Chaka Khan has left the building—the “Dancing with the Stars” building, that is.
“Dancing with the Stars” kicked off its 21st season last week and Chicago’s own funky diva was among those who competed for the show’s mirror ball trophy. Naturally, we were excited to see this Black Chicago Woman strut her stuff, and we were even more excited when we learned she’d be paired with pro partner Keo Motsepe, the lone brotha on the show.
During week one, Chaka and Keo, aka “#TeamChaKeo,” performed the cha-cha to the singer’s own cut, “I Feel for You.” While she seemingly had a good time on the dance floor, it didn’t necessarily translate into the performance, hence, her score of 13/30.
While Chaka’s dance debut didn’t dazzle, she took the judges’ criticism and the low score in stride, so much so, that when Carrie Ann Inaba softly took her to task for forgetting the choreography of her routine, she snapped, “Don’t even trip.”
The theme for week two, which aired Monday, was “Hometown Glory Night”; to pay homage to the Windy City, Chaka was assigned the fox trot and as such, Frank Sinatra’s “Chicago” was the song of choice.
Her second-week performance was only slightly better, and landed her and her partner a score of 15/30. Although she made a few steps towards improvement, not to mention she’s one of the most renowned vocalists in history, it just wasn’t enough to sustain her–she was the show’s first eliminated contestant of the season.
Hey—she indeed gave it the ol’ college try and was even a good sport about being eliminated. And while she was never really expected to take it all, we didn’t want our girl to be the first one to get the ax!
So what exactly happened here? In a post-elimination interview, Chaka Khan admitted to having “stage fright.” This could certainly be true; after all, singing is her forte, not dancing.
An unofficial social media poll resulted in many devotees feeling that the show was “beneath” her; even Wendy Williams, an avid Chaka Khan fan, didn’t want her anywhere near the show. “The legends need to watch going on cheesy TV shows,” said Williams. “Legends are only supposed to come out of the garage at certain times.”
A definite legend indeed—and although she’s no longer a contestant on the show, she is and will always be, every woman.
See #TeamChaKeo’s last dance here:
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