“Oh, my God, she would come home from Dancing With the Stars so neurotic,” Chmerkovskiy, 41, exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday. “No one knows how hard it is for the pros. She was working so hard and asked me how my day was, and I said, ‘Oh, it was great! I loved it!’ And she said, ‘Ugh.’ It was a completely different reaction.”
The Ukrainian dancer, who competed in The Masked Dancer finale against the Tulip (Maddie Ziegler) and Cotton Candy (Gabby Douglas), noted that Murgatroyd, 34, who is still on Dancing With the Stars, was “jealous” of the types of dances he did in costume.
“She is putting in 24/7, thinking and choreographing and being a psychiatrist and executing the routine. If you’re fully committed, it’s so, so hard,” he explained of the difference between his wife’s schedule and his. “Nowadays, it’s all about the celebrities, so it was [a] completely different experience.”
Chmerkovskiy, who ultimately lost to Cotton Candy, continued: “I was the celebrity on a dance show where I had dancers responsible for my participation. [I thought], ‘What have I done right to earn this?’”
The ballroom dancer revealed that the relaxed routines associated with the Sloth character is part of what drew him to picking that costume in the first place.
“When I was offered the show, I wanted to show up and really do the least choreography and all that I possibly could,” he told Us. “We spend so much time on DWTS doing everything and I just wanted to show up and really take it easy.”
Chmerkovskiy said after googling The Masked Singer, which sparked the spinoff series, he learned that Seal competed but did not win. That realization made the dancer’s approach to the show shift away from competing toward “just wanting to have fun.”
He explained that he had one condition going into the show, saying, “I wanted no responsibility for myself. I wanted to walk in, be told what to do and walk out! I wanted the closest possible experience to celebrities on DWTS.”
With the help of show choreographers, Chmerkovskiy said he had “such an incredible time.” The former DWTS pro, who has his own Dance & Co. app, revealed that part of the fun has been watching his 4-year-old son Shai’s reaction to the Sloth on TV.
“I can’t wait for him to see the reveal with him watching and finally making the association,” he said. “I’m so excited. Like any father, I want him to see me do stuff. And the costume helps! Parents are always the ones to dress up like Santa, but I got to do something similar on a TV with all this production behind it.”
Chmerkovskiy said he had “so much fun” dancing as the celebrity instead of the pro, but hiding behind a costume never changed how hard he performed.
“I did every number full out! I was still being a dancer,” he told Us. “This was about misdirection and having the viewers guess. I thought, ‘We have to go dance!’ That’s why my first number was jazzercise, then the ribbon dance. It was easy to hide in those numbers. This was really crazy!”
With reporting by Travis Cronin
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