Ariana Madix details intense ‘Dancing With the Stars’ back injury, teases Taylor Swift Night dance

Ariana Madix is continuing to top the leaderboard on “Dancing With the Stars” — even with some injuries.

The “Vanderpump Rules” star spoke to Page Six about the additional back pain she’s been suffering this week after initially hurting her foot last month.

“I took a lot of Ibuprofen earlier, and I saw our amazing physical therapist here, Gina, and she got me right before we performed,” Madix, 38, exclusively told us in the ballroom after Tuesday’s Whitney Houston-themed episode.

“But [Monday] it was really bad, and Sunday it was really bad,” she added.

Madix revealed that it all started a few weeks ago when she and her pro partner, Pasha Pashkov, were practicing “lifts and things” in rehearsal.

Ariana Madix spoke to Page Six about the multiple injuries she’s struggling with while competing on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Page Six
“I took a lot of Ibuprofen earlier, and I saw our amazing physical therapist here,” the reality star told us Tuesday.
Page Six

“The ribs started bothering [me], but then it started migrating into something else and then it started spasming,” she recalled.

“I think what it is, is that my back is going, ‘Oh, the ribs hurt … let me brace it!’ And it just ends up, like, not being a good idea,” she continued.

“Hopefully it’s something that will work itself out. But I have a feeling that it’s something that will only fix itself with rest and that’s just not something that we’re going to be able to do.”

She’s also been dealing with a foot injury that started bothering her last month.
Instagram/Ariana Madix

Madix noted that she’ll have to tough it out in order to stay in the competition — and hopefully make it to the Season 32 finale on Dec. 5.

“I think it’s only getting tougher now,” Pashkov said. “We can forget about rest!”

On top of “DWTS,” Madix has also been busy with various “Vanderpump Rules” appearances — most recently, BravoCon 2023 — along with business meetings for her and Katie Maloney’s Something About Her sandwich shop in Los Angeles.

Madix and her pro partner, Pasha Pashkov, performed a paso doble during “Whitney Houston Night.”
The Walt Disney Company
They received a near-perfect score of 39/40 from the judges.
The Walt Disney Company

Of how she’s balancing it all, Madix joked, “A lot of caffeine!”

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“When it’s time to work, it’s time to work. And then when it’s off time, I just sleep, that’s it,” she shared. “So just being really disciplined about all of that.”

The “Vanderpump Rules” star joked that she’s getting by with “a lot of caffeine” and no rest.
The Walt Disney Company

During Tuesday’s “Whitney Houston Night,” Madix and Pashkov danced a paso doble to the late singer’s 1992 hit “Queen of the Night from “The Bodyguard.”

They topped the leaderboard once again — receiving a near-perfect score of 39/40 — and were genuinely surprised by the outcome.

“I don’t think I was expecting that at all … but I feel like it was like that last week, too, where it was like, ‘Is this for real?’” Madix exclaimed, referencing the high scores and praise they received from judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough, Bruno Tonioli and “Music Video Night” guest Paula Abdul.

Madix teased that she’s dancing a rumba to her “favorite” Taylor Swift song during next week’s show.

Ahead of next Tuesday’s “Taylor Swift Night,” Madix teased that she and Pashkov will be dancing a rumba to her “favorite” Taylor Swift song.

“I’m really into Taylor running up and kissing Travis Kelce,” she said of the couple’s adorable interaction at the singer’s recent Eras Tour stop in Argentina. “I think it’s the cutest thing ever.”

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+, with new episodes streaming on Hulu the following day.

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