The 30-year-old actress, who — in addition to working with Bey — is famed for playing cheerleader Brittany Pierce on Glee, was sent home in a shocking elimination last night. Morris and dance partner Maks Chmerkovskiy found themselves in the bottom two with figure skating legend Nancy Kerrigan and Artem Chigvintsev. Kerrigan was saved, and Morris was voted out, triggering a loud chorus of boos from the audience.
And to think, the evening had started so well. Chmerkovisky and Morris earned the first perfect score of the season for their rumba soundtracked by TLC's "Waterfalls," though their joy would be short-lived. Because eliminations are based on a contestant's score as well as votes from the viewing audience, it follows that Morris suffered from a serious lack of fan support.
Chmerkovskiy, who had been recently plagued by injuries and temporarily replaced by dancer Alan Bernsten, revealed his theory about the elimination in post-show interview. He suggested that the duo's success lulled fans into thinking that they were safe. Sound familiar?
"[Fans think] they’re fine, she’s amazing, they’ll be there next week," he told reporters backstage, People reports. "Lemme throw a few votes here and there just because [that other team is] struggling. That’s exactly the way [former contestant] Sabrina Bryan went home. And the way that Brandy and I got eliminated right before the finale. Those were certainly not deserving exits."
He and Morris both wondered aloud if Chmerkovskiy's absence hurt them.
“I felt sad – I felt that there was an opportunity for ‘Maks and Heather’ to develop and build every single week and we got that cut short," the dance pro said. “I just feel bad it took so long for me to get back, even though this was the fastest I could possibly do. I wish I had been here for those other weeks."
Morris added that the experience was "bittersweet."
“I'm so upset for him," Murgatroyd, who is partnered with Bachelor Nick Viall, told the outlet. "He was so excited. He was just getting over his calf injury, and I mean, I swear they were gonna be in the finals. I mean, they're incredible together. I just don't understand it. But you know the show is based so heavily on fan votes, so I think that's just it. They just lacked that I guess."