'Dancing with the Stars' By-the-Numbers: When the Highest Score Goes Home
'Dancing with the Stars' By-the-Numbers: When the Highest Score Goes Home
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The fifth week of Dancing with the Stars season 17 saw the first big shock as Christina Milian and Mark Ballas were eliminated. Not only was it shocking because of their remarkable skill, but they also scored the first 10 of the season and tied at the top of the leaderboard.

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Of course this season is slightly different because the leaderboard is combined with viewer votes from the previous week, so more than one performance is taken into account. However, being eliminated with the highest score of the night is a very hard pill to swallow.

It's also incredibly rare. In the history of the show, there have only been three other instances prior to the finale in which the couple with the highest score was also eliminated that week. And oddly enough, week 5 seems to be when it happens.

Here's the lowdown on the three other couples who have matched Christina Milian and Mark Ballas' infamous statistic.

Season 15: Sabrina Bryan and Louis van Amstel

Sabrina is, hands down, one of the unluckiest dancers to ever appear on the show. During the All-Stars season, she and her partner got the highest score in week 5, but due to the 2012 presidential election, there was no elimination and the totals were added to the scores in week 6. She also got the highest score in week 6, and her two-week total was 2 points higher than anyone else. Still, she was eliminated, not only having the highest total, but also having the best average score for the season up to that point.

And, in an unbelievably cruel twist of fate, Sabrina was eliminated in week 6 on October 30, 2012, which is five years to the day after she had an early exit in season 5, also in the sixth week.

Season 14: Maria Menounos and Derek Hough

Maria and Derek made it all the way to the Top 4, but that's where the journey ended as they were eliminated with the highest combined total of two dances with a 59. In all fairness, the other couples posted 58, 57 and 56, so it was incredibly close. It's still a black mark on Derek's DWTS record, as it's the only time in his last six appearances he didn't make it to the finale.

Season 3: Willa Ford and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

Seven years ago, a precedent was set that is eerily similar to the current situation of Christina and Mark. Willa, another relatively unknown pop star, tied at the top of the leaderboard in week 5, just like Christina did, but was then eliminated anyway. And for the first 13 seasons of the show, Willa had that dubious distinction all by herself.


Being eliminated with the highest score is one of the rarest things to do on Dancing with the Stars. It's a clear sign that the viewers just don't respond to someone. The fact that it's only happened four times (all women and three of them pop stars) should be a warning to any other young female singers hoping to join DWTS in the future.


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(Image courtesy of ABC)

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