Bill Engvall found out he and his partner, Emma Slater, were going to the Season 17 “Dancing with the Stars” finals on Monday night, and the moment had a profound effect.
“It was everything I could do not to… my knees nearly buckled,” Bill told Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson on Monday night. “I was sad to see Leah [Remini] and Tony [Dovolani] go ‘cause I love them both and they’re just really great people, but I gotta tell you something I said a few weeks back, when we were like in Week 8. I think I said, ‘It would be really fun to go with Emma to the finals.’ But, I never believed it. And then when they said we were in the finals I was just like, ‘What? What? What?’”
For weeks on “Dancing,” the show’s co-hosts – Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet — delivered the night’s elimination news as Bill and Emma stood in the hot seat alongside a couple who would eventually get the bad news. (They were never told they were in the bottom 2.)
After the show, Emma said she wished “DWTS” delivered the news a different way.
“I would’ve loved this week if they’d have not given us the good news with the bad news,” Emma said of learning they were going to the finals, while Leah and Tony went home. “If they’d have said straight away, ‘Bill and Emma… the first couple safe,’ and then they would’ve said, ‘Bill and Emma,’ honestly, we would have given them a reaction that they would have never forgotten.”
The comedian suffered a groin injury last week, and after his first dance with Emma on Monday night, he had a feeling they wouldn’t be continuing on.
“When we did the first dance, it was just — it wasn’t what I wanted and so I actually told Emma, I go, you know, ‘Look, this is it,’” Bill recounted.
Now, with the final competition looming next Monday night, Bill is ready for anything — including possibly winning the mirrorball.
“I think ‘Teflon Bill’ has as good a chance as any to take that damn thing home,” he laughed.
The “DWTS” Season 17 finals kick off on Monday at 8/7c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash