other guys.”
While everyone on the show will miss Kurt, he and Anna will dance again at the finale in two weeks. But in the meantime, Kurt is looking forward to whatever new ventures come his way and couldn’t be more thankful for his DWTS experience. “This show is all about jumping into new challenges and proving to yourself you can accomplish the unexpected. And for me that is what life is going to be from here on out,” he smiles.
For more with Kurt and Anna, click here.
Kurt Warner and Anna Trebunskaya
Eliminated: November 9
Q: Do you think this elimination is unfair?
Kurt: Gosh it was unfair (laughs). We all think it’s unfair when we get kicked off. We felt for a long time we should have gotten better scores than we did, so you are disappointed, and a little biased, but there are so many things that go into this and at this point I am just glad it’s me and not one of these other guys. It sucks, someone has to go home, as everyone has worked so hard, but the great thing for me is I came on this show to have a great time and experience and winning wasn’t a part of why I did it. So it’s pretty easy for me to walk away with the great things I acquired on the show and move on to the next thing in life.
Q: What will you take away from the show and use in life now?
Kurt: The biggest thing I learned is that for so long I played football and was good at it. Then I retired and thought, “Oh my gosh, what’s next?” Can I do anything else and do it well? This show is all about jumping into new challenges and proving to yourself you can accomplish the unexpected. And for me that is what life is going to be from here on out. There is nothing else I am really good at, so I am going to have to acquire those things like I did with football so many years ago. To me this show is a microcosm of 10 weeks of doing something else and you have to embrace it, see what you can do with it and I think we did great. I am excited about the next step and doing it with something else.
Q: Is there any consolation in knowing you outlasted Rick Fox - the Laker guy?
Kurt: None at all. This is not a competition and while everyone wants to make it about that, it’s not. This is about a bunch of people who choose to take on a challenge and are wiling to accept whatever comes with that, We are all proud of one another as we are in the same boat – that’s the difference. If we all started at the same level and were really good, it would be a competition. But because we all just kind of fell into the water, it’s more about cheering each other and building relationships and watching the other people do the same thing you are trying to do.
Q: What are you looking forward to being able to do now?
Kurt: Just spend more time with my family. A big reason why I retired and the biggest sacrifices of the show is giving that time up and feeling like you are neglecting some of those things.
Q: Who do you think will take the mirror ball trophy now?
Kurt: That’s the crazy thing about this competition, there is always that x-factor. If it comes down to dancing, either Jennifer Grey or Brandy. Those are the most experienced and have danced most consistently and the best throughout the show, so they have to be the frontrunners. But Kyle is a tremendous entertainer and that is a big part of the show. I love Bristol and she has done tremendously. She’s grown so much and I am probably as proud of her as anyone in the cast.
Q: What will you miss most about Anna?
Kurt: I’ll miss a friend; you never really know what’s going to come about when you first meet and have to dance. But when you spend six hours a day together you have a special, unique bond. I am going to miss laughing with her and the experiences we had. The little jokes we developed over the weeks. It was comfortable and you got used to it. It’s a friendship that will last a long time. When you get back to everyday life, who knows how often I’ll get to see her, but that is what I will miss the most.