Alek Skarlatos has “Dancing With the Stars” to thank for keeping him out of another perilous situation.
The reality competition contestant — an Oregon Army National Guardsman who was hailed as a hero after stopping a terrorist attack on a French train in August — appears on Monday’s episode of “Ellen” to reveal that, if it were not for his appearance on “DWTS,” he would have been on campus at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College during the deadly shooting that killed 10 and injured seven on Thursday.
As Skarlatos explained during the interview, which taped Thursday, he attended the school prior to his 2014 deployment to Afghanistan, and would have been enrolled were it not for the ABC show.
“I mean I would have been there today if I didn’t agree to do this show,” Skarlatos said. “I had classes picked out and everything.”
Speaking to host Ellen DeGeneres, Skarlatos expressed his grief over the shooting, saying, “Everybody knows each other, so with that many deceased, I mean, everybody’s going to know at least one person.”
Watch Skarlatos talk to DeGeneres in the video.