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Backstage Interviews at 'Dancing With the Stars': Karina Smirnoff on Her Fall; Maksim Chmerkovskiy Is Not Married

by Michael Maloney, posted Apr 26th 2011 10:05AM
Kendra, Dancing With the StarsKendra Wilkinson's spectacular comeback with her sexy samba may save her for another week on 'Dancing With the Stars.' Fan favorite (and AOL TV blogger) Chris Jericho's tango scored lowest for the night, however, which potentially places the former pro wrestler in jeopardy on tonight's results program.

Monday's performance show contained many surprises, including the first two 10s of the season for Romeo and his pro partner Chelsie Hightower. The competition's other Chelsea -- Chelsea Kane -- earned a 10 with her pro partner Mark Ballas.

There were a pair of mishaps, too, but neither belong to Kirstie Alley. Karina Smirnoff took a brief fall while doing the paso doble with her partner, Ralph Macchio, and Ballas twisted his ankle during dress rehearsal, but he soldiered through with his and Kane's quick step.

AOL TV was on the post-show press line to talk to the remaining contestants, during which time Maksim Chmerkovskiy cleared up those rumors that he's secretly married.

Can viewer votes and social media save Jericho, the night's lowest scoring dancer? "I Twitter and use Facebook as much as I can," he tells AOL TV. "Wrestling fans are very passionate, [but] I was the most hated guy in wrestling. So I don't know if the wrestling fans are wanting to be voting for me because I was such a villain."

Was Jericho a villain whom fans loved to hate (like, you know, Abby on 'Knots Landing') or was he someone whom fans just plain hated (like Karen's annoying daughter Diana on 'Knots'?) "People really hated me," Jericho laughs. "I got attacked in streets and in parking lots all the time."

Wilkinson is three points ahead of Jericho, and credits partner Louis van Amstel with her turnaround.

"Louis saying to me that this was my dance sparked something in me," she says. "I just wanted to go out there and give it my all. I changed my attitude and it showed [in] my dance. I believed in myself and the judges agreed. It was great."

Karina Smirnoff and Ralph MacchioChmerkovskiy answered inquires on the press line as to whether or not he's secretly married, something that the Insider was speculating on last week, fueled in part perhaps by his participation on the Ukrainian version of 'The Bachelor' and also his being in an even better mood this season. (In fact, the "bad boy of the ballroom" is one of the more friendly celebrities out there.)

"I am definitely not married," he clarified to a small group of reporters.

If he is, Alley cracked, "I'd like to meet his wife."

"I would like to meet my wife," Chmerkovskiy joked.

Ballas reports that he's doing better since twisting his ankle in rehearsal. "If it were torn or sprained, I wouldn't be walking. A lot of ice, ibuprofen, elevation and a little bit of rest and it should be okay."

Hightower was riding high after the show on earning her first 10, something that she'd failed to earn from the judges in previous seasons. "I'm very proud, very, very proud, very happy," she effused. "I'm excited to have the first 10 of the season especially with such an exquisite cast as we have this season."

"I feel like I'm on top of the world," chimed in Romeo. "This moment is definitely something I'm going to remember for life."

Smirnoff, on the other hand, would love to forget the five seconds or so that comprised her brief tumble. Did she think the judges would be lenient like they were when Alley and Chmerkovskiy took a tumble a few weeks ago?

"The only thing going through my mind was that, 'Oh, gosh, I feel down and I need to get back up," Smirnoff says. "I'm not supposed to mess up. I'm supposed to be there for Ralph. The judges gave us a great score [anyway] and they said that he was there the whole time for me. He picked me up and was the perfect partner. That says a lot about who he is as a man and as a dancer."

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Wow! I can't believe you didn't ask Maks if he was secretly engaged after he denied being secretly married.

April 26 2011 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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