Dancing With the Stars

Derek Hough Amazed by Kellie Pickler's Dancing Skills

UPDATED 04/02/2013 at 08:30 PM EDT Originally published 04/02/2013 at 10:50 AM EDT


Derek Hough almost took a break from Dancing with the Stars this season. Is he ever glad he changed his mind.

Hough and Kellie Pickler have been tearing up the ballroom this spring, mostly recently with a killer "Footloose" jive that snagged them the top score Monday during prom night – leaving Hough, 27, once again astonished at his partner's dancing skills.

"She's got that ability, which for me is so fun to discover," he told PEOPLE of his country-singer partner after Monday's show. "It's wonderful."

It's not just pure talent that brings the results, however. "We have a lot of fun, for sure, but we also work our tails off," he added.



For her part, Pickler, 26, has made no secret of how thrilled she is to be paired with Hough. She has even called him the answer to a prayer.

On Monday, she was quick to return Hough's compliments. "I love the way he asked me to prom. Wasn't that sweet?" she said. "Thank you for being such a great date!"

The couple may have gone all the way on the dance floor, but that's about it. "No kiss goodnight," Hough said. "We're keeping it PG here."



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