Former The Bachelorette star Kaitlyn Bristowe's journey to the Dancing With the Stars semi-finals has not been easy. This weekend, she had a challenging rehearsal with pro partner Artem Chigvintsev because they practiced a dance that will serve as a tribute to a late childhood friend. Bristowe, 35, also showed off the bumps and bruises she suffered while preparing for Monday's episode.
On Saturday, Bristowe told fans she has a "very emotional dance" prepared for Monday, reports Us Weekly. The dance is a tribute to a friend who died when she was 18. Bristowe said she "often cries" when thinking about her friend and said the song she chose was played at her friend's funeral. This will be the first time Bristowe has shared the story of her late friend on television because she never wanted to "use" it in her life as a celebrity. “I’m not saying people do that, [but] it was just something that I held kinda close to my heart," Bristowe said. “But, hearing the song every day, telling a story, putting me back in those times and talking about her has just got me so emotional.”
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Bristowe said her friend's death brought her "so much closer" to another friend, Bri Cook. "At the beginning, it made me not want to get close to anybody, but now it just makes me love my friends so much," Bristowe recalled. She also praised Chigvintsev for doing a "beautiful job" in telling her friend's story.
The rehearsals continued on Sunday, with less than 24 hours to go before the duo hits the dance floor again. Bristowe shared a video of herself lip-syncing to Handsome Dancer's "Coincidence" as she shared a look at scabs on her knee, blisters on her heel, and a bandaged toe. "Wow, you can really injure yourself during dance. What a coinci-dance," she wrote in the caption.
Bristowe, who also injured her ankle earlier in the season, and Chigvintsev scored a perfect 30 on their Argentine tango to Britney Spears' "Toxic." The score came after a week of questions over judge Carrie Ann Inaba's tough scoring of the couple. Fans were not happy when the duo got a 25/30 during the Nov. 2 episode, and Chigvintsev told Entertainment Tonight he thought the judges' remarks felt "a little personal." However, after Inaba praised the two on Nov. 9, they briefly forgot about the coronavirus safety guidelines and rushed up to hug her.
During a recent episode of her Off The Vine podcast, Bristowe defended Inaba and told DWTS fans not to bully her. "I heard that she feels bullied and that makes me feel so terrible because I’ve been bullied so hard online," she said. "Don’t go bullying her because she’s being hard on me. That’s her decision and she’s a judge. That’s why she’s paid the big bucks to be a judge on that show, right?"