Ariana Madix's emotional journey on Dancing with the Stars took an unexpected turn, leaving her in tears, as the reality TV star and her pro dance partner, Pasha Pashkov, delivered a poignant performance to Billie Eilish's "Happier Than Ever" for their "most memorable year" routine on the ABC show.
For her chosen year, Ariana picked 2023, a year marked by personal turmoil when she discovered her ex-boyfriend, Tom Sandoval, was cheating on her with her close friend, Raquel Levis. She explained that this was "the year I thought I lost it all, but I really gained everything." She recounted the profound sense of betrayal she felt during this period, saying, "Watching my entire life implode in public, my anxiety went to an all-time high, I wasn't eating or sleeping."
Despite the emotional weight of her story, the 38-year-old delivered a remarkable performance. However, the floodgates of emotion opened as she shared her grief over the loss of her grandmother, saying, "I've found my dream again. I wish my grandma was here to see me. I lost her last year. She would have really loved."
But before Ariana could receive her scores, co-host Julianne Hough had to tease her by cutting to a commercial break. When the show returned, Ariana received 8s across the board.
Ariana garnered immense support from DWTS fans, with one Twitter user expressing, "Ariana dancing to 'Happier Than Ever' is a huge 'screw you' to Tom." Another fan empathized with Ariana's public struggles, saying, "Ariana didn’t deserve anything that happened to her this year, and to have it happen so publicly broke my heart. We love you, Ariana, and you are so special." A third chimed in, calling Ariana's ex a "total dirtbag" and praising her dance with Pasha.
Vanderpump Rules enthusiasts are aware that Ariana and Tom's relationship came to a brutal end on the most recent season of their Bravo show, following revelations of Tom's infidelity with co-star Raquel Leviss. Despite their breakup, the two still live together, and Tom has shown no urgency to move out.
Notably, Ariana has moved on and found new love with Daniel Wai. Earlier in the week, concerns arose when Ariana sustained an injury during training, necessitating bandages and ice packs on her foot. She shared a photo on social media, captioning it with, "Another day, another PT sesh!" The specifics of the injury remained undisclosed.
Dancing With the Stars airs on Tuesdays on ABC and Disney+ and is available for streaming on Hulu the following day.
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