Val Chmerkovskiy Says Fatherhood is the ‘Best Era’ of His Life

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Published: 5:34 PM PST, November 26, 2023

Val Chmerkovskiy is truly enjoying being a father. The pro dancer is headed to the semi-finals on Season 32 of Dancing With the Stars alongside Xóchitl Gómez, but he’s all about that dad-life with wife Jenna Johnson.

ET’s Deidre Behar spoke with Chmerkovskiy and Gómez last Tuesday — following the show’s celebration of Taylor Swift and her Eras Tour — and the fan favorite pair got into the spirit of the theme by reflecting on what era of their lives they are currently in.

“Dad era,” Chmerkovskiy said with a laugh. “I’m in the best era of my life, and that is the dad era, for sure.”

Referring to his 10-month-old baby boy’s name, Chmerkovskiy jokingly added, “I’m in the Rome Era, for sure!” 

Chmerkovskiy and Johnson first announced their son’s arrival in January, taking to Instagram to share a photo of their hands holding their baby boy’s tiny hand. “Our world is forever changed 1.10.2023,” Johnson captioned the black-and-white snapshot.

Meanwhile, Chmerkovskiy also had a good suggestion for what era Gómez was in as they head into the semi-finals.

“She’s in her Mirror Ball Era,” Chmerkovskiy said, beaming.

They were the first pair of the season to score a perfect score, 40 out of 40, and have routinely been at or near the top of the leader board each and every week. Now, with only five couples left in the game, there’s a good chance Gómez could walk away with the Len Goodman Memorial Mirrorball Trophy.

On Tuesday, Chmerkovskiy and Gómez delivered a lively, high-energy quickstep set to “Paper Rings” which earned them a near-perfect 38 out of 40, and earned high praise from the judges. However, when it turned out that they were safe from elimination and had actually made it to the semi-finals, Gómez said there were “a lot of emotions in that moment.”

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I made it!’ And I was like, ‘Wait, now I have to learn two more dances. Wait, but that’s awesome! Oh wait, but then I have to go through this process again for another week,'” Gómez recalled.

“And I am on the receiving end of that emotional rollercoaster,” Chmerkovskiy joked, adding that he responds by being on “the same emotional rollercoaster.”

Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC and Disney+.

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