A lack of dancing ability finally caught up with Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt in Dancing with the Stars last night, despite his popularity and campaigning for votes.

Mr Shadbolt and partner Rebecca Nicholson, who had survived scathing judges' comments to reach the semifinals, bowed out after again having the lowest judges' score.

Former All Black Norm Hewitt and actor Shane Cortese and their dance partners move on to the final next Sunday.

Mr Shadbolt, whose characteristic ear-to-ear grin never faded, said getting so far had been "one of those amazing miracles".

But his enthusiasm could not disguise some poor timing on the dance floor.

"I think I slipped on some soap," he said afterwards.

The judges praised his energy, steering clear of the harsh criticism of the previous round.

Fan votes had kept Mr Shadbolt in the competition, but others sent him hate mail.

This did not deter the mayor from campaigning hard for southern votes, including performing before the National Bank Cup netball final in Invercargill on Friday night.