Since Tony is tall, patient and, at 38, older than the other DWTS pros above 6 feet tall, he tends to get tall, tentative, stiff partners over 40. The age thing needn't be an issue — Jennifer Grey and Donny Osmond both won their seasons at age 50 or above, and Kirstie Alley came close to winning at age 60. But all of those celebs either had previous dance/performance experience or the kind of natural self-confidence and charisma that take people far on DWTS. Tony's partners, like Martina, tend to be more “careful” and often don’t have much entertainment experience, plus their Twitter fan bases are rarely as big and motivated as, say, the Kardashians'.
Tony has veered from his usual "type" three times in his 13 seasons — once on Season 2 with Stacy Keibler (now George Clooney's girlfriend), again on Season 8 with Melissa Rycroft, and finally on Season 11 with Audrina Patridge. Tony got to third place with both Stacy and Melissa, though Melissa was his accidental partner. He was supposed to dance with Nancy O'Dell, but after Nancy was injured, Melissa stepped in fresh off of The Bachelor. She was exactly the kind of star that goes far on the show: Since she had already competed on Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, she had plenty of fresh dance experience. Plus, she's young, bubbly, energetic, and was a favorite with ABC viewers.
We want to see Tony stick around next season. To make that more likely, the DWTS Powers That Be should shake things up and partner him with another Melissa or Stacy, or even an Audrina. Just give him whoever was originally designated for Mark Ballas or Derek Hough, who do tend to get the young, cute, fit partners.
Until then, we’ll miss Tony and his sparkling teeth!
Catch the next new episode of DWTS on Monday, April 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.