“Mauricio that was beautiful. When you fake contemporary, we feel it and it makes my skin crawl,” Inaba, 55, said during the Tuesday, October 24, episode following the duo’s dance. “That was the furthest thing from making my skin crawl. There is something going on that is beautiful between you two and thank you for letting us witness.”
Umansky, 53, and Slater, 34, performed a contemporary number to the song “Rise Up” by singer Andra Day for the ABC series’ Most Memorable Year Night, earning a total of 24 points. While awaiting their score, Umansky praised Slater for her choreography skills.
“It’s amazing. It was a beautiful dance. Emma choreographed an amazing dance,” he told cohost Julianne Hough. “it’s been a super emotional week and I’ve been able to get in touch with those emotions which is very difficult for me.”
Umansky chose 1996 for his most memorable year, noting it as a “year of change” for him and wife Kyle Richards. The pair, who tied the knot earlier that year, were raising daughters Farrah — whom Richards shares with ex-husband Guraish Aldjufrie — and Alexia when he got fired from his job.
“I felt like an absolute failure of a human,” Umansky told Slater before the performance. “I walked into the house, I saw Kyle, I started balling [and] she told me, ‘You always wanted to be in real estate, let’s look at it for an opportunity to change.’ The truth is that it ended up being the best experience on the planet.”
“That’s so beautiful,” Slater gushed during rehearsal about the heartfelt story.
Umansky dedicated the dance to Richards, 54, just hours before Tuesday’s episode, calling her his “rock,” writing via Instagram, “Tonight’s Dance on @dancingwiththestars is about life and how it’s not always perfect and when you think it’s impossible to move mountains and you’re at your lowest moment and you think all doors are closed you need to rise up and rise unafraid and move mountains.”
Richards, meanwhile, had previously shown her support for her husband via Instagram in September, but seemingly deleted the post one day after Umansky and Slater were photographed holding hands after having dinner together in Beverly Hills on Sunday, October 22.
The cozy outing raised eyebrows amid Umansky’s ongoing marital issues with Richards. The twosome revealed they were separated in July after 27 years of marriage.
Umansky and Slater are partnered up for season 32 of the ABC reality competition series. Prior to the September premiere, he expressed his eagerness to work with Slater.
“Emma’s an absolute veteran and so good,” Umansky exclusively told Us Weekly at the time. “I needed somebody that was super competitive. And we’re just gonna go crush it and we’re gonna create magic.”
The pair were nearly eliminated after he forgot the steps to his routine on Latin Night. He later blamed the October 3 mishap on his drama with Richards, 54, being rehashed on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
“Right before the dance, the trailer for [season 13 of] Real Housewives of Beverly Hills came out about my marriage, and my kids were in the [Dancing With the Stars] audience and I wasn’t addressing it with them,” he told Slater during the October 10 episode.
Two months before Umansky was cast on DWTS, he and Richards addressed speculation that they had called it quits.
“We have had a rough year. The most challenging one of our marriage,” they wrote via Instagram in July. “But we both love and respect each other tremendously. There has been no wrongdoing on anyone’s part. Although we are in the public eye, we ask to be able to work through our issues privately.”
Umansky later insisted that he and Richards — who share daughters Alexia, 27, Sophia, 23, and Portia, 15 — were still working on their marriage. “Kyle and I are human beings. We have emotions, we have feelings, we’re going through a really hard time. We are currently separated,” he told TMZ in September. “We are not talking about divorce. We’re trying to deal with this stuff internally, with ourselves, privately.”
“It’s not a nightmare at all,” Slater told E! News in October. “We support each other so much that I want the very best for Sasha. I love him and Alyson [Hannigan] together on the show. We support each other, very, very truly.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC and Disney+ Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.