Johnny Weir on His 'DWTS' Departure: 'This Didn't End the Way We Wanted It To'

Johnny Weir Britt Stewart DWTS
ABC/Eric McCandless

Olympic ice-skater Johnny Weir and actress Skai Jackson fell short of advancing to the Dancing With the Stars finals after they were voted off the show Monday, November 16, following the semi-final competition.

Jackson’s departure came when the judges opted to save Justina Machado (One Day at a Time) and her pro, Sasha Farber.

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Six couples are left, and three have received perfect scores so far.

TV Insider spoke to the performers and judges after the live broadcast.

“I’m just really proud of myself so, it’s a win for me,” Jackson said.

This has been a wonderful journey and it’s been enlightening and fruitful and inspiring and boundary-pushing and all the things I wanted Dancing With the Stars to be,” Weir said after the show.

Dancing With the Stars Semi-finals November 2020

ABC/Eric McCandless

He, added, however, that he felt frustrated that he earned a perfect score of 30 in one of his dances, as did Jackson, and was still sent packing. “Of course, this didn’t end the way we wanted it to or the way we envisioned,” the ice skater said. “It definitely feels like a popularity contest more so than a dance contest, but that’s a part of it. I knew what I was signing up for.

“I can say wholeheartedly that I would always prefer to be myself over being popular,” he continued. “So many people out there base their lives around how many Facebook followers they have.”

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The judges weighed in on Weir’s frustrations that votes do play a part in the competition. “I’ve always said the fourth judge is America,” judge Derek Hough said. “It’s been a close competition. Johnny and Britt [Stewart] definitely could have been in the finals. Skai and Alan [Bersten], too. [This week’s show] was going to be difficult no matter what.”

While it may be frustrating to do well and still be sent home, Hough suggested that it beats the alternative. “There’s nothing worse than falling over, getting a bad score, and then you go home,” the freshman judge noted. “Hopefully, Johnny will find solace in that he left on a really high note.”

DWTS Semi-Finals November 2020

ABC/Eric McCandless

“I saw Johnny [as he was] on the way out,” shared judge Carrie Ann Inaba. “I told him he may have made more of an impact on people than he realized.”

Nelly, who advances to the finals with first-time pro dancer Daniella Karagach, weighed in on how fan votes helped propel him to next week’s finale. (Nelly and Karagach also earned a perfect score for one of their dances last night.)

“My fan base played a significant role," Nelly said. "They have since I’ve been on this show. We wouldn’t be here without my fans.”

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC