Nelly Shares Why Shantel Jackson Is the One, Talks Potential Engagement (Exclusive)

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Nelly and Shantel Jackson
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Nelly is getting sweet and sentimental when it comes to his lady love. On Monday's Dancing With the Stars, the "Ride Wit Me" artist dedicated his Villains Night dance to girlfriend Shantel Jackson, before delivering his highest-scoring performance of the season.

Speaking with ET's Lauren Zima after the show, Nelly reflected on his relationship, and comments he made during the episode about how much he loves Shantel.

"She's great. She's really dope. We have a great time, and we understand each other," shared Nelly, who was joined in the interview by his DWTS pro partner, Daniella Karagach.

In a video package that aired just before his Freddy Krueger-inspired Argentine tango on Monday, Nelly said the song they'd be dancing to -- The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face" -- was one of his and Shantel's favorite songs.

"I would not want my life to not have Shantel in it," Nelly said in the DWTS video package. "We've been seeing each other for five or six years. Any time you can connect with somebody like that, it works out for the long run. She's sweet, beautiful, and the more we got to know each other, she's just as beautiful inside."

Nelly also confirmed, when asked by Daniella, that he feels Shantel is "the one." Speaking with ET, Nelly explained exactly what made him so sure of that.

"We have so much in common," Nelly shared. "She grew up in the inner city, she knows what it’s like to go through certain things in life when you grow up in the inner city."

"She's very driven, very passionate about the things she does and she doesn't accept anything but wanting to be better," he added. "And that's what I love. That's exactly what I love."

However, when the subject of possibly getting engaged came up, Nelly played a bit coy and simply said, "We're working towards it."

"When we know, I'll tell you," he added.

As for their Argentine tango that paid homage to Freddy Krueger, Nelly and Daniella pulled off a fantastic number that earned the pair three 9s from the judges for a total of 27 out of 30, which is the pair's highest score of the entire season.

To get into character as the iconically creepy baddie from A Nightmare on Elm Street, Nelly had to undergo a lot of makeup and costuming, and he had to learn how to dance fluidly even while wearing a bladed claw glove.

"It was very long, and very frustrating, because it's like you spend two hours so you can do a dance that lasts a minute and twenty seconds," Nelly recalled. "But it was cool... It was definitely a great experience and it turned out great. It worked out."

Next week, Dancing With the Stars will feature the season's first double elimination, meaning two couples will be getting the axe, and everyone will have to perform two different routines.

"We're slowing it down, we're dancing a rumba," Daniella revealed. "But I don't know the second dance, actually."

"Well, as long as I don't have to sit in prosthetics for two hours, I'm good," Nelly added.

Apart from his epic DWTS performance, Nelly is also still celebrating the release of his new song, "Lil Bit," which he made in collaboration with Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line.

The song is off his upcoming EP The Heartland, which he said is "not a country album, but country influenced."

"It's kind of messed up, because of COVID. I really wish the clubs were open and things were in a different manner and people could get out and have fun to this record," Nelly shared. "But regardless, you'll be able to jam in your house."

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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