ABC/Craig Sjodin
Patrick Gomez
May 24, 2016 08:55 AM

brightcove.createExperiences(); There were a lot of tears on the performance finale of Dancing with the Stars on Monday, but there were even more waterworks backstage after the show.

“It’s been three intense months and…I don’t know…,” pro dancer Peta Murgatroyd told PEOPLE with tears welling up in her eyes after her final dance with partner Nyle DiMarco. “It’s been such an amazing experience that I know I’ll always look back at and would do again in a heartbeat.”

And the feeling is mutual.

“It’s bittersweet,” DiMarco said of getting perfect scores for their freestyle routine on Monday. “We’ve been here for three months and I’ve seen her face every day. I’m not looking forward to not seeing her face.”

And even though the winner of season 22 of the ABC reality dance competition won’t be revealed until Tuesday, the deaf model and ballroom dancer feel they’ve already won by getting to work together.

“When we first started, I never thought we’d make it all the way to the finals,” admits Murgatroyd. “But it’s been amazing every day.”

“The first week, I just wasn’t sure. I knew I was competing against people who have that hearing advantage, so I just took it week-by-week and we’re here now,” added DiMarco. “But I got to tell my story and speak for deaf people everywhere, so I feel like a winner already.”

DiMarco is one of three finalists who could be crowned the winner on the Dancing with the Stars season 22 finale on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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