TV

Suzy Cato's shock elimination in Dancing With the Stars was so upsetting everyone was in tears - including the judges

Suzy cried, the judges cried, I cried, we all cried.

By Karyn Henger

If there was ever a Dancing With The Stars elimination episode to watch it was Monday night's, with the shock departure of Suzy Cato.

As head judge Camilla Sacre Dallerup said through her tears, Suzy Cato is the "sweetheart of the nation" and what an awful position for her to be in, to have to tell our sweetheart that her time on the show was over.

To see Suzy, who has always wanted to be on DWTS, in the bottom two and facing a dance-off was a shock in itself. But then to see her so clearly upset to be leaving the show actually brings tears to my eyes all over again just writing about it.

EVERYONE was crying. The judges, Suzy, Shav. Me at home on the couch.

The two couples await their fate.
The two couples await their fate.

Suzy Cato should not have been in the bottom two, and neither Shavaughn Ruakere. But that's the thing with Dancing With The Stars - and this happens every season - the show is as much about the public voting for the underdog as it is about voting for talent and progress. It's entertaining to watch the uncoordinated efforts of the likes of David Seymour and Rog from The Rock. I'm guilty of voting for David Seymour myself, just because he is so cute.

But in the meantime we get complacent about the celebs who actually can dance - and this was what sealed Suzy Cato's fate.

Watch Suzy's final dance, here:

Suzy and Matt danced for their lives in last night's dance-off with Shavaughn and Enrique, but  the judges felt that Shav had brought more energy to her dance-off performance.
Suzy and Matt danced for their lives in last night's dance-off with Shavaughn and Enrique, but the judges felt that Shav had brought more energy to her dance-off performance.

If Suzy's premature elimination was a massive shock and a crying - yes, crying - shame, all is not lost. In an interview that I did with Suzy last week, which I'd been saving to use when she was in the final three, Suzy told me that for her the show had been life-changing.

She said she "wasn't really active at all before" and was reaping the rewards of training several hours a day with her dance partner, Matt Tatton Brown.

She had dropped a couple of dress sizes but it wasn't the weight loss that excited her. It was how much lighter she felt in herself, mentally and spiritually.

Exercise has long been identified as key to helping keep depression at bay, and anyone who exercises regularly understands only too well how being active enhances your mental health and wellbeing. The charity Suzy was raising funds for was the Mental Health Foundation of NZ and her journey could not have been more fitting.

Being in the arms of "another man" proved to be a hurdle that Suzy had to overcome.

"Before Dancing With The Stars I had only been used to being in the arms of my husband," she revealed. Breaking down her personal space barriers to get up close and personal with Matt was something Suzy had to work on - as all Kiwis can relate to. We like to hold a good distance in a face-to-face conversation.

While the trust between Suzy and Matt grew, Suzy confided that she never felt comfortable doing lifts. "Spin me instead!" she always told Matt with a laugh - because the pair did share a lot of laughs.

And her favourite dance move? The dip because it made her feel elegant and graceful. She said she loved being led and enjoyed being steered round the dance floor by Matt.

We will miss seeing Suzy on Sunday and Monday nights - I guess we can at least play her back on demand.

In the words of our nation's sweetheart, "See you see you later, it's time to say goodbye."