"We're going out [Sunday]. He's taking me out for a surprise this weekend and he won't tell me what it is," Bryan toldTV Guide on Saturday. "He's joking that it's our first date because we've always hung out -- millions of times -- millions of dinners. But this is different."
Bryan, a 23-year-old co-star of Disney's The Cheetah Girls films, and Ballas, a 22-year-old who was participating as a Dancing with the Stars professional for the first time during the fifth season, were eliminated from the competition at the conclusion of last Tuesday night's live results show broadcast.
While it brought an end to their chance of capturing the show's mirror ball trophy, their elimination has also apparently opened a new door in their relationship.
"We've been so focused on the competition. But now that that has died down, we'll see where it goes. We haven't had a chance to do any of that [dating] or even talk about it," Bryan told TV Guide. "We didn't even realize that people would think that about us until they started asking us. Because you get so close to someone, you get so comfortable, that you don't even see it."
The chemistry between the two was apparent to viewers, and seemed to be cemented when Bryan called Ballas "baby" and he replied, "I love you," following their Tuesday night elimination.
"I always call him 'Baby Mark,'" Bryan told TV Guide with a laugh. "I absolutely love and adore him."
Bryan said Ballas also explained that it was going to be a long, tough road if they were going to capture the fifth-season mirror ball trophy.
"He said, 'Women have a lot harder time on Dancing With The Stars because the main focus of the couple is supposed to be the woman,'" she told TV Guide. "[He said the bigger problem is that] the female stars have a hard time competing with the professional women."
The competition wasn't ever really a problem for the couple -- as they were always close to the top of the judges' leader board -- also scoring the first fifth-season perfect score from the judges, a 30 out of 30 possible points. However they were surprisingly booted Tuesday night following their Monday night foxtrot.
"He's such a responsible person that he just feels like he failed me. And I'm like, 'Dude, you didn't!'" Bryan told TV Guide about Ballas' reaction.
"I had Mark re-watch the part where they asked us to leave, and then you hear all the uproar. And you feel all the tension in the studio," "I told him, 'I won't allow you or me to get into a negative mode. This was an awesome experience. Mark, look, even people who were voting for [entertainer Marie Osmond] and [actress Jane Seymour] still thought we were great. They can't believe that we're not in the competition and that is something you can't ask for. A lot of people leave this competition unnoticed, but we are going out with a bang.'"
Fans weren't the only ones surprised at Bryan and Ballas' elimination, a fact that wasn't lost on the starlet.
Bryan and Ballas appeared on Thursday morning's broadcast of ABC's The View, and the couple performed the cha-cha routine that served as their introduction to fans during Dancing with the Stars 5's first week of competition. However this time, Bryan said it was a lot more emotional.
"That was the first time I actually showed a little more of a vulnerable side and cried because Mark and I did our cha-cha again and we wanted to do it the same way that we did in the beginning," she told TV Guide. "And when it ended, it was so heartbreaking because we knew we weren't going to get a chance to really show America what we wanted to do in the competition. We had so many amazing idea for the freestyle! They were just spewing out of us. It was so disappointing."
While Bryan still has a lot on her plate right now, she said it's still odd to have Dancing with the Stars no longer be a part of her everyday life.
"It's so weird not to be rehearsing right now," she told TV Guide. "And I've been sitting here thinking all day, 'The [six remaining couples] are at a TV Guide cover shoot right now. Oh, dang it!' As much as people wanted to make it seem like it was so easy for me because I knew other forms of dancing, it wasn't at all. It was a huge challenge and I'm so sad not to be doing it anymore."
It may hurt that her Dancing with the Stars journey is over, but Bryan said it wouldn't have even been nearly as good if it wasn't for Ballas.
"He's just so close to me," she told TV Guide. "I mean, I'm in a music group now with The Cheetah Girls. And one of my biggest fears was stepping away from them and not having someone around me that I felt was my true family. The Cheetah Girls feels like family. And the fact that Mark and I were able to get so close so quickly was so awesome. It made everything so comfortable. It made me able to trust him in ways that would've stopped or held back my performances had I not trusted him."
(Photo credit ABC)
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