'Dancing with the Stars' Week 7 Elimination: What Destroyed Jaleel White?
'Dancing with the Stars' Week 7 Elimination: What Destroyed Jaleel White?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Jaleel White was rarely the best dancer on Dancing with the Stars season 14. But sometimes he was, and Jaleel was never the worst. Having beaten most of his remaining competitors at least occasionally, why was Jaleel White eliminated from Dancing with the Stars in week 7?

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He Was Off His Game

Jaleel White has been somewhat erratic in his Dancing with the Stars season 14 performances. While he and Kym tied for first place in two separate weeks of competition, the couple has landed right in the middle of the pack most other weeks.

In week 7, Jaleel had a bad week. His combined scores landed second from the bottom, only beating Melissa. With the competition so fierce, this was a terrible time to be off of his dancing game. This particular off-week led directly to elimination.

Bad Publicity

Jaleel was not, however, the lowest scorer in Dancing with the Stars week 7. That dishonor went to Melissa and Maks, a couple who received enough votes to avoid the Dance Duel and remain safe. Obviously, voters were not much help. And that can be blamed mainly on bad publicity.

Right at the beginning of the DWTS season, Jaleel White's ex accused him of abuse. Shortly thereafter, rumors surfaced that Jaleel had fought with professional partner Kym Johnson. The fight was allegedly bad enough that other dancers had to step in.

While no one at Dancing with the Stars ever corroborated this story in its entirety (if anything, those involved implied that it was no big deal), the damage was done. Voters nostalgic for '90s sitcoms were never likely to embrace a violent, bad-tempered dancer.

Eventually, the votes reflected this.

The Dance Duel

Hands up if you believe Roshon Fegan's obviously low voter support would have eliminated him by not, if not for the Dance Duel?

The young Disney star had to participate in two out of three Duels, coming out the winner each time. We'll never know if he would have been eliminated otherwise, but it's a definite possibility.

If that were the case in Dancing with the Stars week 7, when Roshon defeated Jaleel, the latter would have survived for another week. The Dance Duel may just have claimed another victim.

The Bizarrely Unstoppable Duo of Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy

By all logic, Melissa Gilbert should have been eliminated from Dancing with the Stars season 14 by now. That's not what has happened.

Instead, a parade of stars -- some deserving, some not-so-deserving -- have fallen prey to the Dance Duel while Melissa and Maks sit safely somewhere above the bottom two. How do they do it?

Honestly, I'm not sure. There are obviously some very dedicated fans voting for a pair that has rarely placed much above the bottom of the pack. One can only assume that the dedication comes from either love of Maksim Chmerkovskiy or nostalgia for the one-time Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie.

Fans have kept Melissa and Maks going despite some frightening statistics. When you consider overall averages for Dancing with the Stars season 14 scoring, Melissa Gilbert places 9th at 22.3 points. This does beat the averages for Gladys Knight (21.5), Gavin DeGraw (21.4) and Martina Navratilova (18.5), but it trails all of the others. Previously eliminated dancers like Jack Wagner (22.7) and Sherri Shepherd (22.8) performed better overall.

What about this week's eliminated dancer, Jaleel White? Jaleel's average score is 24.9 -- more than 2 points above Melissa and Maks.

It's too bad for Jaleel and Kym that this doesn't seem to matter much.

Should Jaleel and Kym have been eliminated? Who did you expect to go? Do you blame publicity, the dance duel, scores or something else? Leave your comments below!

(Image courtesy of ABC)


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