Xochitl Gomez, Val Chmerkovskiy talk 'DWTS' win, inspiration behind their freestyle

Gomez said representing her Mexican heritage was "really huge" for her.

December 6, 2023, 10:00 AM

Xochitl Gomez is reflecting on her big "Dancing with the Stars" win with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy.

"It feels crazy," she told "Good Morning America" Wednesday, the morning after she and Chmerkovskiy took home the first-ever Len Goodman Mirrorball Trophy on season 32, adding that the reality of it all still hasn't fully sunk in for her yet.

Gomez, who played America Chavez in 2022's "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness," admitted she never envisioned herself making it this far in the competition, to which Chmerkovskiy hilariously chimed in was "disrespectful" to him.

"It wasn't you, it was me, bruh," she replied.

All jokes aside, Chmerkovskiy said it "feels amazing" to have now won the show three times. He also praised everyone who helps bring their dances to life each week and "make the numbers look as beautiful" as they do.

"This season's been a blast and we feel so grateful," he added.

PHOTO: Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy win the mirror ball trophy on "Dancing With The Stars."
Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy win the mirror ball trophy on "Dancing With The Stars."
Eric Mccandless/Disney

What's also clear is that there's a bond between this pair.

"It's been an amazing responsibility to take care of this young woman and teach her how to dance," Chmerkovskiy, 37, said. "That's my gift, and the fact that I had a chance to pass it forward to this young lady was a huge honor for me."

For her part, Gomez is willing to babysit for Chmerkovskiy and wife Jenna Johnson "anytime." It's a kind offer, but she admitted it's an excuse to hang out with their son Rome, who turns 1 in January. "Rome is such a cutie," Gomez, 17, gushed.

The duo's "Dancing with the Stars" journey culminated -- as it does every season -- in their freestyle dance. They performed a routine set to "Que Calor" by District 78, which saw Chmerkovskiy reveal a talent for the violin and Gomez honor her Mexican roots.

"Between ballroom dance and violin playing as a middle schooler, this is my payback for all the bullying. I get to shine on 'Dancing with the Stars,'" Chmerkovskiy said of playing the violin. "It's my first passion and I really appreciate that the show and Xochitl allowed me to kind of display that in this piece."

"Representation is really huge for me," Gomez said, noting that it was a "huge priority" for her to get the Latin aspects of ballroom "accurate" -- from the costumes to the design and even the background.

As for the inspiration for the set of their freestyle, the Marvel actress said it all came from her sharing her culture with Chmerkovskiy.

"I took Val to his first Dia de los Muertos dinner and that's where he saw the ofrenda and he was inspired by that aesthetic and that look," she revealed.

PHOTO: Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy compete on "Dancing With The Stars."
Xochitl Gomez and Val Chmerkovskiy compete on "Dancing With The Stars."
Eric Mccandless/Disney

Chmerkovskiy said what made him want to pursue that look for the freestyle was seeing Gomez's "spirit of always paying homage to the folks that came before her," adding that it just "felt right."

Gomez also shared a piece of advice for anyone wanting to try something out of their comfort zone.

"I think the only thing that can truly get you to the place you want to be is your own determination and your own mindset," she said. "And to not overthink, to have fun."

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