It looked as if Kendra Wilkinson was the next one to go on Dancing with the Stars but it was actually the good-natured Sugar Ray Leonard — who Carrie Ann Inaba accused of jogging during his Viennese waltz on Monday — who was sent home on Tuesday.
After the show, Leonard admitted that his ouster was completely unexpected since he woke up that morning feeling “extremely positive,” despite earning only 21 out of 30 points Monday. (Wilkinson, in comparison, earned a mere 18).
“Being a fighter, there’s a part of me that’s screaming,” Leonard told reporters afterwards. “No question about it. I’m screaming inside. But I’m also a gracious loser if you will. I’ve had the most phenomenal experience ever with a show that I was totally afraid of. I’ve met friends, met an incredible staff and a wonderful lady who taught me what I thought I couldn’t be taught. I had a great time. I progressed. I was getting better. Last night, I went home. I had TiVo’d my performance and I was screaming. Then you come here and this happens, but you know what? That’s life.”
“Such a bummer,” added his partner Anna Trebunskaya. “We had improvement and a great performance this week. We gave it our all. We tried our best. It was honorable and very well done. It wasn’t like we messed up. You go up and down.”
Wilkinson, meanwhile, was clearly relieved that she survived to dance another week and was especially happy to “feel the love” from the audience. “I gave my husband a kiss and at the same time I looked up at all my fans and I gave them a kiss,” she said after the show. “I want them to know that I appreciate them and they are the reason why I’m here. They’re the ones that are bringing that happiness up and giving me that drive.”
The reality star admitted that Inaba’s comments Monday about her being afraid to be elegant were pretty harsh. “That ate me up alive,” Wilkinson said. “It just didn’t work with me [but] I’m not afraid of elegance. By the way, we all have our own definition of elegance. I have my own definition. Elegance is what my husband Hank sees, not what Carrie Ann sees. That’s what I care about.”
So does Wilkinson care about how she comes off to the audience? During Monday’s rehearsal package, she pretended to barf when she heard her music and then whined, “I thought we were over our little ballroom dancing.” But her partner Louis Van Amstel said that viewers aren’t experiencing the real Kendra. (During her interview with Brooke Burke Monday, Wilkinson admitted that she grew to love the music).
“In the package I was really disappointed because I know how much she cares about the whole process,” said Wilkinson. “I was surprised that I suddenly felt like so angry at the situation — not at her, because what she puts out, that America thinks oh she doesn’t care, she’s blowing it off. I know how much she cares.”
As for Leonard, the ex-pro fighter is already looking beyond the mirror ball: He’s got a book called “Big Fight” coming out June 7! As for Trebunskaya, she said she’s coming back next week to dancing to one of the visiting performers. Toby Keith, perhaps? “I don’t think I’m supposed to say who,” she says. “Jonathan and I are coming back to do a very patriotic dance.” — With reporting from Carrie Borzillo
I dance like a butterfly but don’t sting like a bee. Follow me @EWLynette