"I was just frustrated with myself," Murgatroyd told PEOPLE

By Patrick Gomez
Updated May 17, 2016 09:30 AM
Credit: ABC

Nyle DiMarco and Peta Murgatroyd have brought the audience to tears multiple times during their stint on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars, but they were the ones getting emotional before Monday’s episode.

It was a stressful rehearsal process for the couple, who were preparing for the deaf model to dance with a blindfold on the ABC reality dance competition.

“I was just frustrated with myself because the blindfold wouldn’t work,” Murgatroyd told PEOPLE at Mixology in Los Angeles after Monday’s episode. “We changed the way it was built a couple of times and it wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. I felt like we wasted time.”

“I feel like every day there was a new blindfold,” adds DiMarco, 27. “It wasn’t ideal. It would’ve been nice to have the same blindfold all week. Even tonight for the live show it was a different one. And it worked!”

Murgatroyd, 29, revealed they actually switched from a Velcro blindfold to a headband before the live show.

“We couldn’t figure out how to make the Velcro work in the back, so we just bought a sweat headbands, and it was awesome,” said the pro.

DiMarco said dancing without being able to see was “an adrenaline rush” and allowed him to focus solely on following his partner’s lead.

“We were dancing as one,” Murgatroyd told reporters. “That was the idea around it – and trust.”

Now that he’s made it through the semifinals, he is “honored and relieved” to be competing for the Mirrorball trophy next week.

“From the very first week, we’ve been doing our very best,” he said. “We’ve worked hard and pushed ourselves every week. And it’s paid off!”

The finals of DWTS season 22 air next Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.