'Older Brother' Val Chmerkovskiy Gets Wistful About Saying Goodbye to His DWTS Partner Laurie Hernandez
Chmerkovskiy and Hernandez won the DWTS season 23 Mirrorball Trophy in November
Following the duo’s Mirrorball Trophy win on the ABC reality dancing competition’s season finale in November, the Olympic gold medalist joined the Dancing with the Stars: Live! tour, where she has been able to continue showing off her dance skills and spend time with her pro partner Chmerkovskiy, 30.
But the duo’s time on tour is nearing an end — and Chmerkovskiy is already missing it. On Thursday, the DWTS pro shared a sweet Instagram post in honor of 16-year-old Hernandez.
“Breakfast with this incredible young lady. Talking life, family, and what’s really important to hold dear… As this tour is coming to an end, times spent with my lil nugget will be by far the times I’ll miss the most,” Chmerkovskiy began the post.
“What an awesome ride this has been, playing older brother mentoring this wonderful talent and spirit,” he continued.
Chmerkovskiy added: “Excited to see how high she will continue to soar how bright her star will continue to shine. Very proud of the young leader she has become. #teamvalaur #tour.”
On season 23’s Halloween episode — weeks prior to the duo winning the coveted Mirrorball Trophy — Chmerkovskiy got emotional talking about the role and impact that the teen Olympian has had on his life.
“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 said as he sat on the stairs alone and cried. “For me, by sharing it with her, it lives on forever.”
“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.”
Dancing with the Stars returns for season 24 on Monday, March 20 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.