‘Dancing With the Stars’: Trevor Donovan & Daniel Durant Speak Out on Leaving Just Before Finals

Trevor Donovan, Emma. Slater, Britt Stewart, and Daniel Durant in 'Dancing With the Stars'
ABC/Raymond Liu (2)

In any other season, actors Trevor Donovan and Daniel Durant (CODA) would both likely be going to the finals next week but the level of talent in Season 31 of Dancing With the Stars was just too high to keep the two actors in the competition any longer. TV Insider spoke to the pair of semi-finalists and their pro partners about their DWTS journey after their eliminations were announced.

“I’m so happy and proud of myself,” Durant said on the post-show press line. “I feel like we did it. Just seeing the dance floor getting smaller and smaller each week [showed me how far we went]. I’m so happy where we got to in the competition.”

“I’m so proud of Daniel,” Britt Stewart, Durant’s pro dancer partner, adds. “I might be biased but I think he deserved to be in the finals — 100 percent! But it’s an accomplishment to get where we did. It was an amazing season.”

Donovan and pro partner Emma Slater are also leaving with nothing but gratitude and pride. “I couldn’t be prouder of the journey we’ve had,” Slater says. “When we both first started, we guessed we’d make it to Week 3 or 4.”

“That’s pretty generous,” grinned Donovan.

“We had no clue,” Slater says.

“I did. Maybe Week 3,” Donovan adds.

“The expectations were for us not to go very far,” Slater says. So, how’d they get to the semi-finals? “It was week after week of ‘Wow, you’re surprising us,’” she suggests. “Trevor and I became really close friends and we were there for each other. This was pretty fun and I’m saying that as a pro. I was like, ‘Great, Trevor! Keep going!’”

Tyra Banks, Alfonso Ribeiro, Emma Slater, Daniel Durant, Britt Stewart, and Trevor Donovan in 'Dancing With the Stars'

ABC/Raymond Liu

How did it feel to hear Donovan say in the pre-dance package that he owed so much of his DWTS experience to his pro partner? “I was like, ‘Duh!’” responds Slater, hastening, of course, to add in a more serious tone, “It means so much to me. We really felt that the [casting producer] paired us off perfectly. I couldn’t have imagined dancing with anyone else this season — win or lose. We were paired together and every second was magical. I know how much hard work he put into this.”

“I was banging my head against the wall,” Donovan reveals. “Crying at times.”

Slater says that she’s proud of the routines she and Donovan performed especially their contemporary dance and the “Barbie” dance. “You’re the one who made those dances,” Donovan says.

The two ejected pairs are no longer in the competition but, traditionally, all the couples return for one last twirl on the ballroom floor in the finale. “We’re going to dance … knowing there are no scores!” Slater enthuses. “We’ll get to celebrate our journey with our competitors.”

Stewart also expects that she and Durant will participate in the finale. “I know that as a pro, there will be special numbers,” Stewart says. “There will be a big opening number. There’s a lot that’s happening. I’m sure the finale is going to be big and celebratory. It’ll be bittersweet, but we’re going to have a good time no matter what.”

Dancing With the Stars, Season 31 Finale, Monday, November 21, 8/7c, Disney+