Kaitlyn Bristowe’s Dancing With the Stars journey is only just beginning! The former Bachelorette’s first couple of weeks on the competition show have been eventful, to say the least. She injured her ankle and had an MRI — which showed she’s suffering from tendonitis and shin splints — but still received a total score of 23/30 for her latest routine, placing her and pro partner, Artem Chigvintsev, at the top of the leaderboard once again.
For Disney Night, the dynamic duo danced a rumba to “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s Moana, which judge Carrie Ann Inaba called the “best dance of the night by miles.”
“I was actually shocked when she said that, because I am always expecting a little feedback from Carrie. So when she said that I was like, ‘Wow,” Bristowe told ET’s Lauren Zima after the show. “It was amazing because of everything that has happened in the last week. We didn’t really get as much rehearsal time as we wanted or as we were used to… So yeah it was tough to go out there, and to hear that kind of feedback, I think we’re both really proud of ourselves.”
As a huge Moana fan, who has watched the animated film many times, Bristowe explained that she “didn’t realize” how much the song and its lyrics resonated with her until she got into the studio.
“We talked about it, because I’ve just always been so drawn to that movie. I liked the Disney princesses like Cinderella — Chrishell was a beautiful Cinderella by the way — but I always related to the edgier princesses or Disney films like that,” she shared. “I just watched it all the time because it was such a feel good movie and I just loved watching this young girl go chase her dreams and succeed when she should have been put in her little bubble.”
Bristowe, on her end, is glad that her ankle isn’t broken and now has a better idea of how to take care of herself for the weeks to follow.
“I was honestly hoping for good news, which that weirdly was good news, that it is tendonitis,” she noted. “But I was a little worried about it, just because of how bad it was last week. But this week does feel a little better. Still sore, but doing everything that I possibly can. And then to hear that it’s tendonitis, it’s not going to stop me from dancing, obviously was great news.”
Next week, she and Chigvintsev will take on the Viennese waltz and the Bachelor Nation star teased that she’s very excited about the song that they will get to dance to.
“I already knew what the song was,” Bristowe excitingly said, with her partner adding that they need to work on making the performance “memorable.”
“You need to give something that could make a statement, and that is going to be my focus,” Chigvintsev said.
Bristowe has been enjoying her time on the show, though elimination nights serve as a reminder that it is a competition and someone has to go home every week — this week, it was Tiger King star Carole Baskin.
“Carole, she really did her best… and the judges obviously felt like it was her time to go,” Bristowe relayed. “But it’s always sad seeing someone go. I never like that. It’s such a fun show that you kind of forget it’s a competition. It is tough someone has to go home.”
As for her hopes for the rest of the season? “Well, I definitely want to achieve a 9 or 10 at some point, not anytime soon,” she shared. “I would still like to achieve this thing called a Mirrorball. Those are dreams that have not been accomplished yet. In my mind right now, where I’m heading for, what I’m dreaming, [is] a 10.”
For more on Bristowe’s DWTS journey, see below. Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
‘DWTS’: Kaitlyn Bristowe Shares How Ankle Injury Led to a ‘Dream Come True’ Performance (Exclusive)
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