Moments before Tuesday night’s elimination on Dancing With the Stars, host Tom Bergeron made a shocking announcement. Due to a technical glitch in the voting systems, none of the phone-in votes from this week were counted, leaving only the judges’ scores and online voting.
This didn’t just surprise viewers, but also some of the show’s contestants and pros, several of which didn’t even know the error had happened when ET caught up with them backstage after the show.
Ultimately alpine skier Danelle Umstead was sent home, the first blind contestant on the show, which left many of her competitors saddened and grateful to have survived another week, especially in such unpredictable conditions.
Dance pro Emma Slater and actor and country music singer John Schneider were on the chopping block with Danelle this week, and certainly felt the added pressure of the lack of phone-in votes.
“I was shocked,” Schneider told ET after the show.
"My reaction was, ‘Oh no!’ because I think that our audience are primarily phone voters, and I put a lot of effort in yesterday, both of us did, like, ‘Hey guys, vote for us,’ hoping that they would and knowing that that didn’t count, that really shook the ground for me,” Slater added. "I don’t want to stop this journey. It’s so much fun. John is the perfect partner for me to allow me to be creative."
Football star Demarcus Ware acknowledged the importance of the fans’ votes, saying, "We know the scores of the judges but also the fans getting involved is a really big part of everything, so people bank on that, on their stardom to bring in from all the votes."
His partner, Lindsay Arnold, noted that they learned about the glitch just two minutes before elimination, calling it “unfortunate.”
“At the same time, that happens and there’s really nothing you can do about it,” she said. "It sucks to see someone go home no matter who it is, but yeah, that was an interesting fact to learn right before we found out our fate."
Some of the stars and pros didn’t even hear about the flubbed phone votes until ET spoke with them after the show.
"You’re kidding! Oh, see we didn’t hear any of that,” Mary Lou Retton admitted, and her partner Sasha Farber added, "Oh golly, that’s scary."
Actress Nancy McKeon noted, "I didn’t know that. Oh my goodness. I’m even more thrilled.” She added of her partner Val Chmerkovskiy, "I’m just thankful I get to spend another week with this guy here. I really am. I’m thrilled, but I’m very sad to see Danelle go because I love her. She’s wonderful."