Monica Aldama and Val Chmerkovskiy experienced a rollercoaster of emotions during Monday’s Dancing With the Stars.
At the end of Top 13 Night, host Tyra Banks announced that the dance duo were one of the couples safe from elimination. Moments later, however, Tyra revealed that there was actually an “error in the control room,” and that she needed Monica and Val to return to the stage. “This is live TV, right? This is the craziness of live TV,” the host quipped.
Tyra then announced that Monica and Val had actually placed in the bottom two, alongside Anne Heche and Keo Motsepe, who ultimately went home.
“I’m just thinking 2020, you know?” Val joked to ET following the debacle, of what he was thinking in that exact moment. “It was crazy, it was shocking. To be honest, we still don’t know. We just came off the stage so I don’t have an answer for you. As Tyra said, it’s live TV. What you see is what you get but I’m glad we get to laugh about it now.”
Monica agreed, telling ET, “It was just a surreal moment.”
“It was like we went from zero to 100, back down to zero really fast,” she explained. “We just went back out there, smiled, and [heard] what the judges had to say.”
With just seconds to decide who to save and who to send home, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli all chose Monica and Val to move forward in the competition.
“I feel great that they all chose to save me and Val because it means that they have faith that I can get better every week,” said Monica, who received a 24/30 for her and Val’s Samba set to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. “Hopefully that’s what we’ll do … and get more votes.”
“I hate being in that situation though because now it feels like, ‘Anne goes home because of Monica and Val.’ I hate that because we love Anne,” added Val. “We’re such huge fans of Anne and I didn’t even get to, like, be upset over the fact that Anne is leaving because it was such a crazy [moment]. But we love Anne and that’s the only negative about this situation. Obviously the positive is that we get to compete for another week and we’re very excited about that.”
ET also spoke with Bruno after the show wrapped, where he attempted to explain what went wrong.
“Well it’s live television, things like this happen, especially with information coming in from all over the country, voting and calculating in such a small amount of time,” he said. “Listen, the computer technology, not a clue. I always say, ‘Piece of paper! Write it down!'”
“We don’t actually know yet, but the votes, there’s such a small margin between them. So somebody must have by mistake pressed the wrong button and put them in the wrong order,” he added. “And Tyra was brilliant because she just said, ‘Oh no, wait a second here, this is not working. What I have doesn’t match what I’m getting [fed in].’ She was brilliant, because what she getting in the ear was different than what was printed out. She was really good because she took control of the situation.”
Tonioli revealed that he and the other judges didn’t know what was going on at the time. “I don’t have an earpiece, so I’m just looking and waiting to see what happens,” he explained. “And she really kind of managed to bring the whole thing together. So good for you, girl. That’s how you do it!”
Dancing With the Stars returns next Monday for ’80s Night at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday to hear more from the dance duo, along with how their fellow contestants felt about the shocking elimination fiasco.
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