Dancing With the Stars contestant Ariana Madix opened up about moving on from ex Tom Sandoval and the aftermath of his affair during her DWTS debut on Monday night.
In a pre-taped segment, Madix reflected on the scandal surrounding her split from Sandoval, who had a months-long affair with former costar Rachel “Raquel” Leviss.
“My life has been a rollercoaster in the past year,” Madix said. “Everybody got to watch it all play out and my life blow up on television.”
But as Madix—who has since moved on with Daniel Wai—noted, Sandoval “does not define” her.
“I’m here to show everybody that I am more than just a victim of this scandal,” she said. “I am a strong, independent woman, and I am not going to let this define me.”
Madix then performed a passionate tango with her professional partner, Pasha Pashkov. The judges were impressed, awarding the couple a score of 27 out of 30.
After her performance, Madix told co-host Tyra Banks that she wanted to do Dancing With the Stars because she wanted to show other women that they can overcome any challenge.
“I want to show other women that none of that stuff has to hold you back,” she said. “I want to display a more confident and vibrant version of myself. Because I don’t need anybody else. I love me.”
Madix’s performance on Dancing With the Stars was well-received by viewers on social media. Many praised her for her strength and resilience in the face of adversity.
“Ariana Madix is a queen,” one Twitter user wrote. “She’s showing the world that she’s more than just a victim of her ex’s cheating scandal. She’s a strong, independent woman, and she’s not going to let anything define her.”
“I’m so proud of Ariana Madix,” another Twitter user wrote. “She’s showing everyone what it means to be a survivor. She’s an inspiration.”
Madix’s performance on Dancing With the Stars is sure to be one of the most talked-about moments of the season. She is a fan favorite, and her story is resonating with viewers across the country.