Laurie Hernandez is “Cute Laurie” no more!
The 16-year-old Olympic gymnast showed off her sultry side on Dancing With the Stars
on Monday, performing a passionate tango on the one-hour live face-off show, where pairs were pitted against another couple to compete for immunity in Tuesday’s elimination show.
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Hernandez was initially worried that her youth may be a detriment this week, as she and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy were given the tango, a more “intense” dance that requires a lot of passion. Going up against Derek Hough and Marilu Henner, 64, certainly didn’t ease her nerves!
“It sounds like a whole other level of woman that I don’t know about,” Hernandez said of the tango, with a nervous laugh. She reacted with widened eyes after lingerie was bandied about during a wardrobe fitting and couldn’t contain her giggling after Chmerkovskiy told her to put her hand on his face during rehearsals.
When it came time to dance the tango, however, there was absolutely no sign of Cute Laurie.
The week of rehearsals paid off. Hernandez and Chmerkovskiy snagged a 31 out of a possible 40 and beating the Henner-Hough pairing for immunity. (Carrie Ann Inaba deducted a point for including a lift in the routine. So in reality, Hernandez’s score could have been a 32.)
“I was struggling to put in that emotion so I was like, I gotta pretend I’m smelling a really good quesadilla,” Hernandez adorably revealed.
Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.