Last night's triple elimination on sent half of the competition home, but not the contestants fans expected. Twitter erupted after controversial cast member , 47, went onto next week's finale instead of fan favorites figure skater Mirai Nagasu and luger Chris Mazdzer.
, known primarily for in an in 1994, has embarked on a comeback tour this year in the wake of the sympathetic biopic I, Tonya. She dedicated this week's rumba to her deceased father, who she says "never abandoned me," and began to cry almost as soon as she took the dance floor.
“When everybody in the world was against me, my dad was still in my corner — no matter what,” she stated.
The with merited a 33/40 from the judges, tying with Mazdzer and Witney Carson's foxtrot for the fourth best score of the night. The duo also beat out softball player Jennie Daigle and Keo Motsepe in a cha cha ballroom battle, who later went home as well.
Frontrunner figure skater and Jenna Johnson's near-perfect 39/40 made them a shoo-in for the finale along with football player Josh Norman and Sharna Burgess, but fans were shocked to learn that Harding had made the cut over Nagasu. Social media quickly bemoaned the selection and questioned the show's results.
Even Harding herself seemed surprised. "I thought they were going to tell us, 'You're going home,'" backstage after the show. "I think America has proven that they love me and they wanted to know what happened and now they know. It's really amazing."
Amazing for Tonya, but some very vocal Dancing With the Stars fans seem to think otherwise.
ABC has neglected to directly address Harding's backstory on the show, but she pled guilty to hindering the prosecution after ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, and Shane Stant orchestrated an assault against Kerrigan meant to remove her from Olympic consideration. The subsequent scandal led the United States Figure Skating Association to serve Harding a lifetime ban from the sport.
“It was nice to see that she had a moment,” Rippon told of Harding's performance last week, “but it’s also important to remember that skating wasn’t taken away from her – that she was banned because she was part of a bad thing."
Harding, Rippon, and Norman will square off in a one-hour finale on Monday, May 21 at 8 p.m ET on ABC.