Normani Kordei isn’t going to let an ankle injury prevent her from winning the Dancing with the Stars Mirrorball trophy.
Normani injured her right ankle during rehearsals last week ahead of the Dancing with the Stars finale. The Fifth Harmony singer was wearing an ankle wrap in the latter part of the week, but she has now recovered.
“My ankle is actually fine,” Normani revealed to Entertainment Tonight recently. “It looked really bad. I saw the video back, but luckily I can push through anything and I’m dancing on it.”
Val Chmerkovskiy, her Dancing with the Stars pro dancing partner, takes full responsibility for what happened.
“It was an ignorant injury on my behalf,” he said. “We attempted a move that we’ve never done before, and it didn’t pay off, clearly.”
Normani did not want Val to blame himself for the injury.
“I literally [just] did a toe touch. It’s like me walking down the street and I roll my ankle,” she said, noting that the move may have been slightly complex but it “wasn’t like, a lift or anything.”
Normani was rehearsing for the quickstep she will be performing Monday night, which is her “redemption” dance from the very first week. As seen in a clip package that will air Monday night on Dancing with the Stars, Normani rolls her right ankle and Val speaks on how horrible the timing is.
“All of my body weight came down on it really hard and it just,” Normani says, speaking about the injury.
“This couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” Val adds. “I just feel terrible. This is a week that’s already really intense and she’s never going to admit that she’s hurt.”
As Normani says in the clip package, they are heading into the Dancing with the Stars finale in second place behind Rashad Jennings and Emma Slater, after a slight stumble in one of last week’s dances caused them to get all 9s. This week, though, Normani is ready to win this thing.
“Last week we had one of our most challenging dances,” she says. “The judges saw a stumble…it just shows anything can set me back. Any little thing can be the reason why I don’t get the mirrorball.”
Normani and Val have a combined score of 76 out of 80 heading into the final week of Dancing with the Stars, while Rashad and Emma are just one notch higher with a 77. The other remaining couple, David Ross and Lindsay Arnold, trail behind them at 70 out of 80.
Monday night will see the couples perform two dances: a redemption dance and a freestyle. Val is promising an emotional experience for Normani’s freestyle.
Her freestyle is “a little softer. It’s sweeter, it’s more beautiful,” he told Entertainment Tonight, adding, “I think it’s more special. It’s not necessarily huge in production as much as it is in emotion. I hope our audience really feels that.”
Normani and Val will be dancing to Andra Day’s cover of “What the World Needs Now Is Love.”
In Tuesday night’s Dancing with the Stars Season 24 finale, the couples will perform a fusion dance, which the celebrities are only able to learn over the course of 24 hours. The judges’ scores will be combined with America’s votes to crown the winner of Dancing with the Stars at the end of the night on Tuesday, with second and third place also doled out.
The Dancing with the Stars performance finale airs Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, and will only air for an hour. The Season 24 finale airs Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and will air for two hours.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]