Johnny Weir is reacting to his heartbreaking Dancing with the Stars elimination just one week before the Season 29 finals.
The 36-year-old Olympic skater and his pro partner, Britt Stewart, were sent home alongside Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten in a double elimination in the semifinals round of the celebrity ballroom competition.
Following the live broadcast on Monday night, Johnny revealed that he “knew” his days were numbered on the show for a couple of reasons.
“I knew I was done as soon as we finished the salsa,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m an athlete and very human and when you know you’ve lost, it’s a hard pill to swallow.”
Johnny added that by the time he did post-show interviews, he had been “crying for hours” after receiving one of the remaining couples’ lower scores following his “redemption” salsa with Britt.
The gold medalist revealed that he felt horrible over his elimination. While he said he had “no regrets” about any of his performances, Johnny noted that DWTS is as much a popularity contest as it is a dancing competition.
“I feel horrific….At the end of the day, it does come down to your scores from the judges as well as how the public sees you and if they choose to vote for you. Honestly, I would 100 times choose to be myself over being popular, and I think that that is a strong message that we have shown this whole competition.”
Longtime viewers know that Johnny broke boundaries on DWTS. For Icons Night, he styled himself as a woman by channeling late singer Amy Winehouse. He was reportedly the first male performer ever to style himself as a female on the American version of the show.
In addition, Johnny’s partner Britt was a new pro on Dancing with the Stars this season, so she didn’t come with a big, built-in fanbase like some of the other veteran dancers.
In the ET interview, Britt noted that she and Johnny were a “representation” on the TV dance-off. The choreographer admitted that sometimes when people push limits, it’s not what everyone wants to see.
“I completely agree that I would much rather be my authentic self with you than be popular,” Britt told Johnny.
On social media, fans agreed it is a shame that Dancing with the Stars has turned into a popularity contest. In the comments section to a post on Johnny’s Instagram page, seen here, followers wrote that they were devastated to hear Johnny and Britt’s names called as the first eliminated couple. Many felt the duo deserved to be in the Season 29 finale.