Marvel star survives injury on ‘DWTS’ to win Halloween-themed dance marathon later in the night

It was an action-packed Tuesday night for Marvel star Xochitl Gomez on Dancing with the Stars after she appeared to injure herself during a dance, but still managed to perform again and ended the night with the highest score out of nine competitors.

The Halloween-themed Monster Night on DWTS included individual dances and then a dance marathon, or dance monster-thon as it’s called on Monster Night. And Gomez, who is best known for playing America Chavez in 2022’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, found herself at the center of it all through great dancing plus true grit and determination.

Here’s a look at how it all shook, spun and dipped out.

The injury

The pre-packaged segment that aired before the dance featuring Gomez and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy made no mention of an injury, so whatever happened appeared to occur during the performance.

After dancing a near flawless contemporary routine to “Game of Survival” by Ruelle, cameras rolled on the audience looking for reactions to the dance but instead found people reacting to what was apparently Chmerkovskiy picking Gomez up to carry her over for the judges’ scores. When he set her down she was clearly favoring one of her legs.

The judges asked Gomez multiple times if she was okay and how she was doing, and her only response was, “I’m great, I’m fabulous,” with her partner Chmerkovskiy adding, “It’s a game of survival.” But then he also carried her up to where the performers hang out after their dances for their next interview. That’s where interviewer Julianne Hough — a professional dancer in her own right — knew better than to keep asking about the injury saying, “I’m very similar. We’ll handle it later.”

Gomez and Chmerkovskiy earned a total score of 37 out of 40, which included a perfect 10 from guest judge Niecy Nash-Betts and was tied in the top spot for the night with reality star Ariana Madix and her partner, Pasha Pashkov.

The aftermath

While Gomez was very tight-lipped about the injury during the live show, she revealed more on her Instagram story afterward while backstage. She wrote in a caption over video that she “got scraped up climbing the alter but they fixed me up and we’ll see you for the dance marathon!”

In the video, she said, “I’m okay y’all, we good. Dance marathon calling me… we good,” while footage showed a makeup artist touching up her left leg and knee area with a bandage and makeup.

The comeback

Gomez appeared in much better shape during the dance marathon, which began with her and Chmerkovsky dancing the hustle. Once they made it to the top four the dance switched to the Charleston, which included plenty of leg action on the floor for Gomez but no signs of injury or pain.

It took nearly four minutes of straight dancing, but Gomez and Chmerkovskiy won the dance monster-thon, just edging out Vanderpump Rules star Arian Madix and her partner Pasha Pashkov.

Along with five bonus points added to their final score of the night, the other prize Gomez and Chmerkovskiy won? Being doused with a bucket full of red glitter, ala the horror movie classic Carrie.

The reaction

Viewers reacting to the drama on social media throughout the night experienced a myriad of emotions, going from concern for Gomez and her injury to being impressed that she was able to come back and win the night.

The future

The 17-year-old Gomez has consistently been near the top of the leaderboard throughout the season and is considered to be one of the favorites to win along with reality stars Arian Madix and Charity Lawson, singer Jason Mraz and social media star Lele Pons.

Next week the dancers will be competing on Music Video night, with special guest judge Paula Abdul.

For more on who performed well this week and who was sent home, click here.

Dancing with the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC and Disney+ and streams the following day on Hulu.

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