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April 24, 2014

Chris Jericho Felt Like a 'King' During Classical Night on 'Dancing With the Stars'

by Chris Jericho, posted Apr 13th 2011 5:10PM
Exclusive: Pro wrestler Chris Jericho guest blogs about how a song saved 'Dancing With the Stars' classical-music night for him.

For the first time ever on 'Dancing With the Stars,' it was Classical Week, which meant that all the dances were performed in front of a 46-piece symphony orchestra.

When I first heard about the concept, I have to admit that I wasn't overly excited. I mean, I appreciate the Beethovens and Tchaikovskys of the world, but I didn't know how I was supposed to dance the passionate paso doble to a song that had no words or drums!

It was with great hesitation that I asked partner Cheryl Burke to play me the song to which we would be performing. But as the music unfolded, it was with great joy that I realized I knew the song and had heard it 100 times before: It was 'Hall of the Mountain King' by Savatage.

Now you might be as familiar with Savatage as I am with Celine Dion, so let me explain who they are. Savatage is a heavy metal band from Florida who in 1987 released an album called -- you guessed it -- 'Hall of the Mountain King.' (I bought it on vinyl. Look it up, kids!) Included in those grooves was a version of the classical tune. It was one of my favorite songs that year, and little did I know that 23 years later I'd be dancing a paso doble to it.

My familiarity with the song helped me find the beat instantly, and I noticed the violins, or maybe the bassoons (fun word), were taking the place of the snare drum. Then Cheryl constructed a wicked dance filled with passion and fire that matched the frantic pace of the song, and suddenly Classical Week seemed like a pretty killer idea after all!

Finally, it was showtime, and the power of the orchestra was crushing. I mean, it was heavier than a Metallica -- or Savatage -- concert. I felt the music transform me into a whirling dervish of intensity, climaxing in a totally front knee walk across the ballroom floor as Cheryl followed, working her flowing skirt like a magic wand that had cast a Faustian spell upon me.

Team Chericho rode the frantic tempo to a rousing crescendo and, after "running her through" at the conclusion, I felt so exhilarated that I grabbed one of the hanging vines (it was a forest motif, you see) and attempted to swing across the ballroom floor like a crack-addled Errol Flynn. Then discretion took the better part of valor and I decided I didn't want to suffer a self-induced fall on my tuchus in front of 24 million people.

The judges seemed to be impressed (well, two of them did), and Bruno Tonioli upgraded me from a "dancing gazelle" to the "God of Thunder." (If KISS's Gene Simmons is reading this, don't sue me over the name. I'm just the messenger.) Carrie Ann Inaba then followed by saying I'm "one to watch."

With my ego riding higher than Cheech, Chong and Snoop Dogg combined, Len Goodman brought me crashing back down to terra firma by telling me that the music "conquered" me. The fact that he was subsequently booed out of the building mid-comment was sweet revenge.

But, at the end of the night, I finished with a nice, fat 23 score, which was two points higher than last week. So, all in all, Classical Week was a success for me, thanks to Cheryl's choreography ... and an assist from Savatage!


'Dancing With the Stars' airs Mondays at 8PM ET and Tuesdays at 9PM ET on ABC.

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Jennifer L

Anyone who doesn't like Jericho due to the heel ring persona he plays in wrestling (and we need to remember, that he is in fact playing a character in the ring, and it is not what he is actually like) needs to read his two autobiographical books. Both are excellent reads, I do recommend A Lion's Tale first, and then the recent release Around the World in Spandex. In particular pick up A Lion's Tale if you are interested in reading more on the background story with his mother and her accident.

Keep it up on DWTS Chris, I've been voting for you every week!

April 16 2011 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deb Lewis

everyone please vote and coment for chris jericho, thank you...

April 16 2011 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deb Lewis

please all vote and comenet for chris jericho.. thanks

April 16 2011 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Deb Lewis

EVERYONE VOTE FOR CHRIS JERICHO. HE REALLY IS VERY GOOD. YOU HAVE TO GIVE HIM ALOT OF CREDIT FOR EVERYTHING HE HAS DONE IN HIS LIFE. HE HAD TO WORK VERY HARD AT IT JUST LIKE HIS DANCING. THANKS

April 16 2011 at 6:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
felishacrooks

Chris Jerico, I have to admit that I have totally misjudged you. Because of the shear arrogance you display in the wrestling ring, I did not like you...but watching you on DWTS, you are hot!!! Never in my wildest dreams that I thought of having cream in my coffee. If I was not a married woman, I would wrestle with you any day. I have to admit, you caught my eye. Love the tribute you gave to your mom

April 14 2011 at 4:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to felishacrooks's comment
Deb Lewis

he is very good and its a shame he gets a bad name from wrestling. we all have to look at him as a dancer now . not as a wrestler. same as everyone else. butt he is the best and please everyone vote for him..

April 16 2011 at 6:04 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
nicnac67

"Included in those grooves was a version of the classical tune" - Operasngr1, he is aware that Savatage weren't the first musicians to perform this song. LOL

April 14 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
operasngr1

Umm, Chris - Hall of the Mountain King is by Edvard Grieg from his Peer Gynt Suite no. 1.

April 13 2011 at 10:09 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jericho4life

You did great Chris you should of got a higher score .But Im happy and very proud of you .Kick some ass monday Chris .Your making us all proud.

April 13 2011 at 5:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jericho4life's comment
Deb Lewis

i agree.

April 16 2011 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rayna Castaldini

YYou did very well, Len Goodman is tough to please & a hard nut to crack. Because of you are in the ring ( I am from Boston so you beating Cdma was hard for me) when I saw you'd be doin Pawing Double all I could think was harness that in ring attitude (what you said to camera during practice) bring out the "Iatolla of Rock & Rolla" I think that's how to spell it. Your in ring persona & attitude fits perfectly for this dance!

April 13 2011 at 5:50 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

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