EXCLUSIVE: Rashad Jennings on Making the ‘DWTS’ Finals With Emma Slater: ‘Being Here Is So Thrilling’
Rashad Jennings is officially a Dancing With the Stars finalist!
Following Monday night’s shocking elimination, in which Simone Biles and Sasha Farber were sent home, hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews announced that the NFL star and his pro partner, Emma Slater, advanced to the finals, along with Normani Kordei and Val Chmerkovskiy and David Ross and Lindsay Arnold. ET’s Cameron Mathison caught up with #TeamShadSquad backstage, where they couldn’t contain their excitement about coming this far in the competition.
“Going to the finals! I’m so excited,” Jennings exclaimed. “I feel great, first of all. At the beginning of this journey, signing up, I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I knew I was going to learn how to dance. But if you had told me I would have made it to the finals, I wouldn’t have believed you.”
“Being here is so thrilling, and we get to finish,” he continued. “Do something, like, super spectacular and strong, I’m excited.”
For a few weeks now, Jennings, 32, and Slater, 28, have been vocal about wanting to take the No. 1 spot on the leaderboard from Kordei and Chmerkovskiy. On Monday night, they did just that — receiving a combined score of 77/80, one point higher than #TeamValmani (#TeamGoldenGiggles technically received the highest combined score of the night, 80/80, but because they were eliminated, their scores no longer count).
“Wait, are we on top of the leaderboard?” asked Slater, as ET confirmed the news was true. “Yeah!”
But as happy as the dancing duo were, they still were sad to see Biles and Farber go. Well, kind of.
“OK, there’s a couple of reasons why [I don’t seem that upset],” explained Slater, who is engaged to Farber. “I went to that whole thing just now and I am, I go on an emotional roller coaster, but Sasha is completely fine. Simone is like — they’re so happy, they’re so positive. You can’t be really down about it.”
“He’s really proud of what she’s done and she’s had the best time,” Slater added. “So it’s not — I can’t look at them and be [like], ‘I’m so sad!’ I’m absolutely gutted that they don’t get to do a freestyle and I don’t get to support them. I thought that they were going to go all the way, honestly.”
As we patiently wait to see who takes home the coveted mirror ball trophy during next week’s two-night finale, hear more ballroom highlights in the video below!