DWTS Judge Says 1 of Their ‘Favorite Contestants’ Has Died

A white flower.

Heavy A DWTS alum has died.

On April 27, 2023, former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant and iconic talk show host Jerry Springer died.

According to TMZ, Springer, who competed on season 3 of the dance competition show with ballroom pro Kym Johnson Herjavec, had been battling pancreatic cancer for a few months. He was 79-years-old.

Although he was one of the earlier contestants on “Dancing With the Stars,” Springer made quite the impression with people on the show, including longtime judge Carrie Ann Inaba. After learning of his death, Inaba posted a tribute to him on Instagram.

“Another fine gentleman with a gentle heart has left us. @thejerryspringershow was one of my absolute favorite contestants. He joined us for Season 3 of @dancingwiththestars and he left an indelible mark in my own heart and in the hearts of our audience,” Inaba captioned an Instagram tribute to Springer.

Here’s what you need to know:

Carrie Ann Inaba Recalled Her 1 of Her Favorite Memories of Jerry Springer

In her tribute, Inaba shared a memory of him that she still cherishes to this day.

“I remember he told us that he wanted to learn to dance for his daughter’s upcoming wedding. For some reason, I was always deeply touched by that. It wasn’t a ploy to get votes or garner attention. It was genuine. Just like he was,” she wrote, adding, “I will always remember him fondly. And his kind soul will be missed.”

Indeed, Springer did want to learn a dance for his only daughter, Katie Springer’s wedding — and his goal on the show was stay on long enough so that he could learn the waltz. When the time finally came, Katie was brought to tears.

“It started and the tears welled up in my eyes and it was a beautiful dance. I do think he was robbed, I do think he should have gotten all 10s, but you know, I’m biased,” Katie Springer told Access Hollywood at the time.

In the same interview, Jerry Springer admitted that he almost didn’t do “Dancing With the Stars,” but learning to dance the waltz was important for his daughter’s upcoming wedding.

“I don’t know how to dance and I didn’t think it was appropriate. But then I talked with Katie about it and we thought, you know what, this could be a way to combine what I do in life, which is show business, with the wedding,” he explained.

Jerry Springer Said He Would ‘Never’ Do ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Again

In a 2022 interview on the “Behind the Velvet Rope” podcast, Springer admitted that the show was very challenging — to the point that he wouldn’t want to do it again.

“I would never do it again because I realized how difficult it was. What was fun about it is that I was totally outside my comfort zone. And I, as much as possible, tried to turn it into my comfort zone by instead of selling my dancing, which was hopeless, I would tell jokes. … I would keep begging each week, ‘Please don’t vote for me,'” he said.

Springer may have had ulterior motives for joining the show, but he ended up going fairly far, finishing in 5th place. Moreover, he got to meet a lot of people and he made quite the impression of some of the cast and crew — and that includes Inaba.

“May you Rest In Peace Sir. And thank you for the love for your daughter which inspired us all,” Inaba concluded her Instagram tribute.

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