Sean Spicer finally voted off Dancing with the Stars

Edward Helmore in New York

The former White House press secretary Sean Spicer has been eliminated from his first post-political job after hanging on for eight weeks of low scores, frustration and disappointment on the TV show Dancing With the Stars.

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The end for Spicer, who had shown substandard skills on the floor and bizarre choices in the costume department, came after he and partner Jenna Johnson tangoed to Destiny’s Child’s Bills, Bills, Bills and foxtrotted to One Direction’s Story of My Life.

From his first performance in a lime-green ruffled shirt to the Spice Girls’ Spice Up Your Life, to his elimination in the quarter-finals, Spicer proved a controversial choice.

Many fans of the show complained about such an overtly political figure being offered a shot at rehabilitation.

Spicer’s persistence despite being a weak performer gave critics a sense of deja vu, based on Spicer’s short and stormy tenure as Donald Trump’s first presidential press secretary. He lost the trust of many journalists on his first day in January 2017, when he angrily lambasted the gathered media in the press room for pointing out the small crowds at Trump’s inauguration.

Spicer raised his voice and falsely said: “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration – period.”

Spicer lasted six months. He endured a devastating parody of him on Saturday Night Live by Melissa McCarthy.

Judges on Dancing With the Stars had complained that Spicer repeatedly escaped expulsion from the contest despite being below-par. “We keep throwing you out the boat and the viewers keep throwing a life preserver,” Len Goodman complained.

The secret to Spicer’s longevity, Variety reported, is that the DWTS ratings are still relatively strong in red-state America.

Spicer’s former political colleagues offered their support, including Sarah Sanders, who replaced him as White House press spokesperson. She said she and her family were “fully behind him”. Donald Trump Jr, urged fans to vote for Spicer to frustrate “Hollywood” and “liberals”.

After Spicer’s expulsion, Donald Trump, who had urged viewers to vote for Spicer, sent his congratulations but deleted a mid-show tweet that had encouraged viewers to vote for his hapless former spokesman.

“A great try by seanspicer. We are all proud of you!” Trump wrote.

In the end, Spicer bowed out with some measure of grace that escaped him on the dance floor. “To everyone who has voted and supported me over the past nine weeks on Dancing ABC. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I made it to the quarter-finals because of your votes. I had a blast,” he tweeted.