Monday night's Dancing With the Stars elimination was a shocker with Willow Shields and Mark Ballas being sent home. I was really sad to see that the pair didn't have the votes to keep going because they were truly one of the show's top contenders. Unfortunately with half of the score up to the public, Shields and Ballas just didn't have the fans on their side. It's upsetting when this kind of thing happens, because it reminds you that Dancing With the Stars is less about great dancing and more of a popularity contest.
How else can you explain mediocre dancers like Chris Soules and Robert Herjavec beating out Willow Shields? I love Soules and Herjavec, don't get me wrong, but they are not better dancers than Shields was. At just 14, she blew the competition away every week. It's not fair that her time was cut short on a technicality. The reaction from the judges showed that if they could have had their way it would not have been them who was eliminated. They were just as shocked as the couple themselves were.
And don't even get me started on what the fans. They were in an uproar, which goes to show that #TeamMarkingjay had the fans on their side, just not the voting kind.
But, even though they didn't get a proper shot at winning, Mark Ballas had nothing but kind words for his young, talented partner. "I couldn't be more proud," he said of dancing with Shields. Every week she proved she was more than just her age as she gave the top couples a run for their money.
Shields deserved the opportunity to keep learning, but hopefully she won't stop dancing even though she's off the show. It's clear she has a knack for it, and I know we're going to see big things from The Hunger Games star in the world of dance.
Image: Adam Taylor/ABC