Eli gets emotional over thousands raised for Outline after shock elimination from DWTS

The Edge Breakfast 03/05/2022

If you missed the shocking news last night, our very own Eli and his dance partner Jonny were eliminated from Dancing With The Stars NZ.

Eli and Jonny, who were the show's first-ever same-sex pairing, scored highly from the judges - earning 29/30 for their jive to 'That’s What I Want’ by Lil Nas X, but it wasn't enough to keep them in the competition. 

Head judge Camilla said she was "shocked and sad" about the result, saying she had predicted Eli would make it to the finale because of his "talent and potential".

Eli said he and Johnny didn't see it coming either.

"I think because we were third on the leaderboard, we were like, that means we're safe. You know, we're in the top half. It's half votes, half judges, and we're in the top half. So we just didn't feel like we were in danger," he said. 

"I was just so gutted to not stick around. I just wanted to keep dancing. That's the main thing.

"We had so much cool stuff planned, but I'm also just at peace with it - because I wouldn't have done anything differently, so it's not like I could have changed it," he added. 

Eli got emotional when talking about the huge number of donations his charity Outline received after his elimination, which this morning was over $6,000.

We did exactly what we set out to do. And what is amazing - and here's where I'll cry for the first time on the show - is all the people who donated to Outline overnight.

"They've had more donations than they've ever had." 

Eli's time on the show may have been short and sweet, but we couldn't have put it better than Nickson and Meg, who told him how proud they are of what he achieved. 

"So proud to see what you did for the community and also for yourself. It takes a lot of a lot of strength to get up there, man," Nickson said. 

"You've made history," he added, while Meg agreed: "You've changed lives." 

If you're keen to make your own donation to Outline, which operates a free support line with rainbow specialist counselling and trans peer support, you can do that here