Chmerkovskiy and Morris were rehearsing in late March when Chmerkovskiy suffered a calf injury that left him sidelined for weeks. But during the April 17 episode of DWTS, he announced that he would make his return the following week.
While Chmerkovskiy has been healing up, Morris has been dancing with troupe member Alan Bersten, and Chmerkovskiy has clearly been jealous of their obvious chemistry as partners, because he “fired” Bersten when he announced his return.
“Alan’s officially fired!” he said on the show after Bersten and Morris performed. “I’m taking over as of tonight.”
While for a lot of competitors, switching partners several times during the season might throw off their rhythm, for Morris, the handicap probably only levels the playing field since she’s already such an accomplished dancer (she was a background dancer for Beyoncé once, you guys. How is this even fair?).
Chmerkovskiy has been watching Morris’ performances from the sidelines until now as well as updating fans on his healing progress via social media. He underwent surgery to repair his torn calf muscle late last month, and on April 1, updated fans from the hospital.
“Therapy day 3 post calf muscle tear, progress check,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself walking the hospital hallways.
Just after his surgery he also appeared on Good Morning America where he was still confident that he and Morris could land the Mirror Ball trophy despite their setbacks.
“I still feel like we have a chance,” he said at the time. “[Morris deserves] it, and I want to give you 150 percent effort and be as physically active as I was at my best when nothing hurt. I want to come back and win.”