12 Dancing with the Stars Moments We're Still Talking About
Including this season's shocking eliminations
The celebrity contestants and pro dancers always bring the drama on the Dancing with the Stars dance floor.
And sometimes, it continues when the music stops.
As fans (and the judges) reel from Simone Biles’s shocking elimination on Monday night’s season 24 semi-finals, we’re looking back at a few other conversation-worthy moments from DWTS seasons past.
Ryan Lochte protestors storm the stage.
Lochte joined the 23rd season of DWTS one month after he admitted to lying about being robbed at a gas station during the Rio Olympics. Few, however, expected that his appearance on DWTS would get quite the visceral reaction it did: Two protestors sporting “No Lochte” T-shirts made their way on stage when judge Carrie Ann Inaba was giving her feedback, yelling “He’s a liar!” before security removed the men from the stage. Pro Derek Hough helped remove four more protesters from the audience.
Marie Osmond faints.
Quite the “OMG” moment came when Osmond, a contestant on the show’s fifth season, dropped to the ground after fainting during the judges’ critiques. Afterwards, she explained the incident, saying: “I forgot to breathe.” While it threw everyone for a loop, it didn’t hurt her too much: Osmond came in third place in the competition.
Nyle DiMarco misses out on his earned 10s.
Getting a 10 on DWTS is a badge of honor – and not one contestants willingly give up. After a rave-review-receiving foxtrot to “Beautiful Day” by U2, DiMarco thought he had earned two 10s and one 9, and with good reason: those are the scores the judges showed on their paddles. However, the judges then write down the scores, and hand them to the producers – and that’s what counts. So though Bruno Tonioli gave him a 10 on the paddle, he only received a 9 on paper. DiMarco, for his part, was a good sport about the whole thing: “I have no idea what happened,” he said. “But I’m going to take it as a compliment. I still got two 9s and a 10.”
Bristol Palin’s appearance in the finals.
Palin wasn’t the best dancer on her season of DWTS, by a long shot. She repeatedly received some of the judges’ lowest scores, but managed to fend off elimination, which had many fans questioning the audience voting process, especially when she remained over Brandy, who consistently scored higher. ABC insisted that the voting wasn’t functioning differently from any other season, and many credited Palin’s success to vote campaigns by fans of her mother and family.
Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s treatment of Hope Solo.
In Solo’s book, Solo: A Memoir of Hope, she opened up about her time on DWTS, including some of the more controversial moments with her partner, Chmerkovskiy. Solo said that he was overly critical and at times, even physical in his poor treatment of her. “He was often nasty, swearing at me and being harshly critical,” she said. “He manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly.” She even said that he slapped her across the face at one point.
Chmerkovskiy denied the claims, but admitted that the two weren’t friends. “I don’t like her, and that’s the end of it,” he said.
That wasn’t the only drama to hit their partnership: Solo also suggested that the results of the show were fixed. At one point, she said a secret memo went around that said who was going home each week. “Maks later told me that he had argued with the judges because he had been told we were going to be eliminated, that there was some secret memo going around that said who would be ousted each week,” she wrote. “He explained that he wanted to cause some drama on the live portion of the show so that they wouldn’t be able to resist keeping us around, hoping for more fireworks. It seems to have worked – we weren’t eliminated that week.”
James Maslow’s elimination.
A fan favorite throughout the show’s 18th season (he earned the first perfect score!), Maslow’s elimination was a shock to fans, who booed when the news was announced. Fans then claimed that the Facebook voting was inaccurate, and sent votes to the wrong couple, which a rep for ABC denied. However, there was a slight issue: A “catching anomoly,” which ABC said affected a minimal amount of Facebook users.
Julianne Hough’s judging.
Hough graduated from pro dancer to judge in September 2014 for the show’s 19th season, a decision that drew criticism from her former fellow pro dancer, Karina Smirnoff, who said that it would be difficult for Hough to remain unbiased with her brother, Derek, on the dance floor. “I think she is a great girl, I’ve known her for many years,” Smirnoff said. “I think that she is wonderful, gorgeous, and talented, but I don’t know if it’s ethical that she is judging while her brother is competing.”
Hough, however, said that the familial ties would make her even tougher on Derek. She told Access Hollywood: “People are afraid about me judging my brother, but I’m going to be even harder on him.”
Cheryl Burke and Drew Lachey’s rumored affair.
In the second season of DWTS, Burke and partner Lachey’s chemistry lit up the dance floor – they ended up winning the Mirrorball. However, along the way, rumors of an alleged affair between Burke and the married Lachey began swirling. Both denied them, with Burke telling PEOPLE: “It’s absolutely absurd. It’s been hard. My heart goes out to Lea and Isabella.”
Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s love life.
Up until recently, Chmerkovskiy was DWTS‘s resident playboy. He dated fellow pro Smirnoff, and was rumored to have relationships with contestants such as Erin Andrews and Meryl Davis. However, his single days are over now: He’s engaged to and expecting his first child with fellow DWTS pro Peta Murgatroyd.
Karina Smirnoff and Mario Lopez’s relationship drama.
Smirnoff dated her season 3 partner, Lopez, and things got serious fast: they moved in together after just six months. But everything came to a screeching halt when Lopez admitted he had cheated on her. “He pretty much confirmed everything,” Smirnoff told PEOPLE after their split. “It felt like world came to an end for a second. I hit the ground, and I couldn’t get up. That was when all the little pieces came together in my head. You come to that realization that this is not what you want out of love and out of life, and this is not who you want to be with.”
Heather Morris’s early elimination.
Former Glee star and Beyoncé back-up dancer Morris was no dancing newbie — and was predicted by many (including PEOPLE!) to be the eventual Mirrorball winner. And after receiving the season’s first set of straight 10s from the judges, that outcome seemed likely. That is, until she and partner Maks Chmerkovskiy were shockingly in the bottom two — and then sent home. They were only the fifth couple to leave, and were eliminated before several other couples who had consistently scored worse throughout the competition. The announcement was met with gasps from the judges and boos from the audience.
When Simone Biles was sent home before the finals.
Olympic gymnasts have a track record of being standouts on Dancing with the Stars: Shawn Johnson and Laurie Hernandez both won the Mirrorball, and Aly Raisman and Nastia Liukin made it to the top. Biles did similarly well, making it to the semi-finals — but in a surprising turn, she was eliminated before the last episode. The looks on the judges’ faces were hard to ignore as Biles stood in the bottom two with former Chicago Cubs catcher David Ross, whom she had consistently outscored all season.
Dancing with the Stars airs Monday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC.