Fast feet on the football field do not equal smooth moves on the dance floor, at least not according to the voting public.
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Keyshawn Johnson became the first celebrity eliminated from Season 17 of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars” Monday night, after the 6-foot-4 former receiver displayed moves that judge Bruno Tonioli compared to “the Empire State Building trying to be a Rockette.”
Johnson and comic Bill Engvall were in the bottom two, facing elimination based on their cha-chas from last week's season premiere and the audience votes on Monday's performance. It was Johnson, along with his professional partner Sharna Burgess, who came up short in the votes.
“For a guy that's never even bobbed his head in a car, I think the fact that I could have the experience to dance and learn what dancing is all about, and Sharna teaching me is something amazing to me,” Johnson said after finding out he'd been eliminated. “I don't really care at this point about whether we win or lose. It's just the fact that I had the opportunity to learn from her. I think she's an amazing choreographer and her time will come. I wish I could have done more to help her out.”
Before the eliminations were announced, all of the cast danced new routines as part of “Latin night.” One couple will be eliminated based on those performances next week.
Among the contestants moving on in the competition is actress Leah Remini, the former “King of Queens” star who had a much-publicized break from Scientology this year. Remini opened up to her dancing partner, Tony Dovolani, about the religion on Monday night's show.
“The church is looking for me to fail so they can say to their parishioners, 'Look what happens when you leave,' ” Remini said in footage from a practice session. “They're waiting for me to fail.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday nights at 8 on ABC.