Dancing with the Stars’ Sailor Brinkley-Cook was sent home in tears last week in what can only be called an unexpected elimination. The Sports Illustrated model and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy were considered shoo-ins for the finale.
Of course, nothing in Dancing With the Stars is ever guaranteed. The show is known for its shocking eliminations, and each season sends home a celebrity before their time. Die-hards may recall Glee star (and professional dancer) Heather Morris meeting her untimely dismissal from the show in season 24. The world's most-decorated Olympian Simone Biles was also given her walking papers prior to the finale of that same season. Brinkley-Cook's presence on season 28 came as a replacement for mother Christie Brinkley, who was sidelined after breaking her arm in rehearsals. Since the accident, she has wowed the judges and the ballroom with her graceful moves. During Disney Week, Brinkley-Cook netted some of the highest scores of the night, earning three 8s for her efforts. What made her elimination particularly shocking is that she received a nearly perfect score of 27 out of 30 for dancing the jive earlier in the ill-fated October 21 broadcast.
Brinkley-Cook was eliminated from the show when the judges chose to save singer Ally Brooke from the bottom two. Carrie-Ann Inaba, who weighed in with her decision said:
"First of all, I'm shocked at this result right here that's happening. I have to make a choice and Sailor, tonight, I really felt like you came into your own tonight and you had a wonderful performance, but the couple I want to save is Ally and Sasha. You've proven yourself over and over again."
Although the audience was in shock, Chmerkovskiy seemed to take the elimination in stride. He did have to console his 21-year-old partner. Throughout her time on Dancing with the Stars, Brinkley-Cook admitted to suffering from low self esteem. She talked about doubting herself as a child. However, each week on the program, she really came into her own with confident interpretations of the assigned dances.
Sailor Brinkley-Cook had the perfect partner in Val Chmerkovskiy. Regardless of conspiracy theories, she also had the luck of being able to step into her mother's dancing shoes (and loyal fan base). Dancing With the Stars, however, makes no promise of a spot in the finale. Some of the greatest talents with outstanding rhythm and confidence have fallen prey to fickle viewers and unfair scores from the judges. Although it's disappointing not to see her continue in the competition, she's a talent that will surely return to the limelight in some other form very soon.