Dancing with the Stars: Athletes is only in its second week, but it is also already the halfway point of the all-athletes season. That means the stars—in this case, world-class athletes—were doing double duty in Week 2 as they performed both solo and team dances. In the end, two Milwaukee basketball icons were sent home.
Retired NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was partnered with last season’s winning pro dancer Lindsay Arnold, pulled off a supersized salsa, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the competition. Kareem and Lindsay got a little help from a friend (Dancing with the Stars troupe member and Derek Hough girlfriend Hayley Erbert) to help Lindsay rise to the occasion, but the couple still fell short in the scores department, earning 26 out of 40 points.
Notre Dame hoops star Arike Ogunbowale fared better with DWTS pro Gleb Savchenko— their foxtrot scored a total 33 out of 40 points, but the audience vote wasn’t strong enough to save them.
At the end of the two-hour live show, Kareem and Arike, who both have ties to Milwaukee (Kareem played for the Milwaukee Bucks and Arike grew up in Milwaukee and graduated high school there) were sent packing.
According to People, after the eliminations were announced, Arike Ogunbowale told Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron, “It was fun while it lasted.”
Meanwhile, Dancing with the Stars pro dancer Lindsay Arnold, who won the mirrorball trophy last season with actor-singer Jordan Fisher, posted to Instagram to praise Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s efforts on the dance floor.
“Well that was FUN!!!!” Arnold wrote of the couple’s salsa dance. “So proud of my @kareemabduljabbar_33 he absolutely killed it and also beyond proud and grateful for the real MVP of our salsa @hayley.erbert for literally dancing blindly with me on her shoulders!!”
Fans had mixed reactions to the early Dancing with the Stars eliminations. Many viewers agreed that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wasn’t the best dancer in the competition, but others were sad to see the legendary basketball star go. A few fans also pointed out that Arike Ogunbowale can now concentrate on her college finals at Notre Dame without juggling Dancing with the Stars rehearsals.
kareem was really out here doing the bare minimum and didn't even hold down the scores,, that's talent— dance10dwts (@dance10dwts) May 8, 2018
I mean, they literally choreographed Kareem to stand still for pretty much the whole dance... #DWTS— Alfie Sheldon (@AlfieS12) May 8, 2018
Ah the irony... Arike Ogunbowale finally has time to do #DWTS after this finals week, and now she doesn't get to come back ????— Kelli Lawrence (@KLBSt8ofSk8) May 8, 2018
With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Arike Ogunbowale now out of the running for the mirrorball trophy, the remaining athletes competing on the Dancing with the Stars mini-season are Tonya Harding, Josh Norman, Chris Mazdzer, Adam Rippon, Mirai Nagasu and Jennie Finch Daigle.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.