Ryan Lochte Dancing with the stars

After dancing a spooky Maleficent-inspired tango tonight for “Halloween Night,” Ryan Lochte and partner Cheryl Burke were eliminated in week eight of the competition. It came down to them and Terra Jolé and Sasha Farber.

Lochte and Burke also won tonight’s “America’s Choice” dance-off against Marilu Henner and Derek Hough, dancing the cha cha to “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd. Lochte had struggled to gain traction throughout the competition, averaging scores in the mid-20s.

Ryan Lochte and Partner Cheryl Burke Eliminated

“I learned a lot about myself, that no matter how hard I get knocked down I can keep fighting,” Lochte said before taking center stage. “This family, I love it. I’m sad that I’m going home but everyone here has touched me in a special place right here [with his hand over his heart] so I’ll always remember it.”

Six couples now remain in the competition. Next week, the stars and their pro partners will be dancing “Broadway Week” routines with guest judge Idina Menzel. Semi-finals are just weeks away.

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According to ABC, “Ryan Lochte has become a transcendent figure in the Olympic world. He is a four-time Olympian (Athens, Beijing, London, Rio de Janeiro) and a 12-time Olympic medalist (including six Gold, three Silver, and three Bronze). His seven individual Olympic medals are second all-time in Men’s Swimming, and he is the current world record holder in the 200 individual medley. Ryan has been named both American and World Swimmer of the Year twice in his career (2010 and 2011) and has a total of 70 medals in major international competition, including 45 first place finishes.”

Now in its 23rd season, “Dancing with the Stars” is hosted by Tom Bergeron and sports broadcaster Erin Andrews. The judging panel is composed of ballroom experts Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Julianne Hough and Bruno Tonioli. Their scores, along with America’s votes, determine who gets to stay and who is sent home each week as couples vie for the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

This season’s star-studded line-up includes Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez with Val Chmerkovskiy, actress Marilu Henner with Derek Hough, former NFL wide receiver Calvin Johnson Jr. with Lindsay Arnold, reality TV star Terra Jolé with Sasha Farber, country singer Jana Kramer with Gleb Savchenko, and IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe with Sharna Burgess. Jake T. Austin, Rick Perry, Vanilla Ice, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Amber Rose, Maureen McCormick and Ryan Lochte have since been eliminated from the competition.

“Dancing with the Stars” airs every Monday night starting at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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Photo credit: ABC