Nyle DiMarco is a fan favorite contestant on the hit ABC series “Dancing With the Stars.” From his undeniable charisma to his smooth moves and chiseled looks, it’s not hard to understand why America is falling in love with the Season 22 competitor. But on Monday night, Peta Murgatroyd’s beloved partner managed to rub Len Goodman the wrong way when the show’s judge mistook Nyle’s confidence for cockiness.
In pre-package footage for Week 6 of the competition, Nyle revealed that his biggest competitor in the series isn’t a celebrity dancer but one of the show’s longtime pros.
“I think my competition right now is Val [Chmerkovskiy],” Nyle admitted to a producer who then asked if he meant to say Val and his partner Ginger Zee.
“No, I mean Val! Val himself,” he answered.
Although the innocent comment made Ramon, Nyle’s interpreter chuckle, Len saw nothing funny about the statement. In fact, he even told Nyle that he thought it was a little “annoying” that the contestant was comparing himself to the 14-time U.S. National Latin Dance champion.
But Nyle took to Twitter on Tuesday to reveal that he meant no harm by his comment. “Like playing a sport as a newbie, you would study professionals as if they’re ‘to beat’ … Only to push yourself,” he explained. “This is why I study Val.”
I can't lie... #DWTS stars are great!!
It is just how I strategize towards the Mirror Ball and I think it is not wrong
— Nyle DiMarco (@NyleDiMarco) April 26, 2016
Val responded, stating that he didn’t see Nyle’s statement as being arrogant like Len did. “You are embracing dance and being ambitious about it is a HUGE compliment not just to me but to the dance world as a whole,” Ginger’s partner, who is Peta’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, wrote in a tweet.
Peta was grateful that the brother of her fiancé, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, stepped in and thanked Val for having their back.
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.