Hayes Grier and Mom Tear Up During Emotional Dancing with the Stars Moment: We Have 'Such a Strong Connection'
The episode saw Hayes, 15, travel to his native North Carolina, where he reunited with his mother and sister after months away in Los Angeles for the show.
“I think every mom is proud of her children, and I’m super proud,” Elizabeth said in a prerecorded segment, choking up up.
Hayes gave her a hug and told her not to cry.
During the live show, the crowd went wild for Hayes’ dance. But the real fireworks came when he spoke of what his mother meant to him.
“My mom supports me for everything, so I can’t thank her enough for that,” Hayes said backstage. “Mom, I loved you so much. Thank you for everything.”
When Erin Andrews asked the visibly emotional Hayes why he was tearing up, he said it was because of he and his mom have “such a strong connection.”
“She knows me like the bottom of her hand, and I know her the same way. We’re both tearing up a little bit.”
Backstage, the mother and son told PEOPLE about their special bond.
“I’d been trying to hold back all that emotion, but I had to let a little out,” he told PEOPLE. “Usually I try to hide it back and I was like, ‘Oh, stop crying Hayes. You can do it.’ But I just couldn’t hold it back. I just love my mom so much and she means so much to me.”
His mother told PEOPLE her son “has the biggest heart.”
“He is just kind to everyone from his partner to the crew to the fans. He’s just the best son a mom could ask for,” Elizabeth said.
Dancing with the Stars continues Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.