Dancing With the Stars said goodbye to its oldest and funniest contestant ever on Tuesday night, as 82-year-old Cloris Leachman, along with pro partner Corky Ballas, was voted off the hit ABC reality show.
Her cha cha cha on Monday night got only a 15 score from the judges with Carrie Ann Inaba saying her dance had no content.
In typical Cloris fashion, she went out the way she came in — with a joke! At first she told OK! of her ouster, “It seems wrong.” But then, seriously, the veteran actress said, “No, it’s fair. We got very far, I think. I had no idea what I was getting into when I wanted to be on Dancing With the Stars. I’m very pleased and happy. Corky saw me through it all, every step I was supposed to do — or not supposed to do!”
Cloris said of her immediate plans, “I’m going to get into bed!”
Beyond that, she revealed Mel Brooks has called her “and he wants me to come back to Broadway and take over my role in the musical Young Frankenstein. We’ll talk about that and figure it out.”
But before Broadway, as OK! previously reported, Cloris is going to co-star with Brad Pitt in the Quentin Tarantino directed World War II era drama, Inglourious Basterds.
Cloris said she’d learned a lot from doing DWTS. “I thought I was younger than I am. I thought I could be a better dancer than apparently I was, so I have to look at the film they shot and see what happened, because, in my mind, I was thinking I was much better than I thought I was.” Cloris laughed, “My son said the other day, mom, you don’t bend anymore! That’s probably what I didn’t realize.”
Her loyal partner Corky said, “I’m so proud of Cloris. When I first got with her, I said one thing, ‘Believe while all others doubt’ and we had a great run. We finished with a death-defying lift at the end there.”
Cloris interjected, “It didn’t come at the right time and it wasn’t as long as it should have been, but it happened.”
Corky laughed, “It was supposed to be for 16 counts, but we did it for maybe four.”
Now, the beloved comedienne said, it’s clear who’s going to win DWTS. “There’s no doubt about it that Brooke Burke is going to win.”
DWTS guest judge Michael Flatley, who subbed for Len Goodman this week, summed up her appeal to OK!: “We don’t have many real stars like that anymore. She doesn’t have to do much dancing to wow the audience. She’s a legend and I think a lot of people will be sad to see her go.”
Flatley hopes Cloris has opened the door to more elderly celebrities doing the show: “I think she was a role model for other people and it was wonderful to see her basking in the glory.”
By Carole Glines