“Well, Derek has his preferences. He wanted to see maybe a slightly different interpretation of the song,” Williams, 69, exclusively told Us Weekly following the Dancing With the Stars live show on Tuesday, October 31. “I thought we had quite a bit of Viennese waltz in it, and it was lovely to do, so I listened to him because I respect him so much. I thought he tends to be a little bit tough. He’s a tough judge.”
Williams and partner Peta Murgatroyd danced a Little Red Riding Hood-themed Viennese waltz to “It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World” by James Brown. While judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Niecy Nash praised the duo, Hough, 38, had some tough love for Williams.
“Listen, I love you. However, I feel like tonight the character of the dance took over a little bit and the dance itself suffered,” Hough said while met by a series of boos from the audience. “But listen, that doesn’t take away … how fantastic you’ve been doing each and every week.”
Hough explained he’d like to see more ballroom content in the future from the pair. Bruno Tonioli agreed with Hough and noted the Brady Bunch star lost his timing for a spell. For their scores, Williams and Peta received a total of 31, with Hough giving the pair a 7 as the rest of the panel awarded them 8s. (The twosome also received one additional point “Dance Monster-thon” marathon dance later in the evening)
Before hitting the ballroom floor, Williams shared how he wanted to impress the judges after his breakthrough the week before.
“I’m trying hard to nail this choreography,” he shared in a confessional. “Cause coming off a big week with big scores, it’s crucial that I deliver a good performance so the judges know I’m a real contender.”
During his post-show interview with Us, Williams gushed to Us about how “incredible” he feels to have the fans voting for him to stay in the competition.
“There is a lot of support and with this show, not only friends and your family involved, but fans and then they participate in the process so that people are voting and they’re actively a part of it,” Williams shared. “They get to share the joy of moving forward to the next week when I can take up their time for another Tuesday night.”
As Williams remains in the competition each week, he noted he feels “great” overall and that his stamina has improved.
“I think it feels like it’s starting over each week because we start a new dance. It has a new impulse, it has a new, and it’s unfamiliar to me, so it’s not part of my wheelhouse,” he explained of the challenges he’s still working through on the show. “So the most difficult part is to readapt every week.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC and Disney+ Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Hannah Kahn