The legendary NBA star and his pro partner, Emma Slater, were the first to be eliminated from season 29 of the show on Tuesday, after landing in the bottom with Carole Baskin and Pasha Pashkov. While Bruno Tonioli voted to keep Charles in the competition, fellow judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Derek Hough decided to save the Tiger King star instead due to the improvement she showcased from week 1 to week 2.
ET spoke with Charles and Emma just moments after the show wrapped, where they reacted to the disappointing elimination.
"We wanted to keep going but we had no control of that. I think tonight performing was the best which I did, too," Charles told ET's Lauren Zima in a post-show interview filmed via Zoom. "We tried to give them what they wanted but sometimes it happens like that."
"I feel like out of everyone on the show, we have kind of a very strong, optimistic approach on life so, no matter what, we are always going to be in a different mind frame and we are grateful for the experience,"Emma added. "We had a really good time."
It appears some fans may have expected Charles and Emma to go home on Tuesday. Emma took to Twitter before the live show to thank fans for all the support they've shown her and the former NBA star over the past few weeks.
"Guys thank you so so much for your support with @CharlesOakley34 & I on #DWTS," she wrote. "It really means a lot to us. People like Charles make it worthwhile, I hope so bad we can stick around longer than tonight. But I just wanted to say thank you. Reading your comments makes me smile."
"VOTE TONIGHT FOR CHARLES AND KEEP US IN THE COMPETITION!!!" she added in another tweet. "Thank you, this means so much to us. We’d love to continue forward."
Guys thank you so so much for your support with @CharlesOakley34 & I on #DWTS it really means a lot to us. People like Charles make it worth while, I hope so bad we can stick around longer than tonight. But I just wanted to say thank you. Reading your comments makes me smile ❤️
Emma also publicly thanked Shaquille O'Neal and Drake for encouraging their fans to vote as a last-minute attempt to try and keep them in the competition. Of their support, Charles told ET, "Yeah, [they] came through. A lot of love."
"Drake, we really communicate a lot, so you can tell by that," he continued. "That was a big move. LeBron [James] almost did it but he had a game tonight. The love was there, we just didn’t get enough points."
Next week, Dancing With the Stars returns to its normal schedule, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. In the meantime, tune into Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday to hear more from Charles and Emma.