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EXCLUSIVE: 'Dancing With the Stars' Frontrunner Laurie Hernandez Talks Showbiz Perks While Perfecting Tango

by Raphael Chestang 3:51 PM PDT, September 22, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: 'Dancing With the Stars' Frontrunner Laurie Hernandez Talks Showbiz Perks While Perfecting Tango

With the highest scores of any Dancing With the Stars couple so far this season, Laurie Hernandez and her pro partner, Val Chmerkovskiy, don't plan on relinquishing their top spot anytime soon.

ET was in the dance rehearsal studio with the pair on Wednesday as they perfected their tango after slaying their jive to the DuckTales theme song on Monday. Hernandez showed us that she's just as bubbly in rehearsal as she is during the live performances when she gushed about the perks of being in show business.

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"It is so cool!" the U.S. Olympic gold medalist said. "For the Olympics, we did our own makeup and that was something that we really looked forward to -- doing our own hair, our own makeup -- and here they do all your makeup. They do your hair. They get you fitted for all these awesome outfits."

The 16-year-old gymnast couldn't contain her enthusiasm, which sent Val, 30, into a giggle fit.

"She loves this," he said.

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While Laurie and Val have undeniable chemistry, Laurie has also bonded with her competitors. She told us she comforted fellow Olympian Ryan Lochte when he and Cheryl Burke were on the chopping block.

"He said that he is really excited to move on and be able to show another week's worth of dance," Laurie said. "I gave him a hug."

Watch an all-new Dancing With the Stars Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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