On Monday night’s episode of the dancing reality competition series, the pro dancer got really emotional and cried “happy tears” while talking about his 16-year-old partner Laurie Hernandez.
Before the duo danced their Viennese Waltz on the ABC series’ Halloween night, audiences got to watch an inside glimpse into the pair’s rehearsals for week 8 — when Chmerkovskiy let it all flow.
“It’s crazy how fast life moves. Laurie, she brings the joy in everything. I just don’t want to blow it for her,” Chmerkovskiy, 30, said as he sat on the stairs alone and cried. “For me, by sharing it with her, it lives on forever.
In an attempt to get her pro partner smiling again, Hernandez suggested, “Don’t be upset. Eat some spaghetti.”
“I’m not upset, I’m happy. I’m really happy. These are happy tears,” he told Hernandez as she gave him a large, warm hug. “I want to be good to you, for you and make this a great, great experience for you — always — because you deserve it.”
But the emotions must’ve worked for the duo as they scored a 30/30 for their performance that they danced to the tune of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘s “Pure Imagination.”
“I guess my paternal instincts are kicking in or something. I don’t know. My inspiration is to be able to pass my blessings on forward and I appreciate the opportunity to be able to inspire young talent like Laurie and in the process maybe she can change the world,” he told DWTS co-host Erin Andrews about Hernandez after receiving their perfect score.
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.