Sean Spicer, Donald Trump’s former press secretary, has called for people to defy Hollywood and support a Christian as he competes in an American reality TV dance competition.
Mr Spicer, who was known for his angry exchanges with journalists while serving as the president’s first press secretary, made his debut on Dancing With The Stars on Monday night.
His inclusion in the contest was met with derision by some, with Dancing With The Stars’ own host, Tom Bergeron, among those criticising the decision.
Mr Spicer served as Mr Trump’s press secretary from January to July 2017 and his tenure was marred by controversy.
He claimed the crowd at Mr Trump’s inauguration ceremony in Washington DC was the largest ever for such an event, which was widely deemed to be untrue.
Mr Spicer opened his performance dressed in a neon, lime-green ruffled shirt and white trousers, banging a pair of bongos as he danced with partner Lindsay Arnold to the Spice Girls’ 1997 hit, "Spice Up Your Life".
However the judging panel were unimpressed with the performance, awarding the pair a lowly 12 out of 30, ranking them near the bottom of the contestants.
After his performance was mocked by some spectators, Mr Spicer framed his battle for success on the show as a clash between ruling elites and the American heartland.
"Clearly the judges aren’t going to be with me. Let’s send a message to #Hollywood that those of us who stand for #Christ won’t be discounted. May God bless you," he said in a tweet.
Thank you @GovMikeHuckabee Clearly the judges aren’t going to be with me. Let’s send a message to #Hollywood that those of us who stand for #Christ won’t be discounted. May God bless you https://t.co/Qqa9xi3pIM
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) September 17, 2019
The president’s former spokesman was responding to a tweet by Mike Huckabee, father of Mr Spicer’s successor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called for more people to vote for him.
"Wanna create an emotional meltdown in Hollyweird? Vote for @seanspicer to win "Dancing with the Stars" tonight and every night he’s on. @seanspicer is a good guy and a brave sport to go on DWTS. Let’s show him some love!," Mr Huckabee tweeted.
Mr Spicer faces an uphill battle to dancing stardom – his own professional dance partner on the show assessed his dancing ability as starting at a "pre-pre-school level."
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One of the show’s judges Bruno Tonioli, who also appears on Strictly Come Dancing, said Mr Spicer’s hips were "set in cement" but the overall performance was "strangely entertaining".
Another judge, Len Goodman, was more complimentary, telling Mr Spicer: "You brought fun to the ballroom. Well done."