With six stars competing in this season’s Dancing With the Stars semifinals, fans were expecting a bitter double elimination at the end of Monday’s episode. However, no one could have expected who would be going home.
While the time had finally come for Bachelor in Paradise star Joe Amabile and his pro partner, Jenna Johnson, the real shock of the night came with the elimination of Fuller House star Juan Pablo di Pace and pro Cheryl Burke, despite notching perfect scores on Monday night and several more times earlier in the season.
ET’s Katie Krause spoke with the pair after their mind-blowing elimination, and it was clear that getting sent home in the semifinals was a tough blow for the talented team.
“I mean, we wanted to go to the finals. At least the finals,” di Pace lamented. “I think we worked so bloody hard to get here, and to put on a show every Monday, and to wow. Maybe that’s not what people want to see?”
“Or maybe people thought, ‘You got perfect scores every week, so we don’t need to vote,'” Burke added. “That’s what happens. And it just depends [on different factors]. Maybe people want to see somebody with two left feet all of the sudden become a dancer. I don’t know.”
After their run as the highest-scoring couple on the show, di Pace and Burke really topped the cake on Monday, delivering a jaw-dropping Argentine tango and then a flawless salsa that earned them back-to-back perfect scores, and effusive praise from the judges.
However, despite their best efforts, they didn’t get the support from viewers that they needed to edge out Alexis Ren and her partner, Alan Bersten, who joined di Pace and Amabile in the bottom three stars in jeopardy on Monday.
The elimination was especially painful for di Pace, who was supported in the audience by his Fuller House co-stars and close friends, including Jodie Sweetin, who competed on Dancing With the Stars back in Season 22.
However, after the show, his castmates came out on stage to hug di Pace, and share some sweet words of support and consolation.
“Jodie was like, ‘It sucks, and I know exactly how you feel. But you know what? I’m proud of you,'” Di Pace shared. “They’re my family. They’re like my second family.”
Throughout his time on the show, di Pace proved to be one of the strongest dancers in recent memory. With Burke by his side, the pair managed to pull off a number of routines that the judges praised as some of the best in the history of the show.
For di Pace, learning to work with Burke and trust her experience and instincts was something that he found a bit foreign, but truly made all the difference and, ultimately, taught him the most important lesson he learned from his time on the show.
“I think I learned to be a bit more humble. Because I’ve had to give it up so that she could do and create whatever she wanted to create,” di Pace admitted. “I’m a control freak, myself, but this is her world. So I put myself in her hands and it’s been quite beautiful, actually.”
As for his plans now that he doesn’t have to work himself to the bone every week rehearsing new dances and working out?
“I’m gonna get really fat,” di Pace said, with a smile that looked like he was half kidding and half really looking forward to the possibility.
“Well, how much you wanna bet, we’re gonna have a finale that we have to dance at?” Burke said.
“Oh, sure, might as well,” di Pace shot back with a shrug and a laugh.
While DWTS said goodbye to di Pace and Amabile, there are still four couples heading into this season’s jam-packed finals: Ren and Bursten, Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch and partner Keo Motsepe, radio star Bobby Bones and partner Sharna Burgess, as well as Disney channel star Milo Manheim and partner Witney Carson.
Watch the stars duke it out on the dance floor in their quest for the Dancing With the Stars Mirrorball trophy when the finals kick off on Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.