Of course John predicted it right, but I'm sure no saw it coming. Natalie Coughlin became the sixth person eliminated from Dancing with the Stars (seventh, if you count Tom DeLay), and in the process, her elimination marks the earliest exit for an individual Olympic gold medalist since the show's 2005 debut. Three former Olympians - Speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and gymnast Shawn Johnson - won their respective seasons. There were other Olympians who did worse, but they were of the team variety.
What does this mean?
For one, it means Natalie Coughlin - or any celeb on Dancing, for that matter - definitely need to smile more. There is nothing particularly horrible about her dancing skills. She permanently had nice angles, good movements, and sharp turns and such. Technically, her routines were sound. But maybe it became too technical? The paso doble, for instance, is a dance that ideally teemed with emotions and passion and such. Intensity can be Natalie's middle name (just look at her face), but it's one thing to do it for the dance, and it's another to always be scowling.
Or maybe because the judges, most notably Len, just became paddle-happy with their scoring last night, and with the scores close, Natalie suffered from being the least celebrated among these so-called celebs?
Take note that Natalie's average so far is good enough for fourth place, and just two weeks ago, she peaked at second spot when her rumba scored 26. Only Mya's rumba was better at 27. Throughout her stay, she never went below fourth spot for the night, except this week, when she plummeted to the bottom with Michael Irvin and Louie Vito.
On the other hand, it also means that Michael Irvin has some serious fans voting for him, and voting for him, I can imagine, in awesome proportions. If, after several weeks of taking a beating from the judges' paddle and landing in the bottom of the leader board, Michael still manages to escape the claws of elimination by a mile, just imagine the prospects if his scores inexplicably improved.