EXCLUSIVE: Nick Viall Talks Rebounding from Near-Elimination on 'DWTS' & Defends His Disney Week Look

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Despite wowing the judges with his charismatic performance on Monday's Dancing With the Stars, Nick Viall still found himself in jeopardy when the elimination came around -- for the second time in the last four weeks.
However, the former Bachelor star told ET that the risk of getting kicked off the show didn’t affect how hard he and partner Peta Murgatroyd trained for their Pinocchio-themed dance for Disney Week.
"[We] were tied for the lowest scores last week, so, you know, we definitely knew it was a possibility [we would be eliminated]," Viall told ET's Nischelle Turner after the show. "We just knew we had a great routine planned, and we were both very excited about this dance. So we just kind of prepared ourselves."
"We said, 'Either way, if it's going to be our last dance, we might as well make it a great one,'" he continued. "I'm just glad that we can still be here… and we'll see what happens."
Viall's transformation into the classic Disney hero Pinocchio, for a jazz routine set to "I've Got No Strings," included the famous wooden boy's iconic school-boy costume, and even forced Viall to shave off his trademark scruffy beard. But for Viall, it was all part of committing to the performance.
Speaking with Erin Andrews after their dance, Viall addressed his freshly-shaven face and admitted that it had been "a year and a half" since he'd last sheared his facial hair.
"I was a little reluctant at first, but then I was like, 'I'm just gonna own it. Let's go for it. What do we have to do?'" Viall recounted. "And then we just came out with blush."
For their efforts, he and Murgatroyd were showered with praise over their showmanship, improved footwork and timing. They earned a score of 34 out of 40, their highest score of the season.
Viall also opened up to ET about some of the judges' harsh criticism in the past, and how he uses it to get better.
"I certainly want [good] scores because I want to get better and be here," he explained. "But at the same time, I do appreciate that the judges have been critical in giving me feedback to take and get better. I feel like we've done that."
"The good news is, we're still here!" he exclaimed.
Viall was saved from elimination once again when Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne and her pro partner, Gleb Savchenko, got the axe instead. Now, Viall lives to dance another day and possibly continue his impressive comeback.
Dancing With the Stars returns next Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.