For the 14th season of Dancing With the Stars, pro dancer Kym Johnson will be sharing the inside scoop with Life & Style readers -- a behind-the-scenes look at the series and the run of her celebrity partner, former Family Matters star Jaleel White! In the seventh week, Kym talks about how she and Jaleel scored their highest marks yet, their new team mascot from Down Under and why Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio helped inspire them this week. Check back every week for more scoop from Kym!
First of all, I couldn't believe we got those 10s last week! Jaleel was amazing; he did such a great job. The judges saw that he had his confidence back and that he's a contender [the judges scored 10-9-10 for a total of 29, the pair's highest score so far]. Bruno's comment was amazing, saying that it was the biggest sizzler of the season. It was Motown week, and Jaleel loves the music. It was great having the Temptations there to sing ["Ain't Too Proud to Beg"] for us. Jaleel put everything into that cha-cha!
It meant so much because we've had such a roller-coaster ride so far and been so up and down with our scores. The week before, we'd been in the bottom two and survived the Dance Duel. It was a rude awakening, not a nice place to be, and I think it made us closer as a team having to go through and survive it. The judges saved us, and we got a second chance. It lit a fire under us! Jaleel looked at it as there were only two places to go -- off the show or up by continuing to improve. The pressure was off, so we just enjoyed it. It was nice to be back!
<p>We were so prepared in case we were in the bottom two again. You don't want to be there and make a fool of yourself in the Dance Duel. You want to be prepared and battle! Luckily, we were the first team to find out that we were safe. Because we'd been there, I just felt horrible for the teams in the bottom two that had the Dance Duel last week [Gladys Knight and partner Tristan MacManus, and Roshon Fegan and partner Chelsie Hightower]. I knew what they were going through. It was so difficult because they're such different teams! You have Roshon and Chelsie, who are the youngest in the competition, going up against Gladys, who really held her own and did a great job. Gladys is the classiest woman. I was sad to see her go home. She brought so much joy to the dance floor, and she's such a beautiful person. </p>
This week is classical week and we're doing the Viennese Waltz, a beautiful dance -- but you get a little bit dizzy! We're really traveling around the floor. Jaleel has picked it up well. They're having more people in the orchestra, and it's going to be beautiful. We have two dances because we also have the team tango [in which multiple teams dance at the same time]. It's difficult having two dances, but I love our team!
My mom just arrived from Australia, and she'll be in the audience this week. I love it when she's here! I even asked her to bring a special gift from Australia that's become our new team mascot -- a toy stuffed koala bear! I gave it to Jaleel for doing so well last week. It's made its way into rehearsals, and Jaleel's really taken to it. He loves it!
This week our costumes are going for a Titanic-era look. I'm going for the English Rose, and Jaleel's is a bit of a surprise. We're having fun with our theme. I can't wait for everyone to see it!
Tune in to watch Kym and Jaleel rock out on Monday at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC -- and be sure to follow Kym's backstage buzz every Monday on Lifeandstylemag.com! You can vote for Jaleel and Kym at 1-800-vote4-12 and follow them on Twitter @kym_johnson and @jaleelwhite.
Photo credit: ABC (2)