It was bye-bye to Bill Nye on Monday night's "Dancing With the Stars."
The popular science whiz -- who whizzed through the competition until he sustained a serious knee injury last week -- was eliminated from the show after his robot-themed Week 3 dance.
While withdrawing wasn't an option for the competitive 57-year old PBS icon, dancing from the waist up was. Nye didn't perform his dance in a wheelchair like his doc suggested, but he did make the most of his peg leg with a robotic jazz that was heavy on the upper body moves and skimpy on the actual jazz content. (It also included a hidden prop: a leg immobilizer.)
The judges didn't love the dance, but they praised Nye's incredible spirit. In the end, his low scores for the dance (he and pro partner Tyne Stecklein earned a mere 16 out of 30 points) were combined with last week's viewer votes to make him the lowest scorer of the week.
And now, some fans are crying foul over the Science Guy's premature elimination, according to Deadline.
The fact that Nye's loyal fans didn't have an opportunity to "save" him this week, has some fans complaining about the show's new voting system, which doesn't allow viewers to vote for their favorite contestants in time to keep them safe after a low-scoring performance.
In other words, with the new system fans have to think ahead and love their favorites every week, because there's no guarantees on how the next week's dance will pan out.
Nye seemed OK with his elimination, and even acknowledged that dancing from the waist up wouldn't cut it every week: "There's people here who are working so hard, who are so good, you see how they're improving each week," he said. "I'm not going to be able to keep up for that. What breaks my heart is Tyne's not going to be able to stay in."
In hindsight, Nye could have withdrawn from the competition and saved his torn knee ligament the extra strain, but his fellow contents gave him props for at least trying.
"It showed me a lot about the man," comedian Bill Engvall said. "I don't know that I could have done that. That's not a little injury, especially for guy's our age."
And the show's pros know from experience: "I was nervous," four-time mirrorball champ Derek Hough said. "I'm almost like 'Now he can take care of it.' Because the last think you'd want is for that to be a permanent injury."
And while Mark Ballas called Nye a "trooper," he added: "It's really hard to dance on a leg injury…the fact that he wanted to give it a go was awesome, and I thought he did a great job tonight. But he really needs to go take care of it now. Take some time, take care of it, do the therapy, do everything he can to avoid surgery."
"Dancing With the Stars" airs on Mondays at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.
More From This Contributor:
- Bill Nye