Fans of Gabby Windey saw her out of “Bachelorette” mode and in full dance mode on Monday, September 19, during the season 31 premiere of “Dancing with the Stars” on Disney+. She and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, were dressed in sparkly pink as they danced to Harry Styles’ ‘As it Was’.
Windey’s segment began with her introducing herself, saying, “You may know me from ‘The Bachelor’ where I broke my heart, but no hard feelings.” She then shared how lucky she was to get a second chance and how being on DWTS is “a dream come true”.
The scene then changed for the first time when Windey and Chmerkovskiy met. Windey seemed very excited about who she was paired with. She hugged him and exclaimed, “You’re the best!” Chmerkovskiy informed Windey that there is a history of singles doing well in the competition, so “no pressure”.
Chmerkovskiy then asked Windey about her previous dance experience. She told him that she danced all through high school and that she was a cheerleader in Denver Broncos for five years. However, she admitted that she is more of a “performer” and less of a “technical dancer.” She also confessed that she has no ballroom dancing experience.
Windey told the cameras that she gets nervous thinking about the performance. “I think I’ll just crumble,” she revealed.
The performance started with Windey in a pink fringed dress, sitting in a large glittering swan. She and Chmerkovskiy performed an energetic jive dance to Harry Styles’ “As It Was.” Windey’s co-bachelorette and best friend, Rachel Recchia, was in the audience, along with Chmerkovskiy’s wife, Jenna Johnson. Recchia is actually the one who got Windey cast on DWTS by campaigning for her boyfriend.
The jury was quite impressed with the performance. Carrie Ann Inaba said Gabby was “amazing.” She gushed, “Your legs are incredible. Wow! I was stunned.” Windey humbly pointed to Chmerkovskiy and said, “He’s it all.” Inaba responded with, “No, it’s all of you,” to which Windey laughed and admitted, “You’re right, it’s all me.”
Derek Hough called it “the best performance of the night so far” and told Windey, “your rotation was off the hook!” Judges Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli kept their comments short but positive.
New co-host Alfonso Ribeiro interviewed Windey after the judges made their comments. He shared how Bachelor Nation star Melissa Rycroft was also a cheerleader, and she won “All Stars.” Ribeiro wanted to know if that had any impact on Windey, but instead of answering the question, she just reiterated that she’s more of a performer than a technical dancer. She asked Ribeiro if that answered his question and he said no, it really isn’t, but they’re short on time, so he left it out.
Windey and Chmerkovskiy got a 7 from all four judges, for a total of 28/40. Windey topped the ballot, but the highest score of the evening went to Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, who earned a 32/40. Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd were the first pair to be eliminated.
Fans who can’t get enough of Gabby Windey can watch her on “The Bachelorette” Finale Part 2, Tuesday, September 20 on ABC.
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