Chmerkovskiy was Shepherd's partner on season 14 of 'Dancing with the Stars' in 2012
During an appearance on Shepherd’s show, Sherri, on Tuesday, the talk show host challenged the Dancing with the Stars pro, 37, to attempt a lift that he couldn’t perform when they were partners on the dancing competition show more than a decade ago.
“The thing that bugged me during my Dancing with the Stars experience is that we did the jive to ‘Proud Mary’ and you couldn’t lift me up during the jive routine,” Shepherd told her former partner, who was joined by his wife Jenna Johnson on the show.
A clip from one of their rehearsals on DWTS was then shown, which saw Chmerkovskiy struggle to lift Shepherd, 56, as she joked, “My equipment is way too heavy for all of that bouncing around.”
After the failed attempt, she said in a confessional, “First of all, he’s just gotta learn how to pick me up. Number one. Learn how to pick me up, Val!”
Shepherd told Chmerkovskiy that she now feels like she’s in the “best shape of [her] life” as she’s been “working out” and “eating right,” and challenged him to give the lift another try, to which he enthusiastically agreed.
The choreographer also took a second to compliment his former dance partner.
“Before I lift you up, I want to say that you were hot then and you're fine now,” he said prompting an onslaught of cheers from the live studio audience. He added, “Don’t get it twisted.
Chmerkovskiy then got into position to hoist Shepherd into his arms, but not before warning her to “not get this wrong, we’re on live TV.”
Shepherd then jumped into his arms and he spun her around several times as Johnson, 29, applauded in the background. The pair finished off the successful lift with a hug and Shepherd was smiling from ear-to-ear.
On season 14 of DWTS, the pair made it through four weeks of competition before they were eliminated, finishing in 10th place overall. Chmerkovskiy has gone on to win three Mirror Ball trophies during his 19 seasons on the show, with his most recent win coming in December with actress Xochitl Gomez.
“It felt really good,” he told PEOPLE of the victory, his first since 2016. “It's a little weird, you know, because you put so much work into something and then it's like here’s a trophy and then it's over.”
“The feeling is, obviously pride and joy for ourselves, but also a little bit of sadness that it's over.”
Gomez, 17, called the win “unbelievable,” as she admitted, “I didn't see it coming.”
“I went into this whole competition thing thinking, you know, if I make it to week five, that’d be awesome, and so to be here and to have this trophy is just crazy. I'm really proud of us.
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