“I can’t believe there’s people protesting 😳😳 whatttttt????,” Pons, 27, wrote via X on Tuesday, November 14, alongside photos of protests in Los Angeles with signs showing support for her and partner Brandon Armstrong. “Love you seee you when I go back for the finals ❤️ #dwts.”
Pons and Armstrong, 29, were eliminated from the competition series during Music Video Night on November 7. Despite finishing in third place that evening, the duo found themselves in the bottom three alongside Charity Lawson and Barry Williams. (The Brady Bunch alum, 69, was ultimately eliminated the following week.)
In her final moments on the ballroom floor, Pons gushed that she was “so, so grateful” for the experience, however, her partner had a more emotional reaction.
“That one burns. I don’t think Lele should have been going home tonight,” Armstrong admitted to hosts Alfonso Ribeiro and Julianne Hough. “Lele was getting better and [had] no dance experience … she was the best partner she could have been.”
Armstrong wasn’t the only person taken aback by the results. As the announcement was made, judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough appeared to be in disbelief. Inaba, 55, opened up about the surprising moment in the ballroom.
“I was both shocked and saddened by Lele’s departure. Brandon’s heartfelt words in those final moments were touching, and the love and support he expressed for his partner were palpable,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly after the show aired. “I share the sentiment that she deserved to stay, as her performance last night was undeniably her best yet. She can leave with her head held high, knowing that she delivered an incredible performance she should be proud of.”
One week after the elimination, Armstrong encountered the group of protesters himself when he arrived at the DWTS set on Tuesday.
“Getting eliminated stings a little less now ❤️,” he captioned a Tuesday TikTok video of himself dancing with the fans.
In the clip, fans can be seen holding signs that say “Justice 4 Lele & Brandon,” “Bring Lele Back,” “Lele Got Robbed” and more.
Pons’ elimination wasn’t the only surprising outcome on this season of DWTS. Jamie Lynn Spears was eliminated during the second week of the competition despite not being at the bottom — or the top — of the leaderboard.
“Honestly, it’s quite surprising. Jamie Lynn, you were fantastic, truly. You should be really proud of what you did here,” Hough said on an October episode of the show. “Wow, it’s a shocker, honestly. Jamie, we’re gonna miss you.”