After romance rumors linking Alexis Ren and her Dancing With the Stars pro partner Alan Bersten began swirling weeks ago, the pair finally admitted to having feelings for one another during Halloween Night on Monday.
During a pre-taped package that aired before their live performance, both Ren and Bersten addressed "the elephant in the room," which is the fact that they like each other. After which, their chemistry carried through onto the dance floor for their high-scoring jazz routine.
After the show, ET's Katie Krause spoke with the pair backstage, and they opened up about their emotional connection and how and when their feelings developed.
"I don't really have specifics on that," Ren said, sheepishly.
"I mean, we rehearse 24/7," Bersten chimed in. "You become best friends with your partner."
While the pair continued to play coy about the actual nature of their romantic connection, Ren said that her appreciation for her partner was present from the start of the season.
"I thought he was awesome from the beginning," the 21-year-old Instagram personality offered.
However, since the cat is now more or less completely out of the bag regarding their affections, the 24-year-old Bersten said that having that kind of connection has actually made their partnership stronger in terms of competing for the Mirrorball trophy.
"We're more open with each other and we trust each other a little bit more. We can just have fun and not have to worry about hurting each other's feelings as much," Bersten shared. "And, to be honest, the transparency is what makes it easier."
For Ren, having a romantic connection with her partner, and being open about the connection, has generally just made the whole experience better. "It makes it more fun," she shared.
Bersten also revealed one of the sweetest things Ren does for him during their time together in rehearsals, explaining, "She comes in and gives me massages every day."
"She's like, 'Hey Alan,' and massages me, and it's so sweet," Bersten teased, giving Ren a gentle shoulder rub.
According to Ren, back rubs are the key to the dancer's heart. "That, and food," she quipped.
On Monday, for their Halloween Night routine, the pair delivered a jazz routine set to Christina Aguilera's 2006 single "Candyman." The fun, high-energy number saw Bersten playing a Willy Wonka-esque character and Ren playing an adventurous young woman exploring his candy shop.
The dance earned the pair some serious praise from the judges, as well as a formidable score of 27 out of 30. However, the pair still found themselves on the chopping block at the end of the night, alongside Mary Lou Retton and Sasha Farber, who were eliminated.
"We're having so much fun out there, [but] it's such a damper on the night when we're in the bottom," Bersten told ET as Ren hugged his arm tightly. "But, you know, we're safe and that's all that matters. We get another week and we get another chance to dance for America."
Dancing With the Stars returns for Country Night next Monday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.