A “Dancing With the Stars” pro has not been shy when it comes to expressing her feelings following her week 1 elimination on season 32.
Koko Iwasaki and Matt Walsh were the first to go after the judge’s scores combined with the viewers’ votes landed them in the bottom two alongside Emma Slater and Mauricio Umansky. On September 28, 2023, Iwasaki took to her Instagram Stories to reshare a post with the headline, “‘Dancing With the Stars’ Fans Riot Over Matt Walsh’s ‘Unfair’ Elimination.”
Iwasaki has also thanked fans for “validating” her feelings after the elimination, which left some fans surprised, given that Walsh’s dance was better than many others who performed for the first time.
“Thank you to the fans of the show for all the love & support. It really means a lot. And thank you for validating my feelings,” she wrote on Instagram on September 27, 2023, one day after the season 32 premiere.
Iwasaki and Walsh danced a Cha-cha, and received fours across the board from the judges, giving them a score of 12 out of 30.
Here’s what you need to know:
Matt Walsh Was Also Open About His Feelings on His Early Elimination
Walsh, who is an actor known for roles in films like “The Hangover,” didn’t hold back his feelings on being the first person eliminated on season 32. In fact, while still in the ballroom, Walsh encouraged the judges to rewatch his dance.
Beyond that, Walsh took to his Instagram Stories to share one fan’s comment that really resonated with him.
“I think what I loved most about the stance was that Matt actually danced. Not trying to bad mouth other male celebrities, but let’s be honest, most of the male celebrities were just showing off their female professionals and their dance skills rather than the other way around. Those dances took away from the whole point of the show, which is to show what the celebrity can do,” the comment read, according to a screenshot posted on Reddit.
“Sometimes the internet gets it right,” Walsh commented, going on to thank the fans and his season 32 partner.
Walsh’s first dance came just days after he announced that he was stepping back from the show due to the ongoing writers’ strike (at the time). After it was confirmed that a tentative deal had been reached, Walsh decided to rejoin the show.
Koko Iwasaki Posted a Tribute to Matt Walsh on Instagram
In addition to Iwasaki sharing her feelings about her early exit from season 32, she also posted a nice tribute to her partner.
“Matt. A true class act. Our journey was cut short but boy did we go through a lot in this amount of time. I’m so proud of you and so proud of our dance. You went out there and performed a beautiful classic cha cha and gave the audience a reason to smile. I don’t think you deserved those scores last night and I don’t think it was your time yet but I know we will keep on dancing,” Iwasaki captioned an Instagram post, which included a video of their week 1 dance.
“Thank you for being a great partner and the best student. Thank you for working hard and asking questions about every style of ballroom dancing. For wanting to learn the culture and the technique respectfully. Thank you for teaching me a lot in return as well. It has been an honor to be around your energy and I will miss it every day. I gained the coolest friend out of this and that’s the biggest win. Love you Matt,” she added.
Iwasaki competed on season 31 alongside “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino. They finished the season in 7th place.