“I just wanted to keep that moment loose and just make it an ad-lib moment to let her improv and let her say thank you to the crowd,” Chmerkovskiy, 30, told PEOPLE of the moment judge Len Goodman said they “lost the dance.”
The moment came in the middle of their final dance for season 22 just before their fate in the competition was revealed.
“But they mis-saw the moment,” added the pro dancer. “I thought the dance was awesome. I don’t know that it deserved three 9s, but that’s irrelevant. The point is that we got to dance it. Every performance is a performance that we do with gratitude.”
Zee, 35, was a little more blunt about how the moment played out.
“So what we learned is that I need choreography,” she said.
Warning: the DWTS season 22 winner revealed below.
But even though she lost to deaf model Nyle DiMarco, 27, Zee says she has no qualms about placing third in the competition.
“I felt so satisfied with Nyle winning. I believe in him and I believe in what he is going to do for the world with this,” Zee told reporters. “I think that’s the coolest part of this show, there are just such amazing people – especially this season – and I feel so lucky to have made it to the finals.”