In preparation of Monday night’s Argentine tango, the duo were in the dance studio late at night earlier in the week when tensions escalated.
“This show is harder than I ever imagined. It’s hard to always put on a smile,” Ross, 40, admitted. “I try to as much as I possibly can and be positive, but you’re not going to have fun every day.”
At one point during the rehearsal, Ross bent over in pain and told 23-year-old Arnold after lifting her in the air, “Oh man, that hurt. I think your hip bone hit me right in the ear.”
“It’s hard,” he admitted.
“Of course it’s hard,” Arnold responded. “Did anyone say this was going to be easy? Did I ever say, ‘This is going to be such an easy dance for you’?”
“I didn’t say you said that,” Ross told his pro partner.
“So then why are you being so hard on yourself?” Arnold questioned him.
Clearly frustrated, the former pro baseball player asked, “What do you mean why are you so hard? You’re hard on yourself.”
“Of course I am, but not to the point where I get defeated and I keep myself from progressing because I’m so upset about what’s happening. That’s what it means. You can be frustrated,” Arnold told him. “Don’t think that you cant get it because you can. You always do.”
Attempting to explain his feelings to Arnold, Ross said, “I wouldn’t be frustrated if I didn’t want it. I want to do well. And so the frustration comes from caring.”
“Sitting here late at night after we’re freaking tired rehearsing hard —,” Arnold encouraged.
But Ross didn’t want any consolation in the moment. “Do I have to listen to this?” he said while sitting on the floor.
“Yeah you do,” said Arnold. “I’m your coach.”
Ross fired back, “You’re not my coach. You’re my partner.”
During his confessional, Ross told cameras, “She understands that we’re not always going to be happy-go-lucky. She’s definitely a partner to me. I mean, she is my coach, but I don’t look at it like that. She’s my teammate.”
After performing their number, Ross explained, “I’m just trying to be more sensual and sexual. I don’t think it comes off real good. … I think I come across as grumpy when I’m serious.”
Despite their tension during rehearsals, the duo ended the night smiling and with a warm embrace, and earned 29/40 for their Argentine tango.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC