Eli Matthewson goes home in shock elimination on 'Dancing with the Stars NZ'

It was elimination night on Dancing with the Stars last night and following the bloodshed of week one, I and the New Zealand public were on the edge of our seats, waiting to see who would be sent home.

Surely not Eli Matthewson (with two T's) the loveable comedian and one half of the nation's first same-sex DWTS duo? It couldn't possibly be Rhys Mathewson (with only one T) after all those sexy moves?

Don't even try to pretend we will be seeing the back of Kerre Woodham after a perfect Paso complete with fancy floor spins. And there's simply no way it could be Alex Vaz, he's so...tall.

So who could it possibly be? Well, sit tight, because Monday's elimination was arguably the biggest shock in DWTS history.

The night kicked off with literal deja vu, did we not see this little circus number last night?

Our beautiful host Sharyn Casey was giving cosmic Princess Leia and Clinton Randell was giving first school ball. It clashed more than David Seymour and twerking.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope." Photo / Supplied

Loveable legend David Letele was up first with dance partner Kristie Williams. He, like Vaz, is very tall, but he talks about it far less. A beautiful man, a beautiful spirit and a beautiful performance tonight. The judges weren't so keen and called it "nice" as if Letele was a Tinder date they absolutely would not be seeing again.

After an introduction with a scroll, Jazz Thornton and Brad Coleman were up with a quickstep that came with plenty, and I mean, plenty of facials from Thornton. The judges gave her a standing ovation and Lance Savalli called the dance "amazing" and James Luck backed up the sentiments, calling it "perfection".

This season's Diamond, Jazz Thornton. Photo / Supplied

So at the end of week two's individual performances, Thornton topped the leaderboard and bagged the first perfect 10 of the season. The vibe was Bridgerton and Thornton has just been named the season's Diamond.

The team dances were up next with a samba from Team Fire and who didn't want to be on this team by the end of the performance? Woodham, Matthewson, Kane and Letele screamed "we hit the pub after dance class" and it was everything we wanted and more.

The only team I want to be on. Photo / Supplied

Team Ice was up next and it was perfectly lovely, but something was missing and I think it was... fire? There were so many lifts that I began to wonder if I was at SkyCity. But the judges gave them a higher score and so we obviously do not invite them to the pub.

Then came the moment - this week we were treated to actually being told when voting was closing - where one of our stars was sent packing.

The bottom two were, Alex Vaz and Brittany Coleman and the real shocker, Eli Matthewson and Jonny Williams. I was already typing up Vaz's name and writing his obituary when Matthewson and Williams were eliminated from the show in a moment so shocking, one of Sharyn Casey's space buns actually took off to space.

Where are the judge's saves from past seasons? Where is the voting common sense? If I wanted to see subpar moves by people with a semi impressive following, I would download TikTok.

Eli Matthewson and Jonny Williams were sent home in a truly shocking elimination. Photo / Supplied

Two weeks running, the best dancers in the competition have been sent home. But this week's eliminated pair was deserving of taking home the Mirror Ball trophy and so much more.

They shattered glass ceilings, teaching young LGBTQI+ Kiwis that there is a place for them on any stage in the world. They made Dancing with the Stars history and they did so with style, pride and a hell of a lot of laughter.

Already this season has left the New Zealand public emotionally exhausted and we are only two weeks in. Someone call Team Fire, we're off to the pub.

The judges' leaderboard

Jazz Thornton and Brad Coleman: 35/40

Rhys Mathewson and Phoebe Robb: 33/40

ELIMINATED: Eli Matthewson and Jonny Williams: 29/40

Eric Murray and Loryn Reynolds: 27/40

Alex Vaz and Brittany Coleman: 27/40

Kerre Woodham and Jared Neame: 26/40

Brodie Kane and Enrique Johns: 24/40

David Letele and Kristie Williams: 23/40

The reaction

Eli Matthewson and his dance partner Johnny Williams were voted out of the competition, following their jive to 'That's What I Want' by Lil Nas.

"I feel so lucky and privileged to have had the chance to do this. I couldn't have asked for anything better than to do it with Johnny. If we could do it all again, there's nothing I would change. I'm just sad, 'cause we had a lot of awesome things planned! I'm really, really gutted - but I had the best time," said Matthewson.

Head Judge Camilla Sacre-Dallerup said: "I'm absolutely shocked and sad. If you'd asked me to predict the results yesterday, I would have said that Eli would be in the finale. He's shown so much talent and potential, I feel his journey has been cut short."

Dancing with the Stars airs Sunday 7pm and Monday 7.30pm on Three and ThreeNow.

This article was first published by the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.