Finalist Kaitlyn Bristowe is hours away from finding out if she will take home the mirrorball trophy as the winner of Dancing with the Stars. For Bristowe, her time on the dancing competition is years in the making after she was pulled from the series immediately following her turn as Bachelorette.
Fans of Bachelor Nation saw its longtime host, Chris Harrison, ask Bristowe if she wanted to join the season 29 cast of Dancing with the Stars during an appearance on The Bachelor: Greatest Seasons – Ever!
“I have a very, very real question for you Kaitlyn, and this is a question I am so excited to ask you, because well, your life is about to change and I’m not joking,” said Harrison. “Kaitlyn, will you be on the next season of Dancing with the Stars?”
Bristowe is among a long line of Bachelor Nation alums to compete on the show, including the original Bachelorette Trista Sutter and the most recent Bachelorette, Hannah Brown.
Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Season 29 Recap and Scores
Week One: For her debut, Bristowe danced a chacha to Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” with Chigvinstev. “It’s like an out of body experience,” said the former Bachelorette who has long shared her dream of appearing on the dancing competition. She added, “It’s a pinch me moment and I’m trying to not be emotional.” They scored 20 out of 30.
Week Two: Viewers were left wondering if Bristowe would be able to continue in the competition after it was revealed she sustained an ankle injury during practice. Yet, she hit the dance floor with Chigvinstev to perform a foxtrot to “I Hope You Dance.” They scored 22 out of 30.
Since Week Two was the first elimination night of the season, their scores were combined with Week One, making the dancing duo tied for first place.
Week Three: The Off The Vine host channeled Moana for Disney Week. “For me, so far, best dance of the night by miles,” judge Carrie Ann Inaba said of her rumba to “How Far I’ll Go.” She also complimented Bristowe and Chigvinstev for dancing barefoot, a way to integrate elements of Hawaiian dance. They scored 23 out of 30.
Week Four: Regularly scoring near the top of the leaderboard, Bristowe and Chigvinstev continued to build momentum with their Viennese waltz to “Beautiful Crazy.” Judge Derek Hough commented on how they kept getting better, but noted, “I feel like the past few weeks you’ve had a similar type of style so I’m really looking forward to a different type of dance that’s going to bring out a different side to you.” They scored 25 out of 30.
Week Five: With crimped pigtails, Bristowe channeled the “nerds” featured in the many of John Hughes’ films for 80s Week. Much to Hough’s delight, this week saw her and pro partner Chigvinstev dance a tango to Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” In a big reveal, Bristowe’s skirt gets ripped off to show cropped denim shorts as she performs a breakdance. They scored 27 out of 30.
Week Six: Bristowe danced to a fellow Canadian’s hit when she performed a samba to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” However, this week proved to be the start of a frictional relationship with Inaba, who said of her performance, “It was well-executed and I really can’t take anything off for technical things. But I actually, this is so weird, but I was not super impressed.” Inaba elaborated, telling Bristowe that despite her talent, the season is competitive and she wants to see more. They scored 27 out of 30.
Week Seven: Dancing with the Stars celebrated Halloween with Villains Week, which saw Bristowe dressed as Cruella de Vil and Chigvinstev donning a Dalmatians print. The duo danced a paso doble to Rihanna’s “Disturbia,” which garnered mixed reactions from the judges. Bruno Tonioli said the performance was rushed, while Inaba said it looked like Bristowe gave up, but Hough told them it was a “great way to end the show.” With each judge handing out a different point value, they scored 24 out of 30.
Week Eight: To “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, the dancing duo opened the episode with a jive for their first dance of the night. However, when Inaba asked, “Can you do a back-tap on your own?” Bristowe responded with “No.” Despite Chigvinstev chiming in that the move was “an assisted jump,” Inaba docked a point. They scored 25 out of 30.
The contestants also had to participate in a dancing relay, with Bristowe among AJ McLean and Skai Jackson dancing the samba to Dua Lipa’s “Levitating.” Bristowe and Chigvinstev earned three bonus points from this performance, putting them in fourth place for the night. Overall, they scored 28 out of 30.
Week Nine: Hit me Bristowe one more time, as the Bachelorette alum embodied Britney Spears for Icons Week. She performed an Argentine tango to the Spears classic, “Toxic” for her first perfect score of the season. Inaba acknowledged their difficulties over the previous few weeks, but gave this performance a standing ovation. They scored 30 out of 30.
Bristowe then had a dance off against Justina Machado, both performing a chacha to “Telephone” simultaneously. The bonus points were awarded to Machado.
Semifinals: Week 10 of Dancing with the Stars saw each contestant perform a redemption dance. For Bristowe and Chigvinstev, that meant redoing their Villains Night dance, the paso doble. They earned rave reviews for their performance to “Hanuman” by Rodrigo y Gabriela. They scored 30 out of 30.
For the second dance of the night, Bristowe remembered her best friend Lindsay who passed away in high school. They performed a contemporary dance to “Cowboy Take Me Away,” a song they played at Lindsay’s funeral. Of the emotional performance, Tonioli said, “Oh my darling, powerful, beautiful, another fantastic dance.” They scored 30 out of 30, bringing the night’s total score to 60 out of 60.
Bristowe and Inaba Have Butted Heads Throughout the Season
Throughout the season, Bristowe and her partner Chigvintsev have clashed with Inaba over her critique of their dances.
“At this point, it starts being a little personal, I feel like,” Chigvintsec told Entertainment Tonight on the subject. “I feel it’s definitely, maybe not a different standard, but I feel like it’s different expectations. I don’t know. I’m watching back the dance itself, it’s like, ‘Oh, you can kick sharper!’ Well I can say that about everybody who dances on the show today. I don’t know. It’s really odd.”
“Is it coming from a place of, ‘I was hard on Hannah [Brown] and you’re another Bachelor girl’?” Bristowe said on her podcast, revealing she’d like Inaba to be a guest. “Where is it coming from and how are we supposed to take it and bring it into our next rehearsal? What do you want us to channel and use from it? It’s very hard to understand that.”
One hot point of contention came over Inaba’s critique of the dancing duo’s Villains Night performance.
“It felt like at moments you gave up, like there was moments and I felt like, cause you had a moment of chaos there, and I saw it in your eyes and I felt like your spirit dropped,” said Inaba at the time. She added, “It was another not great dance of yours.”
Inaba would go on to say she was being bullied over her critiques, but Bristowe spoke in her defense. She said on her podcast, “I heard that she feels bullied and that makes me feel so terrible because I’ve been bullied so hard online… Don’t go bullying her because she’s being hard on me. That’s her decision and she’s a judge.”
Bristowe will appear in the Dancing with the Stars finale tonight at 8/7c on ABC.