Suni, 18, and her partner, Sasha Farber, danced the foxtrot to the hit song “I’m a Slave 4 U.” The duo scored a 21 out of 30 after an incredible performance that included a handstand and a flip. Their season total as of week 3 is 77 out of 110.
However, the judges encouraged her to get more into the performance. “You are definitely pushing your boundaries,” Carrie Ann Inaba said. “I sense a little bit of discomfort with some of the sensual moves.”
Bruno Tonioli added, “I love the fact you actually started to play with the character … As you let it go, your performance becomes more effective.”
Some fans did not think their comments were fair given the age of the Olympian. “I really didn’t like Carrie Ann criticizing Suni [because] it’s a sensual song, and she’s so young,” one Twitter user wrote. “She had a smirk on her face, and I didn’t like that s—t. Get a grip, Carrie Ann. She’s a young Olympian, and she doesn’t have to act so ‘out there’ for a dance for you #DWTS.”
“Suni does seem really over this show, and after those uncomfortable judge comments, I kind of [want to] get her out of here,” another tweet read. Someone else thought the contestant had the “worst song choice,” which made her “look uncomfortable.”
That being said, Suni opened up about the immense pressure she’s been under between DWTS rehearsals, gymnastics workouts and college work.
The Minnesota native competed in Tokyo Olympics in July and is now attending Auburn University.
“I’ve been committed for about five years. So, I came here (to Auburn) about every year leading up to this year because I would come to camps all the time and I’d just come visit Jeff and train here,” Suni told Auburn’s newspaper, referring to the university’s head coach Jeff Graba, who coached the athlete during the Olympics.
The college freshman added, “So, it was really exciting when I finally could come here because it was like, ‘I’d been waiting for so long.’”
No matter what happens on DWTS, Suni has a bright (and busy) future!