Dancing with the Stars fans are upset over the elimination of Backstreet Boys performer AJ McLean and his professional partner Cheryl Burke just one week shy of the Season 29 semifinals. The duo ended their journey on the ballroom floor after an “Icons Night” tribute to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury where they performed a Viennese Waltz and a dance-off with a Jive against Olympian Johnny Weir.
Fans shared their feelings in the comments section of an Instagram post by the series that featured the dancing twosome.
“Yooooo poor AJ man. he gives it his all & I felt so bad for him. Awwww,” exclaimed a second viewer.
“So sad. That this wasn’t his best dance. Also, the judges are being so harsh on him,” penned a third Instagram user.
“I think he messed up because of the pressure and everything. They all had to learn two dances and it’s overwhelming. Before you guys start hating on the couple, try going through what they are experiencing right now dancing in front of live tv and everything. AJ and Cheryl did a wonderful job we love them and I support them,” remarked a fourth fan.
The couple exited the ballroom after finding themselves in the bottom two alongside their dance-off partners Johnny and Britt Stewart. AJ was awarded two extra judge’s points for his efforts in a dramatic, side-by-side Jive battle. However, it was up to judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, and Bruno Tonioli to save AJ and advance him toward the semifinals. Carrie Ann and Bruno chose to save Johnny while Derek voted for the Backstreet Boys superstar.
“You know what, this has been one hell of a ride and I could not have picked a better partner to go on this journey with,” AJ told viewers in a clear statement of affection toward Cheryl after his elimination.
This stunning turn of events came after the popular couple, who also hosts a podcast titled Pretty Messed Up, performed to Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” AJ revealed that his favorite icon was the Queen frontman. Cheryl remarked she saw a similarity between her partner and the music legend. He responded how much Freddie was an inspiration in his career due to his talent, showmanship, and dedication to always giving the band’s fans the best show possible.
AJ’s costume was a nod to one of the most iconic looks worn by the legendary performer. He wore a pair of white pants that had an accent of gold and burgundy stripes down the legs. That was paired with a white tank top. Over that, AJ added a yellow, military-style jacket with gold stripes across the chest.