Dancing with the Stars announced a surprising elimination on Tuesday night, as 'N Sync singer Joey Fatone was ruled out of the competition for his quickstep with dancing partner Kym Johnson. His fellow cast mates were genuinely saddened at his exit after the show.
"We're going to miss Joey 'cause he was the life of the party," said professional dancer Derek Hough alongside his partner Shawn Johnson. "He is the jokester. He is the guy at rehearsals joking around with everybody; always has a smile on his face; always has good energy. It's a blow to all of us."
Each of Fatone's fellow cast mates spoke highly of him and his humor around the rehearsal studio, which they felt helped ease the tension and create a better atmosphere on the show.
"I think he was the fan-favorite among us," said former NFL cheerleader Melissa Rycroft. "He made everybody smile during practice and during the shows. He kind of kept everybody even-keel. When you were getting nervous, Joey was the one that came in and made some inappropriate joke that lightened the mood."
The elimination was surprising not only because Fatone was a favorite among the cast and fans, but primarily because of his scores the previous night. Monday night's average was score was slightly below 25 and Fatone's 22.5 was matched by two other dancers, with three dancers receiving lower scores.
"Everybody's sad. It's a big shock," Olympic speed skater Apollo Ohno said. "We didn't know who was going home, but you definitely don't think Joey's going home 'cause he's so entertaining. We all love Joey. He's an amazing guy."
While his cast mates were saddened to no longer have the adored singer and actor on the show, Fatone didn't seem fazed by the elimination and ensured that he had achieved his preliminary goal of having fun on the show.
"I think the world is," he said with a smile when told that his cast mates were saddened by his elimination, "but...you roll with the punches and you have fun with it...That's what we came here to do. We came here to entertain and have fun."
Dancing with the Stars is in for more drama next week, when it will eliminate two contestants. Tune in on Monday at 8 p.m. on ABC.