Although Heather Mills’s paso doble this week landed her in the bottom two for the second week in a row, her elimination on Tuesday’s Dancing with the Stars shocked the audience, judges, and contestants alike.
The one person who wasn’t surprised? Mills herself. After it was announced that she was going home, she pulled out a piece of paper she’d tucked in her top and began rattling off names of people she wanted to thank, prompting host Tom Bergeron to ask her why she came so prepared.
“We knew we were going home this week,” she said. “I knew from the scores last night. I knew there was no way we could get out of this unless the judges gave us nines last night, and they didn’t give us nines.”
After practicing non-stop into the wee hours of the morning and flying back and forth between the U.S. and her native England, one would think Mills, 39, would be slightly relieved to get a break. “Not at all,” she said. “I have enjoyed every single second.”
And she’s going home knowing that she gave it her all. “[Partner] Jonathan [Roberts] told me this week that I did really good, and that made me feel so proud,” she said. “We did a great paso doble. I am really going to miss working with him.”
“She is wonderful – she was doing so great,” said fellow contestant Joey Fatone, who was surprised by her elimination. “I give her a lot of credit for getting up there every week and doing it.”
“What she has done is amazing,” added judge Bruno Tonioli. “She has been able to take on something that was never thought possible. She was so wonderful that you almost forgot that she had an artificial limb. She had to work harder than anybody else. I think she deserved to stay on.”
(Mills, who lost part of her leg in a 1993 motorcycle accident, was the first-ever Dancing contestant with an artificial limb.)
The ABC dance-off continues on Monday with its remaining six celebrity hoofers: Billy Ray Cyrus, Ian Ziering, Joey Fatone, Laila Ali, John Ratzenberger and Apolo Anton Ohno.