Dancing with the Stars: shocking (but not shocking) week 3 elimination

Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel pose in a promo image for Dancing with the Stars season 31
Cheryl Ladd and Louis Van Amstel on Dancing with the Stars season 31 (Image credit: Disney Plus)

They say all’s fair in love and ballroom dancing. However, when a contestant wows the judges, doesn’t land on the bottom of the leaderboard and still goes home, well, it’s upsetting to say the least. Week 3 on Dancing with the Stars season 31 was set to a James Bond theme and this time around it was former Charlie’s Angels star Cheryl Ladd and her partner Louis Van Amstel who were shaken and stirred in a shocking elimination. 

Cheryl and Louis landed in the bottom two in week 2 after their tango failed to ignite the judges; to be fair, though, they took the judges’ advice to push harder in week 2 and ended up pushing too far early in the competition. That earned them some sympathy and a second chance as New Jersey Housewife Teresa Giudice was sent packing with her partner Pasha Pashkov after they landed in the bottom two for the second week in a row. 

Jumping ahead to week 3, though, Cheryl and Louis’ elimination was a total shocker because they weren’t at the bottom of the leaderboard. Their rumba this week earned them a score of 24/40 as well as praise from Derek Hough, who said it was her "best dance" thus far, adding: "That couldn’t have gone better. You look absolutely beautiful, by the way. Let’s go, Cheryl!"

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At the bottom of the leaderboard was Jersey Shore's Vinny Guadagnino and his partner Koko Iwasaki, who earned a 23/40 for their rumba set to "Thunderball." Despite his Las Vegas residency with Chippendales, Vinny earned some criticism from the judges who urged him to train harder to be ready for week 4. 

By the end of the live show on Disney Plus, it was Cheryl and Louis in the bottom two with weatherman Sam Champion and Cheryl Burke, who earned a 25/40 for their samba. Despite receiving praise for her performance, Cheryl was sent home. 

Dancing with the Stars is one part competition and one part popularity contest; but it’s not an even 50-50 split if you catch our meaning. There’s no question that Vinny eked out another chance to dance because of the Jersey Shores fans voting for him. 

After 31 seasons of Dancing with the Stars, fans know that the best dancer doesn’t always win in the end, making Cheryl Ladd’s elimination sting just a little bit more. She was dancing admirably, showing improvement and making a statement about a woman in her 70s facing her fears and wowing the crowd with her skills. 

Unfortunately, the voting system tips the scales against the less popular couples — even when they are dancing well — in favor of dancers like 18-year-old TikTok star Charli D'Amelio and her five million followers who can drive the votes. (In fairness, Charli is a great dancer, but the issue here is the matter of voting and fairness)

Naturally, fans had some thoughts upon Cheryl Ladd’s elimination.

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Dancing with the Stars airs live on Mondays at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on Disney Plus.  

Sarabeth Pollock
Editorial Content Producer


Sarabeth joined the What to Watch team in May 2022. An avid TV and movie fan, her perennial favorites are The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, true crime documentaries on Netflix and anything from Passionflix. You’ve Got Mail, Ocean's Eleven and Signs are movies that she can watch all day long. She's also a huge baseball fan, and hockey is a new favorite.  

When she's not working, Sarabeth hosts the My Nights Are Booked Podcast and a blog dedicated to books and interviews with authors and actors. She also published her first novel, Once Upon an Interview, in 2022.