NEW YORK (Reuters) - Front-runner Nicole Scherzinger will be joined by sports reporter Erin Andrews and Olympic skater Evan Lysacek in the finals of “Dancing with the Stars” next week after football player Chad Ochocinco was eliminated on Tuesday.
Ochocinco, 32, the only completely untrained dancer left in ABC’s TV ballroom dancing show, was thrown off after getting the lowest scores from the judges on Monday despite praise for his waltz.
Andrews took ballet lessons as a child and Lysacek won a gold medal at the Vancouver Olympics in February for figure skating.
Scherzinger, who moved judge Carrie Ann Inaba to tears with her Argentine tango on Monday and scored another perfect 30, is the lead singer of the burlesque dance pop group the Pussycat Dolls.
“This was awesome,” said Ochocinco on Tuesday. “I enjoyed the journey. I got some great criticism. I met some awesome people, including the beautiful Cheryl Burke. I’ve already won.”
Scherzinger, Lysacek and Andrews together with their professional dance partners will battle it out next week for the mirror ball trophy.
“Dancing with the Stars” is enjoying its best season for years and has recently challenged “American Idol” on rival Fox television for the biggest weekly audiences thanks to a strong cast that has included actress Pamela Anderson, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and TV reality show mother of eight Kate Gosselin.
Gosselin, who finished in 8th place, is to return to the show for next Monday’s finale.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant