Chin up, Motavators! Bethany Mota‘s legions of Internet fans were crushed on Monday, Nov. 24, when she and partner Derek Hough were eliminated from the season 19 Dancing With the Stars finals just hours before the Nov. 25 grand finale. As Mota herself told Us Weekly, though, she’s not walking away empty-handed. There may not be a Mirrorball trophy in her future, but the YouTube phenom will carry her experiences from the show forever.
“I’ve learned to take more risks,” she told Us after the elimination. “Going into this competition I was really scared because it’s a live show and I’m not used to doing that stuff. Everything I’ve been doing for years, it’s all pre-filmed, and if I make a mistake I can edit it out. But this is different.”
Dancing live week after week in front of millions of people (and four very tough judges!) gave Mota’s confidence a significant boost. “Putting myself out there is definitely something I’ve become much more comfortable with,” she explained, “and I feel like I’ve learned and grown a lot in that way.”
Indeed, Mota and Hough’s freestyle routine on Nov. 24 slayed DWTS vets Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, Julianne Hough, and Bruno Tonioli. The pair earned a perfect score for the dance, which made their elimination later in the night all the more heartbreaking.
Hough told Us he suspected they might be going home when they were called to dance first. “I thought maybe I knew where the night was leading and where we were going to go,” he admitted. That said, he could not be prouder of their performance.
“She annihilated it, she killed it,” he gushed to Us. “I watched it back it even looks better than it felt! She looks amazing. She’s a queen.”
A queen who needs a nap, apparently! Asked what she was looking forward to now that she won’t be tied up in rehearsals all day, Mota joked, “Sleeping in! I don’t know, though — I used to sleep in really late and stay up really late. I kind of like this new routine. I may stick with it!”
One thing she’ll definitely get back to doing? Regular YouTube videos! “I’m excited to get back to my videos. I really want to throw myself into that,” she told Us Weekly. “I’m excited about that most definitely.”
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!