More than her stiff performance, however, it was Jones’s quick defense of herself — which came off to the audience as a bit rude as she continually interrupted the judges — that probably led to her early demise on the program most.
Jones, an outstanding athlete, came to “Dancing with the Stars” with something to prove — that she could succeed at clutch time. Despite her talents, she has continued to flounder on the world’s biggest stages.
In both her track and field Olympic performances in 2008 and 2012, Jones entered as one of the favorites, but both times she fell short. At the Beijing games in 2008, she literally fell, when she uncharacteristically clipped a hurdle in the 100-meter finals and wound up in seventh place. At the London games in 2012, she came in fourth in the same event.
Jones hoped to change her luck at the Sochi Winter Olympics earlier this year as the brakewoman for the USA Team-3 sled. However, she and her teammate placed 11th.
“Dancing with the Stars” was supposed to be different. Olympians who have appeared on the program have generally done pretty well. For example, ice dancer Meryl Davis won last season while her real-life partner Charlie White was eliminated on the penultimate week of the program. Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy was the runner-up. Previously, speed skater Apolo Ohno, figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi and gymnast Shawn Johnson have all won their seasons, according to Universal Sports.
Jones took her elimination hard, noting she felt “disgust” with herself for her poor performance, the Hollywood Reporter writes. Jones also has insinuated that she did not intend to come off as difficult toward the judges. The athlete composed an essay on Facebook after she was eliminated explaining her thought process.
“When I was dancing last night and messed up I had flashbacks of the three Olympics and that people constantly tease me about,” the 32-year-old said on Facebook. “I thought ‘oh no here it comes again.’ People are going to ridicule me. I’m so tired of feeling embarrassed.”
“I joined the other competitors upstairs and I couldn’t force a smile on my face. I felt like vomiting and in between the other dances I went in a back room and fought back tears. I felt so broken. So unlovable. Embarssed [sic].”My brief time on #DWTS was a lasting lesson. I really wanted to stay on the show and have the layers of hurt wash away by showing the public how hard I work. I wanted to come away a victor for once. I wanted to do so good performing in public that the haters would stop teasing me. …But that is my way of thinking.”
Here’s Jones’ full statement:
Jones, who is an outspoken Christian, will likely be seen again. If there’s one thing her three strikeouts have proven, it’s that she can consistently get back up after being knocked down.