‘Dancing with the Stars’: The final four are ...

Screengrab of Bethany Mota and Derek Hough dancing the samba Monday night. (Nov. 17, 2014)
Screengrab of Bethany Mota and Derek Hough dancing the samba Monday night. (Nov. 17, 2014) Courtesy of ABC

The ejection Monday night was no surprise, but the ABC dance contest lost its most endearing contestant.

Tommy Chong, the weakest of the remaining dancers, is out on “Dancing With the Stars.” Yet he fascinated and inspired viewers with his perseverance and showmanship at 76.

In departing, Chong said he proved that “old stoners can perform when they need to.”

“Dancing” quickly answered another mystery: The injured Alfonso Ribeiro would dance despite a back injury.

The couples had to perform two routines to the same song.

In the first round, Janel Parrish won perfect marks for a paso doble delivered with confidence and flair. Len Goodman called it “great stuff,: and Bruno Tonioli said she set the stage on fire.

Sadie Robertson look comfortable and happy on a quickstep that Carrie Ann Inaba described as detailed and great. Despite injuries, Ribeiro delivered an impressive Argentine tango. Julianne Hough praised him as a fighter who worked through pain, and Inaba raved about his posture.

Bethany Mota pulled off a charming samba that Goodman compared to cotton candy; he said the routine was fun but sticky. Inaba wanted more from Mota even, although the YouTube personality continues to blossom.

And in the second round, Mota was the standout. She and Derek Hough performed a contemporary routine that was pretty, sensual and unusual because they danced with a picture frame. Inaba praised the routine as breathtaking, and Tonioli called it a masterpiece.

They were more comfortable with the frame than Robertson and Mark Ballas were with a guitar as prop on a tricky Argentine tango. The guitar divided the judges, but Julianne Hough handed out a perfect score. Parrish looked elegant on an Argentine tango notable for its dramatic lifts. Inaba said she was the most dynamic woman left but found the lifts wanting. Tonioli, however, was dazzled by the athleticism.

Ribeiro made it through a demanding contemporary dance. Goodman liked the intensity and drama. Tonioli praised Ribeiro’s teamwork with Witney Carson.

The final four will perform at 8 p.m. Monday. The winner will be named in a two-hour season finale at 9 p.m. Nov. 25.

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