Kaitlyn Bristowe Has a 'DWTS' Breakthrough -- But Still Receives Tough Feedback From Carrie Ann Inaba

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Kaitlyn Bristowe
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Image

Kaitlyn Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev have got their groove back! After receiving mixed feedback from the judges last week, the pair impressed on Monday's Dancing With the Stars

The former Bachelorette admitted before the performance that she was still "bummed out" about Carrie Ann Inaba's critical comments from the week before. 

"I feel like I'm never going to be good enough for what they hold me to," she tearfully told Artem, before crying it out, finding a breakthrough, and regaining her motivation. 

"We have to find within ourselves to be happy," he encouraged her. 

Artem and Kaitlyn brought the energy with a dynamic Jive to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" -- and Carrie Ann, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli loved almost every second of it.

"Kaitlyn! Let's go!" Derek said. "You always have so much content in your dances... well done Artem on the choreography." 

"That was a great Jive, well done," he added. 

Bruno agreed. "You have what it takes, you can do everything," he told Kaitlyn. "I want more passion, more attack... come on, give me the full monty!" 

"I know last week was a tough week, but you came back with grace and energy... This was by far one of your best performances," Carrie Ann said. However, just moments later, the judge questioned whether a move Artem choreographed into the routine was a lift -- something she's famously known for calling out. 

Despite the debate, Kaitlyn and Artem still received a high score of 25/30 for their performance. 

Kaitlyn wrote on Instagram before the show that she and Artem had "breakthroughs" while practicing for their performance.

"WE CAN DO THIS. Artem has a new born baby at home and then comes to the studio where I sometimes cry like a baby. We have had great conversations this week, breakthroughs, and have put in SO MUCH hard work. Your votes matter tonight. (And tomorrow night even more). Text KAITLYN at 5pm PT 8 ET to 21523 up to 10x from every device! We are so determined to stay and share our passion of dance with you. We’re gonna jive our little butts off out there tonight! And a HUGE virtual hug to @thejeanniemai who was our pod buddy in the balcony. Her electric energy, kind heart, and incredible humor will be missed . Speedy recovery girlfriend. We love you.

Artem and Kaitlyn's Villains Night performance earned mixed reactions from the judges. Derek awarded them a 9 for the routine, while Bruno gave an 8 -- and Carrie Ann, who felt like Kaitlyn "gave up" during the dance, gave them a 7.  

In an interview with ET shortly after the show wrapped, Artem opened up about the judging, revealing why he felt Carrie Ann's explanation "wasn't enough" of a reason to give them a low mark. The routine was filled with plenty of advanced content, to a level that some of the other contestants haven't been able to master just yet.

"My thought, No. 1 is, does content of the dance not count anymore? Because it's weird to me when we supposedly have to pursue a certain type of dance. I'm not going to speak of any specific couples, but I feel like, is there some kind of a standard now what dance should look like, or what it shouldn't?" Artem argued. "I feel like it just kinda goes left and right. There's definitely inconsistency."

See more in the video below. Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. 

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