Derek Hough and Nastia Liukin ended Disney week on Dancing with the Stars tied for second on the leader board. The Olympic gymnast and seasoned DWTS pro are one of the front-running teams this season, boasting two important elements to a successful pairing: athleticism and chemistry.
— Derek Hough (@derekhough) April 18, 2015
Does that chemistry mean there’s something more to the relationship outside the ballroom? In a new interview with E! News, Derek and Nastia set the record straight. There’s nothing going on between the two. In fact, Nastia Liukin is already in a committed relationship.
“I’m actually in a long-distance relationship, so he lives in Boston and he comes out to L.A. every few weeks when he can.
“Something my dad actually taught me when I was 15 or 16 was you’ll make time for whatever and whoever is important to you. Even before I met him I was like, ‘There’s absolutely no way, I have no time to date!’ But I think when you find someone you love, you make time for them.”
A quick peek at Nastia’s social media accounts reveals she gets pretty snuggly with “Venture Up” co-founder Matt Lombardi.
Santa Monica Pier pic.twitter.com/Dk4ELSbIs3
— Matthew Lombardi (@matt_lombardi) March 15, 2015
Even if they are not a couple, Nastia and Derek have some prominent childhood memories in common. In the E! interview, they agreed that for them, “Spring Break” was never a break. Nastia would put in extra training and Derek additional performances, so growing up they never really had time off.
On Monday’s “Spring Break” episode of Dancing with the Stars, however, they are going to put on a vacation-themed performance. They will do a solo tango, infused with electronic dance music, as well as a group dance. They are on team YOLO with Willow Shields, Noah Galloway, and Robert Herjavec.
But for Nastia and Derek, that group dance will be a challenge. Due to scheduling issues, Derek will learn the dance Monday morning. As he revealed on his TV Guide blog Friday, it will put more pressure on Nastia to make it come together.
“[The group dance] was all planned out, and then yesterday afternoon, Mark calls and says they changed the whole concept. They’re still working it out, so I don’t really know the specifics yet. Nastia is leaving tonight, so she will learn it this weekend. I won’t learn it until Monday morning! So we’ll see what happens. For the first time, Nastia will be teaching me a dance. Fingers crossed!”
You can see how it goes for Derek Hough and Nastia Liukin and the other members of team YOLO on Dancing with the Stars Monday night at 8 p.m. on ABC.
[Derek Hough and Nastia Liukin main image courtesy of Getty; inset image Derek Hough/Instagram]