How did erin andrews do on dancing with the stars

Erin Andrews Reveals Surprising Truth About Getting Fired From 'Dancing With the Stars'

Many Dancing With the Stars fans had a hard time after Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews announced they would not be returning to cohost season 29 in the fall of 2020. Although Tom later revealed that getting fired by ABC wasn’t a complete surprise to him, Erin admitted that she was caught off guard. But now, a year and a half later, she has a completely new perspective.

Speaking with Us Weekly in November, Erin reflected on how being let go from Dancing With the Stars — due to ABC wanting to switch things up — has affected her. According to the Fox NFL reporter, she now has more time to pursue exciting projects and personal goals. In short, it may very well have been for the best.

“I give my best to them. My schedule has been so crazy with [football commentating], the clothing line, the podcasts … trying to have a baby, that I think it was the best thing for me,” she told the outlet. “They wanted to go a different direction, and they’re doing that now. So, hopefully, they’re happy.”

Eric McCandless//Getty Images

After Tom broke the news about their sudden departure, Erin took to Twitter to share her gratitude with a lighthearted message. "I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn't the best at walking in heels," she wrote on July 14, 2020. The next day, the network announced that Tyra Banks was going to be the show's new solo host and an executive producer.

As folks may know, Erin first got her start on the dancing competition show in 2010 when she was cast as a celebrity contestant. That fall, she and pro partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy made it all the way to the DWTS season 10 finale and ended up in third place. Fast forward to 2014, Erin made her official return to the ballroom as Tom’s cohost for season 18, and the two quickly became one of primetime TV’s most recognizable duos.

While Erin admitted to the magazine that she doesn’t tune in to the show anymore, she revealed that her friendship with Tom is better than ever. “Tom and I will always be attached to the hip and super, super close as well,” she told the outlet. “I love him so much. He’s one of the best, very fun [people] to have a couple of cocktails with — kind of an afternoon situation.”

Related Story
  • Tom Bergeron Talks Getting Fired From 'DWTS'

Rebecca Norris

Rebecca Norris is a full-time freelance writer living in the DC metro area. She writes for a variety of publications, covering everything from beauty and wellness to style and celebrity news. She is a graduate of George Mason University. There, she earned her B.A. in Media: Production, Consumption, and Critique, along with a minor in Electronic Journalism.

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Erin Andrews Reacts to ‘DWTS’ Moving to Disney+ After Her Exit

A surprising move. Erin Andrews shared her opinion on Dancing With the Stars‘ move to Disney+ following her July 2020 exit from the reality show.

“I obviously saw [the news] from all the dancers posting it, so I just hope that they’re doing OK and they’re excited about it,” the Fox Sports host, 44, told Entertainment Tonight on Monday, May 16 about the show’s move. “That’s where my love and my dedication lies towards, is those guys. So, as long as all of them are good.”

After placing third on DWTS in 2010, Andrews was hired to cohost the show alongside Tom Bergeron in 2014. However, just six years later, the pair both announced that they had been let go from the show.

Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews Mediapunch/Shutterstock

“Thank you ABC and the entire Dancing With the Stars family for six memorable seasons,” the NFL sideline reporter wrote via Instagram in July 2020. “Those years wouldn’t have been as special without my loving host, Tom Bergeron, the talented dancers, and witty judges. I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking on heels.”

Days after their exit was announced, Tyra Banks confirmed that she would take over as host and executive producer.

Tyra Banks ABC/Adrienne Raquel

“Nobody wants to be let go when it’s not on their terms, but I do think there’s something on the horizon. I’m definitely working my people to find something and put something on the horizon,” Andrew said during a September 2020 appearance on the “Token CEO” podcast about her exit from the reality competition. “I really enjoyed being in that space and I think I’m somebody that, you know, as much as I do love sports — I’m a fan of a lot of things, reality TV, I’m just a fan of TV and so, I think that’s why Dancing was a great fit for me because, you know, it was live. You didn’t know what was going to happen.

The sportscaster also revealed that she was blindsided by the news while she was playing golf with her husband, Jarret Stoll, who she married in June 2017. “I felt sorry for myself, and I kind of was like, ‘This is a terrible time to lose my job,’ because we don’t know when live television is coming back. These are hard jobs to get,” Andrews recalled. “I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m a loser, this is really bad,’ … Yeah, it was a super big bummer.”

She continued: “I did remind myself, by the way, there’s people that have such worse stuff going on right now, I mean, give me a break, for me to be that selfish and think, ‘Oh, my God, the world’s ending.’ People have lost multiple people in their families because of COVID.”

Erin Andrews ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Despite the sudden decision, Andrews doesn’t hold a grudge against the DWTS team. “I give my best to them. My schedule has been so crazy with [football commentating], the clothing line, the podcasts … trying to have a baby, that I think it was the best thing for me,” she told Us Weekly exclusively in November 2021. “They wanted to go a different direction, and they’re doing that now. So, hopefully they’re happy.”

Dancing With the Stars was renewed for seasons 31 and 32 last month. New episodes are expected to debut on Disney+ in the fall.

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Chapter 18 Dance of Life . Step forward [The story of a girl who, having lost her legs, learned to dance]

"It's one thing to dance with your feet, and quite another with your heart."

Unknown author

We hardly celebrated the victory in Sochi. A few hours later I flew to Los Angeles. We were seventy-two hours away from the big premiere of Dancing with the Stars, and we still had to get our cha-cha to perfection. The plane landed at 7 pm, I popped in to change and rushed to rehearsal at nine.

Derek and I met in a large mirror studio and got down to business. I showed everything that I remembered from our classes in Sochi.

- Look, I haven't forgotten! he exclaimed.

Because of training, I almost gave up dancing. There was only enough time to imagine them mentally in the same way as I imagined snowboarding competitions, calculating each step. In Sochi, we worked out almost all the movements, but now we had to bring the dance together and learn how to get in time.

Thanks to Derek, I learned a lot. It came out well.

I left the rehearsal after midnight. The idea that the day after tomorrow we will be performing in front of millions of spectators both excited and frightened me.

I understood that I was taken to the show partly because of my legs. And she was quite embarrassed when they were in the center of everyone's attention. On the first day in Los Angeles, one of the journalists asked:

- What is it like to dance with prostheses? Are you really succeeding?

I answered sincerely, but I thought to myself: “These legs are not all of me! I just won a bronze medal in snowboarding. And I can definitely handle dancing!”

In Los Angeles, they rented a spacious, bright two-room apartment for me. My parents were waiting for me there, they came to support me at the premiere. After a sixteen-hour flight, jet lag, and then three hours of dancing, I was very tired and immediately fell asleep.

The next day, Derek and I were picking out clothes for the premiere and a group photo shoot. The producer took us to a building that looked like a huge studio. It was as if I found myself in some kind of magical, bright and sparkling kingdom. I had exactly the same feeling at the show itself.

Dancing with the Stars is an entire industry, from carefully planned sets to choosing the right makeup and outfit, live music and lights. What you see on the screen is only a small part of what is actually going on behind the scenes. The work here is in full swing around the clock. All outfits are designed and sewn specifically for a particular contestant. Two or three different costumes are prepared for each number. I wanted golden trousers and a top, embroidered with beads and fringed.

- I tell you, with all your hip movements, this fringe is what you need! I convinced Derek.

And now I'm trying on a suit. The dressmakers pin the pins and baste the seams. I don't believe my eyes. It fits so well on me! How beautifully the waist and chest are emphasized. Not dressmakers, but sorceresses!

The day of the premiere has come. I get my makeup and hair done in a private booth. There is a sign with my name on the door. It's embroidered on the things I found inside. I have a personal assistant, Michelle. I feel like a real star.

“If you need anything, just tell me,” Michelle assured me.

So, first - hair, then - make-up, then - dress rehearsal.

How much was new and unusual! Bright light, polishing and honing the dance. And that feeling when your every move is being watched. From excitement, I forgot a couple of pas. In the end, I began to get more or less tolerable. Well, almost ...

The teams were called to the court one by one. Some danced so well that I couldn't help but wonder if we were ready to perform. Figure skating champion Meryl performed flawlessly and simply amazing. How can I compete with an Olympic champion, one of the best figure skaters in the world! She will definitely put me on the shoulder blades.

But I said to myself: "Live in the present, enjoy it, and then we'll see."

When you're on a show like this, your life is inscribed in a triangle: home, dance floor, CBS office. There is almost no contact with the outside world.

Participants do not communicate with each other as actively as it might seem. In the studio, everyone has their own time, and the paths practically do not intersect. On the first evening, we only had a chance to say hello to James and Petu. Later we became friends with Candice and Danica, with Nene from The Real Housewives of Atlanta. She was so groovy and funny and I really liked her.

- Hey girlfriend! she shouted every time she saw me on stage.

It's our turn to record an interview with show host Erin Andrews. This happens right before the show. Competitors listen to the scores and observe the performance of others. As soon as the camera stops filming, make-up artists and stylists run up to fix our hair and make-up. We are working on the moves at the last moment. We comment on what is happening on camera, answer Erin's questions.

- Are you worried? Derek whispered to me.

“No, and it scares me a little,” I answered with a giggle.

Now I understand that at that time I was simply in shock with excitement.

"That's good," he said. - You will succeed.

Announce our number:

- And... with a cha-cha-cha dance... Amy Purdy and her partner... Derek Hough!

I took a deep breath, “Well, here it is. There is no way back." Mentally she said to herself the same thing as in Sochi: “You can do it, Amy!” One Republic's "Counting Stars" started playing, and Derek and I walked confidently towards each other. “One, two, three, four,” I counted the steps to myself, “five, six, seven, eight.” We met exactly in the middle of the hall, joined hands, made several movements, and ... the crowd exploded! The golden fringe on me swayed in time with the music. The audience applauded loudly and sang along, “I can't sleep lately. I keep thinking about what could be between us!”

The dance ended as abruptly as it began. Excited, I looked at the audience. Everyone stood up from their seats and greeted us. Have we done it?! Can't believe it myself!

We went to the jury.

"Let's make a deal right away, Amy," said Len Goodman. - We will rate you on the same scale as all the other stars of our show. I think you would like that too.

I nodded in agreement, and he continued:

- At the Olympics you won a bronze medal, and for cha-cha-cha ... - "gold"!

Bruno Tonioli spoke next:

- Incredible! - he said. We have a Wonder Woman! Rhythm, plasticity, artistry… How do you manage it? Awesome!

The last was the wonderful Carrie Ann Inaba:

- I'm in shock! - she exclaimed. "I've never seen anything like it!" You are not just a dancer or a show participant. You are a real fire!

Now I could not only breathe, but also speak. I understood why many contestants cry at the end of the performance. The level of emotional and physical stress just rolls over. Until a month ago, being on Dancing with the Stars seemed like a "fun opportunity" to me. But when you give yourself to something one hundred percent, with all your passion, the result charges you with great energy.

Grades announced to us:

- Twenty-four out of a possible thirty!

Not bad for a girl with metal legs and little experience! According to the rules of the show, the last word belongs to the fans who sit in front of the TVs. If even a spark of my frenzied energy reaches them, I have a chance.

When I returned home, my parents and sister rushed to hug me:

- I can't believe it, Amy! You were great! Christel rejoiced. You can really dance!

The fans literally went crazy. If earlier a fire of passions raged on my Twitter page, now there has been a real volcanic eruption. Every Monday after the show and interviews with journalists, I returned to my dressing room and opened the chat. I wanted to communicate with the fans, thank them.

“We wept bitterly when we watched you perform,” people of all ages wrote to me. Among them were many children, teenagers and young people. And one especially touching nine-year-old wrote: “Amy, when I saw you dancing, I thought that if she did well, then I could definitely get an A in math!” Another woman wrote: "I've been trying to lose 23 kilos for so long, and when I saw what you did, I joined the gym."

From the very first week, I realized that this is not just an entertainment show. It helped people change their attitude to life and believe that there is nothing impossible or impossible in the world. Every week I gave tickets to our performance to some child with a disability. One day after the show, Derek and I saw a girl I invited dancing in the lobby on her prosthetic legs. Derek looked at me and said

- That's why we're doing this.

“Yes,” I replied. - It's for this.

When I lost my legs, I had no one to look up to. And how happy I was to become this example for others.

All season Derek and I had to dance swing, waltz, tango, salsa and quickstep, always staying at the top of the table. The first dance only set the tone.

– At some point, I lost the rhythm, I think I raised my shoulders too much, – I confessed to Derek after the performance.

- Now it doesn't matter - everything is behind. Put this dance in a drawer, lock it up and throw away the key. Tomorrow we will start rehearsing a new number.

Reboot is what Derek taught me. Rest today, and tomorrow again only forward! Week after week flew by like this. On Tuesdays in the morning we listened to the composition that the producers chose, after lunch we met with the costume designers and artists. On Wednesday we learned new moves. On Thursday they were brought together. On Friday, they recorded a rough version of the performance.

On Saturday there was a polishing. On Sunday - the final summary and dress rehearsal on stage. And finally, Monday! Hairstyle. Makeup. Costume rehearsal. Live recording of the show. This was my life for nine weeks.

After rehearsals, I rushed to give interviews on television. I didn't even have time to do my laundry.

And I called my mother:

- Mom, could you come and help me?

And my super mom temporarily moved from Boise to Los Angeles. She cooked my meals and washed my clothes. Daniel, my father and other relatives were constantly flying back and forth.

I am often asked: "What was the most difficult?" Legs. Sometimes they "threw" me unpleasant surprises. For example, once the prostheses loosened right before the performance. The most difficult thing was to learn how to dance and at the same time keep balance on prostheses. It was necessary to constantly remember: the shoulders are lowered, the back is straight, the movements of the hands are elegant and graceful. I practiced for hours in front of the mirror, trying to move beautifully. One day Derek looked at me and laughed:

- It's so touching to watch you practice on your own!

From the beginning Derek told me:

- I am your wall and support.

And he became this wall both emotionally and physically. Thanks to him, I realized how strong I have been all these years. He led on the dance floor, and I could relax and feel like a fragile woman again. I suddenly realized that when I lost my legs, something that made me a woman disappeared with them. And thanks to dancing and Derek, I found it again.

The most difficult for me was "Disney week". We danced a romantic dance to the music from Cinderella. I had to move so smoothly and slowly that I did not feel confident in my legs. It was like I was riding my bike in slow motion. More than once I thought that this dance would be my last. For the first time in the entire competition, my faith in myself was shaken. My hands dropped.

But, after weeping, I told myself that this had already happened to me more than once. You just need to work, and then there will be a way out. By the end of the week, I had performed the Cinderella Waltz. When Derek, my Prince Charming, guided me, I felt like a real princess! It was like a dream!

I liked all the dances, but my favorite was contemporary. The producers gave us the theme "The Most Memorable Year of Your Life".

- Well, what are your thoughts? Derek asked.

We were sitting in the studio.

- Of course, the year when it happened to my legs, when my father's kidney was transplanted to me, - I answered. “Honestly, I don’t want to talk about the past. All this is far behind.

“It will be hard for you,” Derek replied, “but you have to tell what you went through and what you achieved. Your story will fill people with new hope.

And we began to invent this mini-performance. In the language of dance, Derek and I will talk about everything. I invited my parents to shoot this issue, but did not discover the main idea.

Derek chose the song "Human" by Christina Perri.

He heard it in a hotel in Sochi.

- I thought then, - he said, - what a beautiful and powerful song! It's about how fragile and vulnerable we all are.

- "Blood flows from my wounds ... I can be broken, I can lose my composure," he sang. “I heard it and thought about your story.

This week before the show was incredibly exhausting emotionally and physically. Derek was preparing for his own country tour and was very nervous. Serious passions boiled in the studio. Out of the blue, Derek's mood instantly changed. Either he walked gloomier than a cloud, and then after a moment he was bawling a song with might and main, laughing heartily, joking and making me and the producer laugh to tears. I was shocked by his emotionality. We rehearsed the dance.

"Turn around here," Derek was saying, showing him what to do. If I didn’t succeed, he got terribly annoyed. But the next moment he said something like:

- Hmm, now I understand why you can't get this piece out. When I explained it to you, I used the wrong energy.

Derek is special, he draws inspiration from somewhere above. The channels through which he contacted God and the Universe are widely disclosed.

- I wanted, - Derek said, - that in this dance you looked especially feminine, with especially graceful legs and elongated toes.

- Invented! I exclaimed. “One of my sponsors, a prosthesis manufacturer, makes pointed-toed swimming legs. I don't know if I can balance them, but let's try?

These prostheses were designed as scuba fins. We called the manufacturer:

- What do you think, if you stand on your toes, will they hold up? Can you tiptoe in them?

- Design, - answered the manager, - can withstand weight up to ninety kilograms.

The next day, the prostheses were brought.

- Wow, what a beauty! Derek exclaimed as soon as he saw me on my new feet. - They are so graceful!

In these prostheses, I felt like a fragile girl. I crossed my legs, rested my fingers on the floor, admired the long and slender legs.

I could really stand on my fingertips, but it was not easy to keep my balance. After walking a few steps, I staggered.

“If I were your father,” Derek picked me up, “I would hug you like this.

It was a poignant moment.

I learned to walk on swimming prostheses, to balance on them. And yet sometimes I lost my balance. At one point in the dance, I had to let go of Derek's hand and stand on tiptoe on my own.

By Friday we were doing a test shoot. Derek dimmed the lights in the studio and we started dancing. Emotions were literally palpable.

“If we succeed,” Derek said, “it will be something incredible.

It's Monday. Backstage that evening, we hugged, took a few deep breaths together.

“You will hear a recording that tells your story,” Derek said, “then you will see your father in the hall, and the song will begin. All this will be incredibly emotional. Turn those emotions into your energy.

I nodded. This is exactly what I did more than once when I acted in a movie, gave a speech, or competed.

He pressed his hand to my heart and said:

- Now think of something for which you are grateful.

- I'm grateful for the chance to say "thank you" to my father.

Then he took my hand, pressed it to his and said:

- I'm grateful to be dancing with you, Amy.

We seemed to be in a halo of complete spiritual fusion and powerful positive energy.

Derek leaned over and whispered:

- You couldn't even walk, and now you're dancing! Just remember: you've already won. Whatever happens, every step you take is perfect.

We took our places on the stage. Sitting on the floor, I pressed my cheek against my knees. Derek approached from the side, leaned over and gently lifted me up. The first notes of the song came on and Derek led me.

"I'll hold my breath" - sung in the song. Derek lifted me up so my legs were over my head. "I'll bite my tongue" I took three steps forward on my perfectly pointed toes and Derek and I met, held hands and looked into each other's eyes. And here is the climax! He let go of my hands, I pushed him away and straightened up. In the spotlight, I balanced on my fingertips, calling for help with all my energy so as not to lose my balance. A moment later, I stepped towards Derek, who lifted me and whirled me in the air in the light of the stage lights, which opened like a flower. There was literally a spark between us. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude that is difficult to describe in words. Finally, the last words came out: "I'm only human." The audience gave a standing ovation, and then I saw my father. He cried.

I came down from the stage and hugged him, whispering in his ear: “Thank you, dad, thank you!”

The jury started discussing the performance. I tried my best to control myself.

“I hope you understand what happens to people when they see you dancing every week,” said Good Morning America host Robin Roberts. – Everyone who has faced difficulties and obstacles, thanks to your example, sees that they and all of us have a chance to start all over again.

Robin said out loud exactly what Derek and I wanted to convey - to help people realize their own strength by looking at how I cope with my difficulties.

- Who is your idol, Amy? my producer Alex once asked me. It was the eighth week of the show. He was already preparing for the ninth, the theme of which was "America's Idol".

- My idol? I furrowed my brow thoughtfully.

- Well, yes, who would you like to imitate?

- Oh my god, I don't know. It seems like the only person you could say that about is Oprah.

Of course, there were artists, athletes, musicians that I liked, but it was Oprah who became an example for me, thanks to her I was able to open up as a person.

- Oprah Winfrey? he asked, almost dropping the tablet in surprise.

“Yes, Oprah,” I replied. - I want to be like her. She has been through a lot and always wanted to help others.

He sighed.

“Yeah,” he finally drawled. Oprah is definitely not coming to our show. Maybe you will choose someone else, not so cool?

- No, - I answered, - only Oprah.

And she herself thought: “He is right, he is unlikely to come ...”

I immediately forgot this conversation. In a few days it was necessary to master the quickstep.

We danced for six hours, seven days a week, seven days a week! And so nine weeks in a row!

During the season I tried many different designs of prostheses. None of them moved like normal legs, and none were designed for dancing. Through trial and error, I finally settled on four pairs of "legs".

One - everyday, for walking in high heels. They were best suited for waltz and swing. Others looked like mannequin legs, with a fixed ankle made of wood and foam. But they had a very graceful shape and rather comfortable feet to balance and move their hips when performing Latin dances - salsa, jiva and rumba. I also left prostheses for swimming, those very graceful legs on which I danced contemporary and Argentine tango. And, of course, my ninth week legs are running prostheses, on which I ran forward and from side to side while performing the quickstep. Who would have thought that quickstep can be danced on running prostheses!

Since the release of this episode, many parents have posted online videos of their children dancing on running prosthetics while looking at Derek and me. It was amazing and incredibly touching.

- What is more difficult - "Dancing with the Stars" or the Paralympics? I was often asked.

- "Dancing with the Stars" - I always answered.

In snowboarding, all I had to do was make sure I could do it, and then all I had to do was practice. And in the show every week it was necessary to learn something new, to start all over again. This is the lesson I learned from my participation in the show: work, go ahead, there is always a solution.

One day at a quickstep rehearsal, a producer brought me a phone.

“You will need it today,” he said. “Someone should call you.

I smiled and I thought to myself, "Certainly not Oprah." An hour later the phone rang. It was HER. I didn't believe my ears. I put the speaker on so Derek could hear it too.

Here is an excerpt from our conversation:

- Hello, is this Amy?

“Hi, yes,” I replied, trembling slightly with excitement. - This is Amy.

- Amy, this is Oprah Winfrey.

Are you serious? - I grabbed my heart. - Oh my God!

- Hi, Oprah, how are you? Derek put in.

Is that Derek?

- He is the best!

- Oh my god, it's you! Oprah exclaimed.

"Wow, we're so surprised by your call," Derek replied as I frantically thought of something to say.

- Such a boost of energy from you! Oprah said. - Look up the definition of the word "energy" in the dictionary - for sure your photo will be there! Amy, this is just incredible! I don't know how you manage to do what you do!

- I don't know myself! I confessed. - I'm so worried, my hands are trembling!

- If you win, I'll invite you both to dinner, I promise! I will be watching! Oprah finished.

We said goodbye, I hung up and let out a triumphant cry.

Only a minute of our conversation was included in the issue, but in fact we chatted for about ten minutes. I was the happiest person on earth.

We made it to the final that week.

"It doesn't matter if we win or not," Derek told me. – You proved that you are an excellent dancer and worked harder than anyone else.

Of course, he wanted to ease the pain a little if we were defeated. But it was this thought that helped us relax and write our script. We found the idea that was in tune with the idea of ​​the whole project. We wanted to tell the audience only one thing: "Never give up!"

- Any thoughts on the music? Derek asked me. - It would be nice to find some song where there would be words like "Only the sky is higher."

The next day Derek had an epiphany. He got into the car, turned on the radio and heard the song "Dare You" by Hardwell. The words seemed to have been written especially for me: “Do you feel weak in love? Is it hard for you to scream? Is it hard for you to run?"

- Here it is!

- These words describe exactly those ten weeks on the show!

All that was left was to put a dance on her.

One evening I got a message from Derek: "I want you to watch something." There was also a link to a YouTube video. Opening it, I saw an aerialist performing tricks at a height of five meters.

- Cool! I told Derek the next time we met.

I perfectly understood what he was getting at.

"I want you to do this trick," he said.

On the video, it seemed very difficult, and the mere sight of the height made me sway, but I did not argue.

That's the secret of being on the show. In nine weeks, you learn one simple truth: everything that seems completely impossible becomes a reality in six days.

“Okay,” I replied. - Let's try.

Derek and I went to the aerial gymnastics studio in Los Angeles to meet his friend, Angel.

“Actually, you usually need to train for two weeks,” he said. “Only then will your body be strong enough to perform this number.”

"That's right, buddy," Derek put in, "but we've only got an hour to see if she can even do it, and then we have to get back to the studio."

He looked back to see my reaction.

"Amy," Derek said. “I know you can handle it.

Together with Angel, we approached the trapeze.

- Pull yourself up a few times.

I grabbed the bar with my hands, took a breath and lifted my legs straight in front of me at a right angle. Long live ab exercises!

- Can you do this five times? - he asked. I made. Then he told me to let go of one arm and do push-ups five times on each arm.

“You can do it, Amy,” Derek encouraged me. - Come on, come on, come on!

I did the exercises and fell to the floor exhausted.

- Oh my god! I said, barely breathing. – How difficult…

The back muscles ached from exertion.

Angel looked at Derek.

- Wow, that was cool! he said.

We rehearsed the three final dances at the same time. Derek was determined to make an unforgettable spectacle. The elements and movements that he included in them were more difficult than those that we have performed so far. Everything was great until one morning during salsa rehearsal I heard:

- Chrup! Something cracked in my chest.

Cramp all over upper back.

- Oh my god! I screamed, falling to my knees.

We called the doctor immediately. He set the rib and ordered that ice be applied at once.

“It will hurt,” he told me, “but nothing is broken.

There were only three days left before the final, and I only worked out the rotation on the rope.

– Well, do you think we can handle this? Derek asked me.

I shrugged:

- I don't know.

“Listen,” he finally said. - Everything hurts you. But we need to bring freestyle to mind, we can not hesitate. We haven't even started dancing yet. Maybe, well, him?

- That is, how is it "well him"? – I was indignant. - Well, I do not! We've reached the very end!

I knew he was just panicking.

- All right, - he agreed. But there is no time to be sick. We need to finish dancing today.

“Give me just a few hours,” I asked. “I just need to get some rest.

The pain was getting worse. I thought, "How can I deal with this?" We've reached the final! I was terribly offended that because of some kind of sore, participation in the competition was in jeopardy.

It's amazing - where do forces come from when you understand what you need. I came home, took my medicine, and lay on the floor for three hours, on ice packs. I made a simple choice: don't care about the pain! I will grit my teeth and finish what I started. And she texted Derek: “Let's do it! See you in half an hour."

It was the most painful rehearsal of my life. We finished already after midnight. The producer filmed it all to send to the directors.

"This is our freestyle," Derek said, looking straight at the camera. We have just finished rehearsal. Amy is injured. Keep your fingers crossed for us so that everything goes well. God bless us.

And here is the finale. We stand back to back on the site in the spotlights. I feel Derek's back. I feel some kind of inner strength growing in me. Our energy merges with the energy of the hall.

- Amy Purdy... and... her partner... Derek Hough! announces the host.

Inside, I feel an unprecedented peace. I take a few deep breaths: “No matter what happens, everything will be fine!”

In front of an audience of millions, Derek and I moved in perfect sync. I didn't just dance. With every part of my soul, I felt a merger with him in a single rhythm. I heard the music as clearly as ever. For the first time in the whole season, my body was moving, but my mind was calm. I didn’t think about rhythm, or counting, or which way to step and which way to turn. I just floated on the waves of the melody, as if someone had pressed the "Play" button, and the body itself knew what to do. When Derek lifted me into the air and my hand caught on the rope, not only gravity disappeared. Together with her, all self-doubts disappeared, and they were replaced by the confidence that each of us is capable of much. Fly higher. Overcome obstacles. I was spinning, and my heart was overflowing with gratitude to those millions of viewers who supported me; Derek, for his friendship and thoughtful guidance; To Daniel and my family who have walked this path with me; the power that filled my body; and everything I've been through. Yes! I was grateful for the courage with which, having lost my legs, I gained wings.

The next night, the other couple, Max and Meryl, were the winners. We were truly happy for them. For Max, this victory was the first, and Meryl, who lit the dance floor with a spark of her talent, really deserved this prize. And what a great honor and satisfaction it is to come to the final second after the best figure skater in the world! The Mirror Ball Ceremony was the highlight of the show. But for me, this climax happened the night before, and this moment I will not forget for the rest of my days.

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