Chrishell Stause on How Her 'Therapeutic' Experience on 'DWTS' Helped Her Heal (Exclusive)

Chrishell Stause
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

Chrishell Stause's remarkable journey on Dancing With the Stars has sadly come to an end.

During Monday's "Use Your Vote" Night, the Selling Sunset star and her pro partner, Gleb Savchenko, were eliminated from the dance competition after judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough unanimously saved the other couple in the bottom two -- Skai Jackson and Alan Bersten -- from going home.

Speaking with ET just moments after the show wrapped, Chrishell and Gleb reacted to the bittersweet news, while also reflecting on the special bond they've formed over the past eight weeks.

"We knew this was gonna happen at one point," Chrishell told ET's Lauren Zima. "At this point I just feel like everyone is so great. Everyone is giving 100 percent. And so it really did feel like anyone could go, and it would be shocking whoever went home."

"Honestly, I was shocked," added Gleb, before celebrating Chrishell's efforts. "But it doesn't matter. I'm so proud of you. You're my champ."

As #TeamSellingIt fans witnessed, Chrishell signed on to DWTS following an incredibly tumultuous time in her life. In addition to her highly-publicized divorce from This Is Us star Justin Hartley, the actress' parents, father Jeff and mother Renee, both died from lung cancer just over a year apart. Her father died in April 2019, while Chrishell lost her mom in July of this year.

Reflecting on how much joy and emotional growth the show has brought her, Chrishell said, "I feel like this show has been very therapeutic. We worked through so many things through this."

According to the reality star, being a part of DWTS is opening up about your personal life for the cameras, even when you'd rather not. But being pushed to confront your own emotions helped her grow in ways she didn't expect.

"We're in week eight, so I've had to talk about things that I didn't necessarily want to talk about, and I've had to push myself," she shared. "In doing that, it's just freed me up a little bit."

"I know it should be a sad moment right now, because of course I didn't want to leave, but I'm so happy that I've had this experience and I'm so grateful," she continued. "It's a once in a lifetime experience and I'll never forget it."

Chrishell and Gleb also reflected on Jeannie Mai's unfortunate exit from DWTS, after she had to undergo emergency surgery on her throat and was required to drop out of the competition.

"She's always one of those people who gave all her heart and soul every single week, so it was one of those moments where it just really felt so sad to see her go, because she really wanted to be here," Chrishell said. "Like me, I really wanted to be here. And unfortunately we got eliminated, but at least we got eliminated through the dance. So to get eliminated in that way is so heartbreaking -- more so than in the way that we did."

"Our hearts go out to her. We want her to heal up as fast as possible and we love her," she added.

After Monday's show, ET also spoke with Bruno Tonioli, who opened up about why the judged unanimously voted to save Skai when it came down to the elimination.

"It’s very hard and it’s going to get hard, but we all thought, overall, Skai was the better dancer," Bruno explained. "It’s not just based on tonight, it’s based on what she has achieved so far and what she can achieve in the future."

"I’m telling you, I could watch Chrishell any time. I want my sexy back!" he continued. "Personally, I’m going to miss her so much. But going forward, we all kind of agreed that Skai deserved to carry on."

It's clear this season's DWTS contestants have really upped the ante with their talent level, as there's arguably no clear frontrunner moving into week nine of the competition. When ET asked Bruno if this is the closest season ever, he agreed, saying, "Ever!"

"Because usually we are like 'Oh yeah, this one [contestant] is taking off,'" he said. "But like this season, one week, Johnny [Weir]'s like top of the leaderboard, then he gets it wrong. It happens every week and it's so unpredictable. But actually, it's exciting!"

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, tune into Entertainment Tonight this week to hear more from Chrishell, Gleb and their fellow season 29 contestants. Check your local listings here.


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