Willow — we couldn’t agree more. At HollywoodLife.com we were astounded and bummed that you and partner Mark Ballas lost your bid to win ‘Dancing With The Stars’ this week, especially when you were performing so fabulously. We discuss it all with you on our weekly podcast. Click here to download the podcast and listen for free!
You’d never have guessed that Willow Shields is just 14, and the youngest Dancing With The Stars contestant ever. It was an even bigger shocker when she was voted off the 20th season on April 27 after two dazzling performances that night.
Willow Shields’ ‘DWTS’ Elimination — ‘I Was Shocked’
“I had no idea what was going to happen,” Willow reveals in her HollywoodLife.com podcast interview. “We did our ninja jazz routine which was one of my favorites that we did the entire season and we got three 9s and a 10. And then we won the [salsa] dance off against Riker [Lynch and his partner Allison Holker].”
Willow sighs: “In some ways it proves that it doesn’t always come down to dancing [on DWTS], because we were getting great judges’ scores.” Sadly, that’s obvious, Willow, because it’s true that she and Mark Ballas had always scored among the very top couples every week.
Despite having to pack up and leave the show, Willow has zero regrets. “I am really sad I’m off the show because it was genuinely a fantastic experience and I wanted to keep going,” she explains. “It’s exciting to see how much the fans are still in support of us. The uprising – I’m not even kidding – the uprising of the fans after the elimination was insane. The reaction was ridiculous!”
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Willow Shields ‘Never Danced With A Guy Before’ Joining ‘DWTS’
What’s even more ridiculous than Willow getting eliminated after a series of spectacular performances was the confession that she made to us in our HollywoodLife.com podcast. “I’d never danced with a guy before,” she reveals. “I was homeschooled so I never went to school dances…I was thrown in with Mark and all of a sudden, I was like ‘Oh My God! Help me!’”
While Willow felt that having no dance experience had a plus — “I was so open to doing whatever Mark wanted to do each week, creativity wise,” — she was at a disadvantage because of child labor laws. She revealed that legally, she had to have a day off each week, so she lost a day of training that everyone else had, and she could only work nine hours a day with a certain amount of breaks.
That sounds like a lot of time, but Willow insists that it was never enough. “It was very constrictive” to not work more, she insists.
‘DWTS’: Not All Glitz & Glamour, But It’s Worth It
Apparently, being a DWTS contestant is anything but glamorous. She rarely saw her celebrity competitors aside from at the taping of the show. “We’d be like ‘Hey, how’s it going? What are you learning?'”, when they ran in to each other in the studio hallway.
Willow reveals that life was basically dance, dance, dance … eat, sleep and get up and dance some more. Nevertheless, a challenging all-in experience like doing DWTS is something she recommends for all teens. “The confidence I gained is unbelievable. It truly shows how much young people need an outlet to express themselves,” she explains. “I think that 14-18-year olds need to go out and find something that they love and be passionate about it because that was me on the show. I’ve never been more confident in my entire life!”
Great message, Willow!
Now, to hear the full HollywoodLife.com podcast interview with Willow Shields, click on the podcast button at left or go to iTunes and download the podcast for free! Let us know what you think!
— Bonnie Fuller
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