In a shock development on Dancing with the Stars SA, silver screen star Juanita de Villiers had to bid the competition farewell tonight [25 March] after she found herself in the elimination Dance-Off with the gentleman of the competition, model and soap star Eden Classens. Judge Bryan Watson said he was flabbergasted to see these two in the Bottom 2 after the results of the public vote were revealed.
Only six couples performed for the judges tonight, with actress Zola Nombona benched due to an ankle injury. The series’ medical practitioner made the call after the final rehearsal this morning that Zola was unfit to participate in the show tonight due to inflammation of the tendons in her ankle. Zola was in tears about having to sit out this week, “but we will roll with it”, she said bravely, wishing the other six contestants the best of luck.
As Zola did not compete tonight, viewers were not able to cast any votes for her. The votes they did cast – added to judges Bryan Watson, Debbie Turner and Tebogo Kgobokoe’s scores – landed Juanita and Eden in the Bottom 2 Dance-Off tonight. The judging panel was also a member short this week, with Jason Gilkison jetting off to London to direct and choreograph a West End show in London.
Both Juanita and Eden performed an American Smooth routine this evening, and the judges visibly paid attention to every move they made as they danced for their lives in the show. A shocked Bryan Watson declared that both couples deserved to stay on Dancing With The Stars SA. That said, he had to make a choice, and “on the timing alone” he elected to keep Eden and Ash-Leigh in the competition for one more week. Fellow judges Debbie Turner and Tebogo Kgobokoe concurred with Bryan’s opinion. “Eden and Ash-Leigh’s performance was actually better,” judge Tebogo explained.
Juanita de Villiers entered Dancing With The Stars SA on a high note, with rave reviews week in and week out. “You danced like someone who’s been dancing for a long time,” an impressed Tebogo Kgobokoe told her after her debut Cha-Cha-Chá in Week 2. Her Quickstep in Week 3 convinced Bryan Watson that Juanita had what it takes to go far in the competition, and by the Paso Doble in Week 4, Debbie Turner commented that she had turned in “an outstanding performance”.
The high praise continued for Juanita in Week 5, as tough judge Tebogo felt that even Juanita herself didn’t realise how good she was, and Debbie Turner raved that Juanita’s Jive in Week 6 was one of the best performances of the entire season.
The actress was gracious in her defeat. “This was such an amazing journey,” Juanita revealed after the shock revelation. “And I can’t thank everybody enough. Every single hour and day with Johan was wonderful,” she praised her partner. “Thank you to everyone who voted – it was a wonderful journey,” she said.
The vote count and ranking of contestants is done according to the international format rules and was independently computed by Deloitte and Touche and confirmed against the vote results determined by M-Net.
Dancing again next week [1 April] will be:
Radio host and former Miss SA Liesl Laurie and her partner, Ryan Hammond,
Screen and stage personality Frank Opperman and his partner, Jeanné Swart,
Television actress Zola Nombona and her partner, Tebogo Mashilo,
Actor and model Eden Classens and his partner, Ash-Leigh Hunter,
Protea Netball Goal Shooter Vanes-Mari du Toit and her partner, Johannes Radebe,
And singer and songwriter Connell Cruise and his partner, Marcella Solimeo.
Viewers have to register at mnet.tv/dwtssavote to participate in the live Dancing With The Stars SA voting. Voting registration opened again at 20:30 tonight and will close at 16:30 on Sunday, 1 April, ahead of the next live episode. Viewers only need to register once to be able to vote in every episode of the season.