Though they’re both still definitely contenders for the Mirror Ball trophy win in Season 23, it wasn’t until tonight’s Halloween performance that they really came back into the spotlight as the leaders they are.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t their dancing that got the attention of the judges and viewers around the nation; it was Chmerkovskiy’s emotional pre-performance interview.
During the solo interview, Chmerkovskiy got teary-eyed talking about Hernandez. “My whole life is focused around making sure she shines every Monday. Is my creativity good enough? Because her dancing is definitely good enough.”
“I want to be good to you, for you, and make this a great, great experience for you,” Chmerkovskiy then said to Hernandez as they hugged it out in rehearsals. “Because you deserve it.”
“You have to stop because then you’re going to make me start crying and that’s ugly,” Hernandez joked.
The two performed a Viennese waltz to the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory song “Pure Imagination,” and the judges loved it.
“That was a truly magical Halloween treat,” Bruno Tonioli said of the performance. “It nearly brought tears to my eyes.”
Carrie Ann Inaba actually did cry during the dance.
After the performance, she said, “There was something so magical happening between you, the music, the true emotional and tenderness that was exchanged between all of you. It connected us all into this beautiful, magical moment. And your dancing was divine.”
The couple scored a 30 out of 30.
But more important than their perfect score was the favor they earned with the fans.
@ValChmerkovskiy I love u Val! I love the soft side of you!
— Brwnskndgirl (@brwnskndgirl) November 1, 2016
LOVE the way Val is with Laurie. So sweet and innocent.
— Lisa S. (@lisajstrayer) November 1, 2016
@iamValC you made me tear up tonight, in a good way. You really care about @lzhernandez02 and it shows. It just makes my heart smile.
— Katie Tharp (@ruralgrl) November 1, 2016
We’ll have to wait and see if Chmerkovskiy and Hernandez can keep this streak going as we head into the final episodes of the Season 23 competition, but my guess is, they’ve got it.
Did Chmerkovskiy’s emotion on DWTS have you rooting for him and Hernandez to win?
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.