Vernon Davis Says He's 'Holding Myself Together' Following 'Dancing With the Stars' Elimination (Exclusive)

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd
Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

Vernon Davis and Peta Murgatroyd are saying goodbye to season 29 of Dancing With the Stars. After being in danger of elimination for two weeks in a row, the former NFL star and his pro partner were sent packing during the dance competition show's Top 11 Night.

While Carrie Ann Inaba chose to save Vernon and Peta, fellow judges Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli opted to go with the other bottom two couple, Johnny Weir and Britt Stewart. "This is so hard and it’s only going to get harder," Bruno said of the difficult decision they had to make on Monday. "Each of you have great [dance] qualities."

Speaking with ET just moments after the show wrapped, Vernon and Peta reacted to the disappointing news, but brought their own positive spin.

"Life is all about the unexpected. But I had a great journey," he said. "I am definitely down. I will shed some tears. Like, I haven't gotten used to this young lady [Peta] here. Going in [rehearsals] every day with her, we became attached … I feel like I lost somebody else, it is crazy. I feel that emotion inside but I am holding myself together." 

"I wanted to be positive. I have good sportsmanship. You leave everything on a good note, you just smile and shake hands," he continued. "Whatever comes out, comes out, and that is what life is all about for sure."

Vernon dedicated his last dance to his late grandfather, and in a video package that aired before the performance, the NFL legend teared up while discussing their bond. It was the first time fans saw him get emotional all season.

"It's as if it was supposed to happen that if I were to go out, this would be a good time to go out, with dedication to my granddad," Vernon said. "I know he is looking down, smiling and super proud. He will always be on my mind."

"I felt like he was with me, I feel like he was definitely with me," he added. "I feel like he is always with me and he wants the best for me and he wants to see me do well. Everything I have done in my career, I had always gave my grandparents the credit, because I would not be where I am without them [raising me]."

Peta shared similar sentiments on the elimination, telling ET, that she and Vernon "love each other very much," and that they "had a great time" throughout their journey on the show together.

"We had a nice bond that was formed and I truly hope that we can just carry that over into our lives now forever," she shared. "It's been a pleasure getting to know him, and getting to know his stories and his life."

Later in the interview, Peta also gave an update on her neck injury. The pro dancer revealed after last week's show that she had to rush to physical therapy. "I'll be OK but I needed to get it seen to ASAP," she tweeted at the time. "Thanks for the concern. Love you all."

"When I was getting the judges scores last week, I was standing there thinking, 'Something's not right,'" Peta revealed to ET. "I could just feel it was just stiffening up... and as I walked off, we went up the stairs to go back up to our skybox area, and I couldn't turn my head."

When she finally got attention from physical therapists, Peta discovered that the actual cause of her neck pain was actually stemming from three of her ribs having "popped out."

"It's strange, I know. I didn't realize [it happened]," Peta said. "I'm fine [now]. I'm totally fine, and I don't know how it happened."

To hear more highlights from Top 11 Night of DWTS, Tune into Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday.


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