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Rodney Ho covers TV and radio, from Atlanta’s stations to the hottest “American Idol" news.

Did Paula Deen survive week four on 'Dancing With the Stars'?

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, October 6, 2015

From week one, it was clear five of the 13 dancers were relatively weak: Chaka Khan, Victor Espinosa, Kim Zolciak, Gary Busey and Paula Deen.

Four of them are now gone, with the ever quirky Busey out Monday night. To her credit, Deen's fan base has kept her around. She is averaging a 17 from the judges after five dances, the lowest of the remaining dancers by a yawning five points. (Andy Grammer is the closest to her with an average of 22.)

That doesn't preclude some celebrities from outlasting better dancers. So-so hoofers ranging from Jerry Springer to Bill Engvall have made it far further than expected over the years. Who knows? She could somehow overtake someone next week like singer Grammer who is far lesser known than Deen.

In the meantime, Nick Carter has helped position himself up the leader board and is in contention for the finals, along with former Atlantan Tamar Braxton and Steve Irwin's daughter Bindi. Carter and Braxton both received 9s across the board. Bindi in fact was rewarded the first 10 of the season from judge Bruno Tonioli and had the high score of the night.

The surprise of the night was Hayes Grier, the Vine star, who pulled out his first 9s of the season.

You have to give Busey credit for even doing the show. In 1988, he was in a motorcycle accident that caused serious blunt trauma to his brain and he has never been quite the same. He got by more on spirit and passion than technique.

"There is nothing average about you," Bruno said.

"Every time you dance, I feel your spirit," Carrie Ann Inaba said, but again, she said he wasn't particularly good. "It's week four, I haven't seen improvement I'd like to see."

Julianne Hough said he has "persistence," the most positive adjective she could come up with.

Tamar Braxton received 9s for an emotional rumba, based on her most memorable year 2012 when her husband almost died and she became pregnant. She brought Carrie Ann to tears and garnered her first 9 from Julianne.

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Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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