On the fourth week of the season 14 competition, actress Sherri Shepherd, or “Sweet Sherri” as Brooke Burke kept calling her (someone needs a drink), was eliminated along with her partner Val Chmerkovskiy. I’d wrongly assumed Sherri was a fan favorite due to her endearing personality and tendency to announce hilarious and obvious things like “I look like a big-ass baby” while wrapping her legs around Val’s waist during rehearsals. (I love that this will likely be my fondest memory of Sherri on Dancing With the Stars.)
As for that bottom two Dance Duel the judges teased last week, it’ll start up next Tuesday. Just as well, because the judges would have selected Roshon Fagan to stay over Sherri anyway.
So Sherri was “suddenly and rudely cut off — not unlike every time she tries to speak on The View,” said Jimmy Kimmel when the couple visited Live late Tuesday. The former blubbering mess was in much better spirits with all-new hair, makeup, and a hot pink dress for the late-night comedy stint — a challenge certainly more up her alley than Monday night’s tango.
The sobbing Sherri made me spout some tears of my own as soon as she choked up while talking to Tom as part of the bottom two. That evil mastermind Bergeron had relentlessly teased this week’s verdict (“It could provide the shock of the season!”) and commiserated with Brooke that this was “one of the most tense results shows we’ve had in a long time.” Heck, less than halfway through the episode he reminded the cast that the couple normally festering in jeopardy at the end of the results shows (Gavin DeGraw and Karina Smirnoff) and the couple who got injured (Melissa Gilbert and Maksim Chmerkovskiy) had already been announced safe. I’m surprised Sherri didn’t pass out, to be honest. And the Disney kid looked entirely unfazed by the situation, so basically the last two segments were Sherri Shepherd FREAKING THE F— OUT. I have to admit it made for great TV, as long as you’re a masochist.
Amidst the tears, Sherri had inspiring words for all of us: “That thing that scares you the most, that makes you say ‘I don’t know if I can do it, I’m scared’ — run towards it, because it’s so amazing on the other side.” I’m not sure that was a safe thing to suggest on a set where every few feet lies the terrifying promise of a random burst of fire — ROCK WEEK! — but it definitely made me cry. I’ve recently realized I am powerless against eliminated reality TV contestants. They cry, I cry. Doesn’t even matter if I liked ’em. But I do like Sherri.
NEXT: The Top 7 (seh-vehhhhhn!) moments of the results show