After weeks of scoring low with the judges (and lots of vocal viewers on social media), Sean Spicer was finally eliminated from “Dancing With the Stars” on Monday night. The following day, the former White House press secretary said that performing on the ABC dancing competition was “worse” than his gig in Donald Trump’s administration — but not “in a bad way.”
On Tuesday, Spicer called into SiriusXM’s “Dancing With The Stars” Recap Show, where co-host Lynette Rice asked him if he ever felt “the level of stress on this show that you might have felt as press secretary — or was that still way worse?”
“No, the show was worse… And I don’t mean worse in a bad way,” he said. “I mean, how about this? It was greater.”
Co-host Patrick Gomez asked him if being put outside his “comfort zone” was what made it more challenging for Spicer than fielding questions from the White House press corps.
“I think it was a combination of two things: One, yes, it’s way out of my comfort zone. And two is, when you’re dealing with, you know, incoming questions, you can figure out how to punt the question, divert it,” he said. “When you’re out on a dance floor for a minute and a half you have to go. And you can’t hide and you can’t defer to somebody else and every step that you take is going to be watched and viewed and judged.”
Before his elimination, Spicer had the lowest judges scores for four consecutive weeks, but when combined with the viewer vote, managed to avoid getting cut. Trump used his vast Twitter following to encourage viewers to vote for Spicer a couple times, including last week.
After Spicer was booted on Monday, Trump tweeted, “A great try by @seanspicer. We are all proud of you!”
Spicer’s exit comes after a fraught tenure on the show for the former Trump administration official.
The announcement that Spicer, who famously lied about the size of the audience at Trump’s inauguration during his very first press briefing, was met with scorn from critics on social media and even from “DWTS” host Tom Bergeron.
Bergeron criticized the show for Spicer’s inclusion, arguing that “DWTS” should be a “joyful respite” from the “exhausting political climate.” Spicer downplayed the criticism at the time, saying he looked forward to “having some fun.”
Out of the gate, Spicer also proved to be one of the weakest performers on the show. In his final appearance, he and partner Jenna Johnson (filling in for Lindsay Arnold) scored 6s and 7s for their dances, whereas the remaining couples scored 9s and 10s. Still, he managed to be the seventh contestant to leave the show (including the withdrawal of Ray Lewis due to injury).
“Dancing With the Stars” is not the first time Spicer has tried to capitalize on his public profile since leaving the Trump administration. He also made a brief cameo two years ago at the Emmys, hosted by Stephen Colbert, to poke fun at his own reputation for lying. That appearance was similarly lambasted by viewers, who saw it as an attempt to soften Spicer’s public image.