Johnny Weir Says 'DWTS' "Feels Like a Popularity Contest," Not a Dance Competition

Christy Piña
·3-min read

From Woman's Day

During his time on Dancing with the Stars, Johnny Weir received constant praise from the judges and even a few perfect scores. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get him to the finals. This past week, the former figure skater and his partner Britt Stewart were eliminated in a double elimination, along with Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten. And in a post-elimination interview, Weir shared that he wasn't happy with the results.

"It hurts a lot because it definitely feels like a popularity contest more so than a dance contest, but that's part of it," Weir told Us Weekly and other reporters after the show. "I knew what I was signing up for. I can say wholeheartedly that I would always prefer to be myself than be popular."

Despite the disappointing outcome, Weir said he had no regrets about his time competing for the Mirrorball trophy because he and Stewart always did what felt right for them in their performances throughout the season. He added that he hoped to have an impact on fans of DWTS, inspiring them to stay true to themselves, whether people liked it or not.

"I think so many people out there base their whole lives around how many followers they have or how many friends on Facebook they have or how popular they are at school or whatever the case may be," the Olympian told the reporters. "I just want to send the message out there to always be authentically yourself — people will like it, people will hate it, but be yourself, and that's the best you can do."

The judges also spoke to reporters after the semi-finals on Monday, and Bruno Tonioli agreed that Weir was wholeheartedly himself the entire season. "Technically, he's very, very good, and he made some very strong individual choices — he stuck to his belief, and it worked. It was beautiful," Tonioli told Us. "He really improved. And what he did, he remained himself, and he performed the way he believed he should have, and that is a very, very important stand. And if only two or three people believe in that and are touched by it, it's a great achievement regardless if you got kicked out."

Carrie Ann Inaba ran into Weir on his way out and told him that he probably had more of an impact on people with the creative choices he made than he may realize. "I really have a lot of respect for him," Inaba said. "He didn't take the easy way," Tonioli chimed in. "No, he did not," Inaba responded.

As for DWTS being a popularity contest? Judge Derek Hough agrees in a way, stating that America is "the fourth judge" in the competition. "I think Johnny and Britt absolutely could have been in the final, Skai and Alan could have been in the final. So, tonight was always going to be difficult no matter what, no matter which way you looked at it," Hough told Us. "Hopefully, Johnny will find solace in knowing that he left on a really high note. He left with grace and a really great performance."

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