Bethany Mota and Derek Hough are on of the couples to beat on Dancing With the Stars, especially since Hough is a mirrorball trophy champion and Mota has a social media following in the millions. Mota is a YouTube sensation turned fashion icon with her own clothing line for Aeropastle, fragrances, and more. Hough is a singer, dancer, and has been showing off his acting skills on the TV show Nashville. The two have grueling schedules, but somehow find the time to kill it on the ballroom floor together. Read on for all the facts on the dancing duo below.
1. Hough Recently Suffered a Back Injury
As the competition carries on, contenders can suffer many injuries, as we’ve seen each season. Recently, Hough hurt his back and was nervous about how it might affect his dancing, telling TV Guide:
I hurt my back during camera-blocking on Sunday and it’s been a nuisance all week. Hopefully it’s just a muscle thing and won’t get any worse.
Mota has been dealing with an ankle injury during the season.
2. Both Hough and Mota Dealt With Childhood Bullying by Following Their Dreams
Bethany Mota first started creating YouTube videos to escape bullying she endured as a child. When she was 12 years old, friends began to bully her, calling her fat and ugly, which really took a toll on her. Hough suffered from intense bullying as well. He revealed at the GLSEN Respect Awards that he was bullied and the New York Daily News reported his speech:
Bullying can be physical, verbal or emotional. Words and threats are just as painful as fists, especially with social media these days. For those of you who don’t know, I was actually bullied as a young boy. They would tie my ankles up with a very rough rope and hang me in a tree upside down, spit on me and call me names, even hold a gun to my head. I didn’t tell anybody — my parents or teachers or friends or sisters.
Hough then revealed that dancing was his escape, saying:
We ended up having to move because it got so bad. But for me, it was one of those things where I ‘overcame.’ It was more when I got older and I found dance, and it gave me a purpose. It gave me a focus and a motivation. It became my safe place, the place where I could grow and flourish and find those answers. I know now that the worst thing you can do is suffer in silence.
Have a look at Hough in the below video, talking about his childhood bullying experiences.
3. Mota Recently Celebrated her 19th Birthday and Hough Surprised her With a Little Celebration of Their Own
Bethany Mota turned 19 years old recently and Hough surprised his dance partner with a giant bouquet of balloons and a huge hug. A strange coincidence is that Hough’s partner from last season, Amy Purdy, was celebrating her birthday as well. Check out the below photo:
4. Hough Is Often Late to Rehearsals
The DWTS cast members took part in a “newlywed” type game to see how much they knew about each other. When it comes to Mota and Hough, we found out a few things. Derek Hough is late to rehearsals the most, though he insists (as he laughs) that even when he’s not there, he’s thinking about the routine. Hough is also the one who checks himself out in the mirror the most, but Mota is the “selfie queen” of the duo.
5. The Two Dominated Gene Kelly’s “Singing In The Rain”
One of the most revered dances of the season was Mota and Hough’s portrayal of dancing legend Gene Kelly’s “Singing In The Rain.” Have a look at their performance in the above video.