The New Jersey native, 29, cheered on his fiancée, 31, in the audience during the Monday, September 26, episode of Dancing With the Stars, which felt extra special for Gabby and pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy. “Oh, my gosh, having him here was amazing,” the former Denver Broncos cheerleader exclusively told Us Weekly after achieving an impressive score with her waltz. “[I’m] excited to perform for him and [for] him to see a different side of me that … we don’t get to share with each other, you know, every day.”
Gabby gushed: “This last week has been, honestly, like a dream come true. I feel like I’m on cloud nine. [It’s] so cheesy.”
Fans watched the couple get engaged during the season 19 finale of The Bachelorette on September 20 after Erich initially appeared to be slightly hesitant about getting down on one knee. “He said, ‘I want to continue to date you,’ so that doesn’t scream, ‘I want to propose,'” Gabby said during the finale before the romantic proposal aired. “I don’t want to force him into a decision.”
However, Erich’s worries faded and he asked Gabby to be his wife. “When I met you, I, like, immediately was 100 percent myself. I’ve never met anybody that I felt that comfortable with — that deep of a connection. I felt like I really knew you for years,” he said as he proposed. “I didn’t know it, but I had met my soulmate. … You are the most amazing person I’ve ever met. It’s you and me until the wheels fall off. I’m head over heels in love with you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
The real estate analyst paid his partner a visit during her DWTS rehearsals with Val, 36, as they practiced their dreamy waltz for the Elvis Presley-themed week. The duo twirled to “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” and left the judges — and Erich — speechless.
“I’m so proud of you,” Erich raved after the live performance, coming onto the ballroom floor to give Gabby a kiss.
Gabby told reporters afterward that the romantic moment between her and her fiancé felt “like the perfect close to a beautiful dance.”
The ICU nurse and the Ukraine native earned a 32 from the judges, with Bruno Tonioli telling the pair he was “totally, totally swept away” by their routine. At the end of the night, Gabby and Val were tied for first place with Charli D’Amelio and Mark Ballas, who danced a quickstep, and Wayne Brady and Witney Carson, who performed a jive.
Though they landed at the top of the leaderboard, Gabby and Val aren’t planning to coast through the competition. “We’re only in week two, but I think we both worked our asses off, mostly me this last week and just, like, getting the basics of ballroom [dance],” the Bachelor alum said on Monday. “That validation feels great and I feel like it’s giving me more encouragement for the future.”
The ballroom pro went on to tease a bit of what the twosome have in store for James Bond week. “We’re doing the cha-cha, which I’m excited for,” Val hinted. “I’m excited to show [a different side] of Gabby as well. The cha-cha is a little bit sexier, a little bit more fierce. You know, we showed the beautiful side, the romantic side. Now we can get into the competition.”
Dancing With the Stars airs on Disney+ Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi