Trevor Donovan Confused by Derek Hough’s ‘DWTS’ Critique

After getting through the bottom two, Trevor Donovan Emma SlaterThey were admittedly a bit surprised by the feedback they received from the judges, which included Derek Hough’s remark that the contestant was thinking too much about his steps and not in the moment.

“To be honest, yes — because I felt pretty loose,” the 44-year-old actor told Us WeeklyAfter the Monday October 10 episode. “I don’t know. I didn’t feel like I was heady at all, but I’m gonna take their criticism to heart and get back in it next week.”

After their Samba to “Life Is a Highway,” Hough noted that he thought the dance was “actually really good,” but Donovan’s face “took [him] out of it.”


Trevor Donovan, Derek Hough
AFF-USA/Shutterstock; Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

“I can see you thinking about the steps. I want you to trust yourself — you know it, man. You got his dance, you got it. Now it’s just performing, have fun with it,” the former DWTS pro explained. “They’re just sometimes where you’re thinking about it — thinking about ‘OK, Emma wants me to do this, Emma wants me to do that.’”

Carrie Ann Inaba agreed: “You are not believing in yourself. You are not seeing how far you’ve come. You are not seeing what we’re seeing. Your eyes are closed. And then I can see you checking in energetically with Emma and making sure you’re getting the OK.”

The dance earned the duo a 28 out 40 score, landing them in the bottom two. Sam Champion Cheryl Burke. The judges chose to save the 90210 alum.

“I feel like we are really gonna get motivated,” Slater said. “Sometimes I think it helps people at home think, ‘Oh, gosh, I don’t want them to be in danger.’ Maybe they’ll vote a little bit more next week. And then, of course, we’re gonna take everything the judges say, particularly about being present in the moment and in the dance and we are really gonna work on that. Just do our best and put our best foot forward next week. It is very motivating to see that happen. It’s disheartening, but at the same time you’ve got something to prove.”

When asked whether they were shocked they were in the bottom two, Donovan admitted: “After our scores, not so much. … I was a little shocked with the scores, to be honest.”

“We hoped the scores would be higher,” she agreed. “But I mean it’s kind of what can you do? Judges are there for a reason. They score it. I respect that and I understand what they were saying. There was constructive criticism. Just we wish we could have been placed higher, but that’s kind of the rules of the game. … The main thing is we’re coming back, so we’ll just keep pushing.”

Dancing With the StarsDisney+ Mondays, 8 p.m. ET.