Sometimes Dancing with the Stars contestants just have an "it" factor. This season, Laurie Hernandez has been crushing it, thanks to her passionate dancing and incredible athleticism. That doesn't 100% explain why she has done so well with audiences, though. She's also been incredibly candid on camera, and this week she discussed not having been able to spend as much time with her ill grandmother in recent years, as gymnastics and then Dancing with the Stars took over. She did the interview for ABC's competition series just a couple of days before her grandmother died. Then, this week, when she took to the stage, her emotions really took over, and you can see it in her performance below.
While Laurie Hernandez managed to get through her foxtrot to "Hollow" by Tori Kelly with partner Val Chmerkovskiy without bawling, she was clearly overcome with emotion. As soon as the dance was finished---and it looked great---the second she was finished she started crying and had to eventually turn her whole body into Val's chest. Yes, she's one of those girls who still manages to look good while she's crying.
Laurie Hernandez has been a favorite in Dancing with the Stars' 23rd season for a few weeks now. However, this week was particularly hard for the gymnast. She knew her grandmother wasn't faring well, and when Hernandez's grandmother passed away on Wednesday night, Val and the rest of the Dancing with the Stars team ultimately opted not to tell her for a couple of days so that she could forge forward in the competition and go for perfect 10's once more. On Friday, they broke the news to Laurie, and learning that her grandmother had passed away absolutely had an affect on the 16-year-old competitor, although she performed admirably nonetheless.
The Olympics gymnast later told People that Val had actually covered her ears when the interview footage she had filmed some days earlier was playing.
He actually covered my ears while the package was playing. I still cried a little bit, but without him I would have probably not been able to dance as well as I did today -- or even dance at all.
Monday's dances were clearly hard for Laurie Hernandez, but she powered through and will be back to continue to fight for the Mirrorball trophy next week. New episodes of Dancing with the Stars air on Monday nights at 8 p.m. ET, only on ABC. To find out what the network has coming up at midseason, check out our winter premiere schedule.