When there were three DWTS couples left — Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe, Chrishell Stause and Gleb Savchenko, and Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd — host Tyra Banks revealed that Anne and Keo, along with Vernon and Peta, were in the bottom two during the Oct. 5 episode. Suddenly, she said there had been an “error.” The bottom two couples were actually Anne and Keo and Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy. Monica and Val, who had initially been told they were in the clear, were ultimately saved by the judges, and HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Monica and Val after the show about what went down.
“It’s the first time [that this has happened]. I’m really honored that I get to experience that first with Monica,” Val told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “She’s getting the full experience I told her. You know, it is what it is. We got to roll with the punches. Keep moving. We’re here. We get to laugh about it now, thankfully. Onto the next one.”
Despite this close call with being eliminated, Val and Monica are staying positive. “You got to appreciate everything,” Val continued. “You appreciate the times when they’re praising you, and appreciate the times when you’re in the bottom two. You can’t pick and choose the times. You got to be grateful all the time. We’re grateful that we get a chance to see another week.”
Monica and Val danced their best routine yet, a samba to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Their performance earned them a 24 out of 30. While the night had a “crazy ending,” Val said he told Monica that she “really stepped up. [It was] definitely the best time we’ve done it, so really excited about that. We can build on that, you know? We can continue and improve.”
The judges praised Monica and Val for their “pure samba.” Derek Hough told Monica that this was her “best dance” yet. “It always feels good to get good comments back, and I appreciate Val giving me such a samba content dance,” Monica told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “I think that was part of the praise, too. Val pushes me, and he knows what’s going to score well, so I appreciate that from him.” Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.