Insult, meet injury: Nick Lachey faces 'Dancing with the Stars' elimination in steampunk cosplay

Posted at 11:30 PM, Oct 23, 2017

It's a little bit cruel to make your lowest-scoring dancer perform to 1999 Worst Original Song winner "Wild Wild West" for movie night, right? Or at least a tacit acknowledgement that you're expecting him to crash as hard as Will Smith's $170 million disasterpiece?

With an assignment like that after weeks of dance-floor mishaps, Nick Lachey didn't stand a chance.

The former 98 Degrees singer, whose 26/40 score signified he was too far adrift for fans' votes to rescue him, was eliminated Monday night on "Dancing with the Stars." Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, Len Goodman and Shania Twain praised the "entertainment value" of his samba with partner Peta Murgatroyd, but couldn't think of much positive to say about his moves.

You know when you ask a friend about your outfit and they compliment your smile to get out of having to break the bad news? That's been the Nick Lachey experience for weeks now.

Even though he's been eliminated, Cincinnati's son will linger around the set to cheer on wife Vanessa Lachey, who fared much better.

Her quickstep to "Let's Be Bad" from short-lived ABC series "Smash" earned her a 36/40 -- the fourth-highest score of the night -- despite a wardrobe malfunction. (Her dress's detachable skirt peaced out ahead of schedule.) The judges pointed out that the adrenaline produced by that mishap might have livened up Vanessa's performance, but we wouldn't recommend trying to replicate it in the future.

Jordan Fisher and Lindsey Stirling earned the highest scores of the night -- 39/40 and 40/40, respectively -- which will only surprise you if you decided to tune in to this season Monday night.

Given Frankie Muniz's drop back down to a 31/40 tonight, either Stirling or Fisher is going to win this season. Accept it.

The only real surprise of the night came in the form of Terrell Owens, whose spy-movie-themed jive allowed him to go undercover as a dancer who could earn a 10. Traditionally one of the season's middling-to-poor dancers, Owens took home a 37/40. Not bad, but past precedent doesn't provide a lot of reason to believe he can keep it up.

Unless next week's Halloween episode heralds the reanimation of another contestant's talent, this season looks like Fisher or Stirling's to lose.