Rick Perry knows the road does not go on forever.
So it was no surprise that the long-serving former Texas governor and twice-failed Republican presidential candidate took it gracefully when word came at the climax of the second round of competition on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. At least, Perry said, he now knows how to dance well enough not to embarrass his daughter when they dance at her wedding in October.
“It’s been an extraordinary experience,” said Perry, who used his participation to help raise money for veterans’ charities.
Perry, dancing with a bad ankle, was one of a half-dozen competitors at risk of elimination because they lost one-on-one dance-offs the night before. Perry lost a paso doble dance-off with Dallas native Robbie VanWinkle, better known as musician and home re-modeler Vanilla Ice.
The former presidential candidate said he was convinced he was going to be eliminated last week. “Dancing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, other than learn to fly,” the former Air Force pilot said before performing through the pain in Monday night’s competition.
“He’s going for it, but it’s not very artistic, is it,” judge Bruno Tonioli quipped during Perry’s dance. Other judges gave Perry credit for going all out. “I admire Rick for his determination. You know, the judges may knock him down, but he gets up and he comes back and he gives it his all,” judge Len Goodman said.
Goodman said Tuesday night that Vanilla Ice prevailed in the dance-off because “it was a much more full-on, passionate paso doble,” which the rapper called a “paso Yoplait.”
Among the dancers still in the running are retired NFL star receiver Calvin Johnson Jr., Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, actress Marilu Henner, former Brady Bunch actress Maureen McCormick, singer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Indy race driver James Hinchcliffe.