Fans of Gabby Windey got to see her out of “Bachelorette” mode, and in full-on dance mode, Monday September 19, during the premiere of season 31 of “Dancing with the Stars,” on Disney+. She and her partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, were dressed in sparkly pink as they jive danced to Harry Styles’ “As it Was.”
What Went Down
Windey’s segment began with her introducing herself, saying, “You may know me from ‘The Bachelor’ where I got my heart broken, but no hard feelings.” She then talked about how lucky she was to get a second chance and how being on DWTS is “a dream come true.”
The scene then switched Windey and Chmerkovskiy meeting for the first time. Windey seemed very excited about who she had been paired with. She hugged him and exclaimed, “you’re the best one!” Chmerkovskiy informed Windey that there is a history of Bachelorettes doing well in the competition, so “no pressure.”
Chmerkovskiy then asked Windey about her previous dance experience. She told him she danced all through high school and that she was a Denver Broncos cheerleader 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 dance experience.
Windey said to the cameras that she gets nervous thinking about the performance. “I think I’ll just crumble,” she disclosed.
The performance began with Windey in a pink fringy dress, sitting inside a large sparkly swan. She and Chmerkovskiy performed an energetic jive dance to “As It Was” by Harry Styles. Windey’s co-bachelorette and best friend, Rachel Recchia could be seen sitting 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 friend.
Reactions and Outcomes
The judges were quite impressed with the performance. Carrie Ann Inaba said that Gabby was “amazing.” She gushed, “your legs are incredible. Wow! I was blown away.” Windey humbly pointed at Chmerkovskiy and said “it’s all him.” Inaba countered with, “no, it’s all you” to which Windey laughed and conceded, “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 brief, but positive.
New co-host Alfonso Ribeiro interviewed Windey after the judges gave their comments. He mentioned how Bachelor Nation star Melissa Rycroft was also a cheerleader, and she won “All Stars.” Ribeiro wanted to know if that had any influence on Windey, but instead of answering the question, she merely reiterated how she is more of a performer than a technical dancer. She asked Ribeiro if that answered his question and he said that no, it really didn’t but they are short on time, so he let it drop.
Windey and Chmerkovskiy received a score of 7 from all four judges, for a total of 28/40. Windey was toward the top of the voting leaderboard, but the highest score of the night went to Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, who earned a 32/40. Jason Lewis and Peta Murgatroyd were the first pair eliminated.
Fans who can’t get enough of Gabby Windey can watch her on “The Bachelorette” Finale Part 2, Tuesday, September 20 on ABC.