‘Dancing With the Stars’ Frontrunner Xochitl Gomez Surprised Herself in Season 32: ‘I Didn’t Think I’d Get This Far’

The 17-year-old Marvel star tells TheWrap she doesn’t keep track of scores as the ABC show prepares for the finale

Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy on "Dancing With the Stars" Season 32
Xochitl Gomez and Valentin Chmerkovskiy on "Dancing With the Stars" Season 32 (Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

Xochitl Gomez has consistently landed at or near the top of the leaderboard during Season 32 of “Dancing With the Stars,” and all signs point to her and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy making it to the Dec. 5 finale. But she recently told TheWrap that she’s not keeping track of her scores.

Guest judge Paula Abdul raved that the pair are “the most provocative and surprising partnership in this ballroom,” a compliment that Gomez said made her laugh when she and Chmerkovskiy recently spoke with TheWrap.

The 17-year-old actress, whose credits include “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “The Baby-Sitters Club,” said she watched the show growing up and can’t believe she’s now a contestant. Or that she’s doing so well.

“I didn’t think I’d get this far,” said Gomez, adding that getting a perfect score for a “flawless” Tango in Week 8 was “a moment I won’t forget.”

The couple also earned the second 10 of the season for their Viennese Waltz in Week 5 and scored 10s for their high-energy group dance to “Gangnam Style” on Music Video Night.

However, Gomez added that she’s not keeping track of where she or the other contestants are on the leaderboard each week. “

“I don’t even know where I’m at most of the time,” she said. “And I don’t know what the other scores people got for their dances. It just matters about how I feel and if Val and I are happy about how the dance went. It doesn’t matter if they give us a 6 and two 3s. The most important thing is it felt like it was good.”

Chmerkovskiy noted, “It usually goes hand in hand. When we feel great, the judges’ scores reflect that.”

The actress, who said she learned to dance by watching TikTok videos, has powered through two injuries so far this season, including a sprained ankle while rehearsing her routine to “Hollaback Girl.” She shared a video on TikTok of the moment where a cartwheel went wrong and added the narration from the “fail” meme: “It was at this moment he knew he f—d up.”

She later said in a video interview that she thought, “I could be out of the competition.” Instead of taking it easy, however, she vowed to return with a “banger” of a routine, set to the Gwen Stefani hit in honor of Music Video Night.

Although Gomez lost a point or two when her marching band hat fell off mid-dance, the fact that Stefani herself praised it on social media more than made up for it.

“Gwen Stefani commented on my post!” exclaimed Gomez. The actress wrote on Instagram, “Show must go on. That shiii wuz [banana emojis].” Stefani commented, “WOW!! marveling at u @_xochitl.gomez ur talent is bananaaaaas.”

“Dancing With the Stars” airs live on Tuesdays on ABC and streams on Disney+ in local time zones and the next day on Hulu. The Season 32 finale is on Dec. 5.

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