Alan Bersten is gearing up for Maksim Chmerkovskiy's bittersweet return to the ballroom.
The professional dancer stopped by ET's studio in Los Angeles on Tuesday for a Facebook Live interview, where he opened up about his journey as Heather Morris' fill-in partner on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars.
For those of you who haven't been keeping up with DWTS, Bersten stepped in for Chmerkovskiy when he suffered a calf injury while rehearsing for week two of the competition. The new father announced Monday during the show, however, that he's recovered and will officially be back to dance with Morris for their sixth week in the competition, jokingly exclaiming to Bersten, "You're fired!"
A post shared by Alan Bersten (@alanbersten) on Apr 2, 2017 at 6:04pm PDT
"Last week he promoted me, this week he fired me," Bersten joked to ET's Cameron Mathison and Lauren Zima. "I mean, obviously I knew in advance he was coming back. To me it wasn't a shock, but I was sad, you know? It's sad, we spent four weeks together, half the season's gone, like, time flew by! I don't even know what day it is."
Luckily, Bersten's dedication to keeping Morris in the competition hasn't gone unnoticed -- even Chmerkovskiy is rooting for the Minnesota native to become an official pro next season!
"I've been thrown in a lot, but this was by far the best experience, the longest experience," said Bersten, who's filled in for Gleb Savchenko, Mark Ballas and Derek Hough in previous seasons. "Even Maks said it. He told me many times, we talked a lot outside of the show, obviously. And just making sure everything flows well with Heather, and he explained to me how much of an amazing opportunity this is. I've realized that from the minute it started, you know?"
"I don't know what the producers are exactly thinking, but I know that there's a limited amount of spots [for pros] and with Val [Chmerkovskiy], Maks, Artem [Chigvintsev], Gleb, Sasha [Farber], Keo [Motsepe]… these are all well-known names already in the show," he continued. "So I feel like when there's a spot that opens up, hopefully I will be the next one. I feel like, knock on wood, I hope this next season is my time."
While Chmerkovskiy's been the mastermind between most of Morris' moves this season, Bersten told ET that he was given the opportunity to choreograph for the former Glee star, too.
"The tango [to Britney Spears' "Toxic"] was fully mine because [Maks] was in Ohio for treatment. But I obviously sent him videos, I was more nervous about him liking the routine than anyone else," Bersten said. "I sent him the video before I even met with Heather and he signed off on it, and it was much easier -- we went straight into work. For the week Heather and I did that exact routine, we did not have to do much changing. It was a difficult routine, but Heather really coped really well."
"There's no better experience than being shoved into it," he added. "No one can teach you how to do it. You just have to do it yourself."
A post shared by Alan Bersten (@alanbersten) on Mar 30, 2017 at 6:14pm PDT
Despite nailing every step in their Frozen-themed jazz routine to "For the First Time in Forever" during Disney Night on Monday, Bersten and Morris received a score of 34/40, with specifically harsh critiques from judge Carrie Ann Inaba.
A post shared by Alan Bersten (@alanbersten) on Apr 17, 2017 at 7:45pm PDT
"In the moment, as you can see by my face, I was a little frustrated, not angry," he explained. "We were trying to portray more of a story as opposed to jazz. Everyone knows she can do jazz, so why do jazz? Why not try and build on something else and show how amazing of a storyteller she can be, and how great she can really dig into a character and just portray Anna?"
"Sorry Carrie Ann, I loved your comments, no, but I think Heather has a certain expectation, as well with a lot of the other women on that show," he added. "The judges and I personally had high expectations [of her], and I feel like America has high expectations. It's not easy when there's a background in it, even though ballroom is completely different than any jazz or hip hop [routine]. I'm not the best at jazz or hip hop -- let's be real! -- but I'm good at ballroom."
Although he's no longer Morris' dance partner, he'll still be on the show as a troupe dancer, and cheering on #TeamMaksimumHeat throughout the rest of the competition.
"Heather and Maks have to win because I want a mini mirror ball," he exclaimed. "I think we cut it in half [if they win]. I feel like I get an honorary mention, I will take that."