“Dancing With the Stars” fans were forced to give Hayes Grier a frightening farewell after the Season 21 contestant was eliminated during the show’s Halloween installment Monday. But as heartbreaking as his Week 7 elimination was for audiences, Emma Slater’s partner left the show on a high note after earning praises from the judges for his chilling waltz and perfectly creepy freestyle during the 2015 show’s first group number.
“This has meant so much to me,” Hayes responded to his surprising elimination on “Good Morning America” Tuesday. “It was a life-changing event.”
The 15-year-old dancer then went on to say that he was pleased with how he concluded his two-stepping stint on the show.
“It was good. [It was] nice knowing we won the team dance -- ending Derek’s [Hough] streak,” he admitted.
Hayes was on Team Nightmare, along with Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess, Tamar Braxton and Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and Andy Grammer and Allison Holker. The group, who performed a dance inspired by Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas,” earned a perfect score for their wicked routine, ultimately ending Derek’s undefeated winning streak in the Team dances. Judge Julianne Hough even noted during her critique that she thought Hayes stood out the most in the team number despite the young contestant being chosen last.
Emma then went on to gush about how far her Season 21 partner has come. “He had the most improvement,” she stated, explaining that she took someone with “absolutely no dancing skills” and helped him transform into a beautiful ballroom dancer. “He showed me he could really progress.”
But now that Hayes and Emma have been axed from the competition, the two are able to cheer on who they think is deserving of winning the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.
“I want to see Alek Skarlatos go all the way,” Emma, who danced with the war hero during the Week 5 “Switch-Up,” revealed.
Hayes, however, admitted he wants to watch someone different earn the regal title of “DWTS" champion.
“You definitely root for the people you grow closest to,” he said before unveiling that he’s rooting for Carlos PenaVega and Whitney Carson to win.
Do you think Hayes Grier and Emma Slater should have been eliminated during Week 7 of “Dancing With the Stars”? Sound off in the comments section below and don’t forget to tune into Season 21 of the hit ABC series on Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST.