What You Didn’t See Between Heidi D’Amelio & Daughter Charli on ‘DWTS,’ Plus Vinny Guadagnino on His Exit

Heidi D'Amelio, Artem Chigvintsev, Vinny Guadagnino, and Koko Iwasaki on 'Dancing With the Stars'
ABC/Eric McCandless

Last night’s ejected duo on Dancing With the Stars didn’t have to leave the ballroom alone – that’s because two couples were sent packing in the double-elimination episode. First, Heidi D’Amelio (The D’Amelio Show) and pro partner Artem Chigvintsev were eliminated after receiving the lowest combined total of judges’ scores and audience votes. Then, faced with saving either Trevor Donovan and Emma Slater or Vinny Guadagnino and Koko Iwasaki, the judges opted to end the journey for the Jersey Shore star. TV Insider was on the post-show red carpet to chat with the two sets of dancers who have completed their quest for mirror ball gold.

“I had a blast,” D’Amelio said and did her best to sound upbeat even though she was clearly sad to be leaving the dance competition series. “It was great, a once in a lifetime experience. It was intense, fun, and crazy and I get to do the show with my daughter [Charli D’Amelio]. I had a great partner who was very patient.”

DWTS publicized that Heidi and Charli were the first ever mother/daughter to compete against one another, but the show didn’t necessarily play up a big rivalry between them. “I think they saw early on that wasn’t a thing for us, so they dropped it,” Heidi suggested. She wouldn’t have been opposed to having more screen time with Charli where viewers could have seen “more of our relationship and how we support each other. She’d say, ‘Mom, I cut my toe – can you get me a Band-Aid’ or ‘Can you watch my dance?’ And vice versa.”

“I was with my mom a lot,” Charli said. “Going to and from rehearsal. I was always talking to her. I’d see her at home. We were together a lot of time that the show didn’t catch.”

Artem Chigvintsev and Heidi D'Amelio on 'Dancing With the Stars'

ABC/Eric McCandless

In fact, Heidi did try to help Charli on ’90s Night in the Skybox by whispering in her ear that it was judge Carrie Ann Inaba who was a Fly Girl on In Living Color when co-host Alfonso Ribeiro quizzed her. Despite being fed the answer, Charli didn’t pick up on her mom’s help.

“To be fair,” Mark Ballas, Charli’s pro dancer partner, said, “[it looked like] Alfonso was indicating himself.” (It sure did!) Ballas and D’Amelio noted that the sounds in the ballroom are so loud, it’s often hard to hear everything. “I don’t want to be, ‘What did you say?’ so, sometimes I just say, ‘Yeah!’” explained Charli.

Heidi and Artem’s score of 35 for their Contemporary dance to Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” wasn’t the lowest scoring performance of the night but judge Len Goodman said the dance didn’t suit Heidi’s more outgoing personality. “I mean…I really don’t have words,” said Heidi when asked what to comment on Goodman’s critique. “For me, it wasn’t his thing.”

Heidi’s done competing but she will be back in the ballroom to support Charli, who is on her way to next week’s semi-finals. “Of course, I’ll be here for that,” Heidi said. “One million percent. All the way.”

Guadagnino and Iwasaki were more philosophical about their exit, but they were not totally unemotional either about being sent home over Donovan and Slater.

“First of all, I love Trevor,” Guadagnino said. “What he has done here is amazing. I am so proud of him. We were in the same boat, and I knew the judges were not going to pick me [to be saved] just because I’ve had a bit of a rough time.”

In fact, Guadagnino credited Iwasaki and his fans for keeping him in the competition for so long. “I am grateful to them,” he shared. “I’m going to take away from this experience a new love for my fans. I see them on social media and different things. I never felt this interactive with them [as] where they’re saving me and voting for me.”

The Jersey Shore star is open to going on tour with the DWTS company – especially as the performances don’t come with the pressure of being scored by the judges. “Oh, hell, yeah,” he said about reuniting with the dance pros and stars. “I’ve got to ask the details and talk to Koko. I love the process. Dancing in a competition for someone who’s never danced before is hard, but the tour sounds fun.”

“I did the tour last season,” Iwasaki said. While she went quite far in her first season as a pro, leaving the competition still hurts. “It’s emotional,” she said. “I do not think I’m ready to talk about it. I will say I am so proud of Vinny. I have a ‘forever brother.’”

What’s next up for Guadagnino? He’s off to tape the next season of Jersey Shore. Will he have bragging rights over cast members Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, who have also competed on DWTS?

“Honestly? They will probably make fun of me even though I went further than they did,” theorized Guadagnino, who added with a smile, “That’s always the way.”

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, Disney+