Dancing With the Stars fans clung to the edge of their seats when two of this season’s best duos were put up for elimination Tuesday night. But with just five stars left in the competition, isn’t this the kind of heartbreak we have to prepare for in the final two weeks of Season 32 of DWTS?
It was Marvel’s Xochitl Gomez, paired with Val Chmerkovskiy, and Vanderpump Rules star Ariana Madix, who dances with Pasha Pashkov, who ended up on the chopping block after a daunting semifinals competition. Audiences at home were shocked—both Gomez and Madix had scored a perfect 40, with the former only earning 10s throughout the night. By the judges’ terms, Gomez was flawless.
Madix, who went first during the show, danced a jive to “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars, followed by a foxtrot to “Trampoline” by Shaed & Zayn, which earned her the perfect score. Gomez was at the peak of her dancing powers last night as she performed a samba to the aptly titled “Samba” by Gloria Estefan and a waltz to “La Vie en rose” by Lady Gaga.
Alas, these dances weren’t enough to top competitors like singer Jason Mraz, How I Met Your Mother actress Alyson Hannigan, and The Bachelorette’s Charity Lawson. When the elimination rolled around, Madix and Gomez took the stage to find out who was going home and who still had a shot at the Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy.
“Based on the combination of the judges’ scores and viewers’ votes, the couple dancing in the finale will be…” host Alfonso Ribeiro announced, “both of you!”
Right when DWTS viewers thought they’d face the biggest loss of the season, the series pulled the rug out from under its fans. Audiences chimed in online with their shock for the “emotional rollercoaster” of a twist. Naturally, some roasts for Harry Jowsey were still in store, even though the infamous star was eliminated last week.
Breathe easy, DWTS hive. Next week’s supersized finale will be three hours long, enough time to make sure every couple has the stage several times. Dancers will have to pull off one redemption dance—where they’ll redo an earlier performance in hopes of a higher score—and one freestyle routine to convince the judges and America they deserve the trophy.
The lack of an elimination this week also meant that married dancers Pasha Pashkov and Daniella Karagach will perform in their first final together, making them the first couple who have made it to the final round with one another. While Karagach has made it to the final round before—and even won alongside Iman Shupert—Season 32 will mark Pashkov’s first time.
This made the tears shed by Pashkov and Madix even more emotional for viewers, who congratulated the dancer heading into his debut in the big leagues.
Still, Pashkov is going to have to beat a whole bunch of talented folks—including his wife!—if he wants a chance at the Mirrorball Trophy. If one of them wins, where in the Karagach/Pashkov household will the award be placed?