Ariana Madix is reclaiming her joy and dancing her heart out.

The Vanderpump Rules star took to the dance floor on Tuesday’s Dancing With the Stars, where she and her pro partner, Pasha Pashkov, delivered an emotional number as part of the show’s Most Memorable Year Night.

For Madix, the year she focused on was 2023 — when her life was turned upside down when she discovered her boyfriend of nine years, Tom Sandoval, was cheating on her with her friend, Rachel Leviss.

“Watching my entire life implode in public, my anxiety and depression were at an all-time high,” Madix said in a pre-taped segment before her routine. “I wasn’t eating or sleeping… [but] what I’ve learned about myself is when something is really hard, I can get through it.”

For Tuesday’s show, the pair performed a Viennese waltz set to Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever,” and Madix said, “It feels so amazing to know I will be dancing to the song ‘Happier Than Ever,’ because when I think back to scream-crying it in the car, I certainly never thought that this is where I would end up.”

The pair hit the dance floor with heart, passion and emotion to deliver a memorable dance, and Madix was brought to tears while speaking with host Julianne Hough about the experience.

“I feel like I’ve found my dream again,” Madix said, fighting back tears. “I wish my grandma was here to see it. I lost her last year, and she would have really loved to see that.”

Ultimately, the pair earned a score of 24 out of 30, with three 8s across the board from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli.

ET spoke with Madix earlier this season, and the reality star reflected on how much she’s come to love dancing since starting the show.

“I’m obsessed with it and whenever I have other things to do during the day, outside of just coming to rehearsal, I get kind of mad about it,” Madix said.

“Oh, she’s the best student,” Pashkov chimed in. “I feel like it’s on her mind 24/7. Ariana told me that she doesn’t really sleep well because, through the night, she keeps repeating the routine, you know, in her head.”

“Which is great for me because I think this is why she learns it so quickly,” he added. “Then we have time to improve it and deliver it in the performance on Tuesday.”

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.





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