Terrell Owens was believed to be the most-improved contestant on Dancing with the Stars this season, but he and Cheryl Burke never really expected to make it this far when the journey began. 

"I think Terrell is just a hard worker, and this is why I love working with athletes," Cheryl said during a Tuesday appearance on Good Morning America with Terrell.

"They don't take anything I say too personally, you know, and I'm pretty tough. I'm hardcore, but that's because I see potential in Terrell, and I knew that he had it in him. And so, I just kept fighting until I got it, and I had no idea we were going to make it all the way to Week 8, to be honest, so I'm super proud of him."

Terrell and his professional partner were eliminated during the Monday, November 7 episode of Dancing with the Stars, just one week before the semifinals.

But Terrell, an NFL football wide receiver and six-time Pro Bowler, surprised Dancing with the Stars viewers this season with both his dancing ability and his vulnerability. During one episode of Season 25, he even got teary-eyed.

"I feel like I've always been that way," Terrell insisted of his emotional side.

"But, you know, football doesn't really allow people to see that side of me. I've done it a few times, but I mean, football is more of a masculine -- it's more of a macho-type of sport. So, again, my passion, I showed it when I was in between the lines."

During Monday night's show, Terrell and Cheryl performed a highly-scored individual Charleston routine, followed by a "Trio Dance" featuring Season 1 DWTS winner Kelly Monaco. The trio only received 24 out of 30 points from the judges for their rumba, but the dance was well-received by the audience.

"I am so proud of you guys, I think that you did an amazing job. You made it so far in this competition and I want to thank you so much for giving me the time of my life with being included in the Trio dance with the two of you," Kelly said on GMA. "And Terrell, I think you're the 10."

Terrell also pointed out that it was "a big accomplishment" to make Len Goodman smile since he's known to be the toughest judge on the panel.

"I think what a lot of people don't know is that we were judged on last week. The 'Team Dance,' we didn't really do that well. We got 8s and the other teams got 10s," Terrell explained of his unexpected vote-off.

"We were at the bottom of the leaderboard last week," Cheryl added. "It's all from last week, so these scores from last night would be for next week's votes... I think our tango and our 'Team Dance' -- all 8s -- didn't help, so I kind of had a feeling it could've been us, but I was hoping it wasn't."
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Next week's semifinals episode of Dancing with the Stars will feature Frankie Muniz and pro partner Witney Carson, Victoria Arlen and partner Val Chmerkovskiy, Lindsey Stirling and partner Mark Ballas, Jordan Fisher and partner Lindsay Arnold, and Drew Scott and partner Emma Slater.