Awkward! Gabby Windey and Val Chmerkovskiy had to bring the romance to their rumba on Dancing With the Stars this week — but their respective partners didn’t mind.
“Erich’s really supportive,” the Bachelorette alum, 31, told Us Weekly on Monday, October 24. Meanwhile, Chmerkovskiy, 36, joked that her fiancé, Erich Schwer, felt “left out” as Jenna Johnson got to join in the fun this week.
Johnson, 28, who is pregnant with her and Chmerkovskiy’s first child, instructed Windey — who got engaged to Schwer on season 19 of The Bachelorette earlier this year — how to be convincingly romantic with the Ukraine native.
“Rumba’s a really hard dance. Technically, but also emotionally,” Johnson said in a pre-taped package during Monday’s episode of DWTS. “You truly have to step into this story and portray it or else it’s gonna fall flat.”
Chmerkovskiy’s wife didn’t let up on Windey until she felt the registered nurse created some believable passion with the World Latin Dance Champion for Michael Bublé night.
“You are feeling his sweaty chest all over your ear,” Johnson advised while holding her head to her husband’s torso. At another point, the expectant mother said, “We should be nose to nose and I should feel his little mustache right on the top of my lip.”
Though it was initially awkward, Windey was grateful that Johnson helped out.
“It’s a learning curve for all of us,” she told a small group of reporters after the show. “We’ve never been in this arena before, but it was great having Jenna to come into the rehearsal space and teach me and getting to learn from her. And Erich has been so supportive. He understands this is a performance and we have a goal.”
Their hard work paid off. Guest judge Bublé, 47, said their routine to his song “Home” was “easily the sexiest version I have seen,” and they received a score of 46 out of 50.
While Windey and Chmerkovskiy were safe, costars Jessie James Decker and Alan Bersten were eliminated. “At this point, it’s always gonna be a hard goodbye, but I’ve loved watching Jessie grow,” Windey said. “I think she’s so fun to watch. She’s such a performer, and behind the scenes, she really does give her all, never complains. [She’s] just here for the sheer basics of wanting to be here and wanting to dance. So, I mean, it was devastating for me, but I hope she’s proud of herself.”
Her partner added that he’s “proud” of Decker. “I know it stinks getting eliminated,” Chmerkovskiy said. “I didn’t think she should’ve gone, but things happen on the show.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi