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'DWTS' Backstage Q&A: Romeo on His Exit, Why Kirstie Alley Really Wants to Win!

by Michael Maloney, posted May 11th 2011 7:00AM
Tom Bergeron, Brooke Burke, Romeo, Chelsie HightowerIt's always bittersweet leaving 'Dancing With the Stars,' especially right before the semi-finals. But rapper/actor Romeo, who was sent packing last night, can still hold his head up high. He and partner Chelsie Hightower gave impressive performances throughout the season.

It looked like Ralph Macchio and his partner Karina Smirnoff might be going home after an injury he received had contributed to them earning low scores from the judges on Monday. But 'The Karate Kid's fans rallied to support him and he survived to dance another day.

Romeo and Hightower walked the post-show press line to talk about their journey, and the four finalists -- Macchio, Kirstie Alley, Hines Ward and Chelsea Kane -- shared their hopes of taking home the coveted mirror ball trophy. Also, fan favorite Alley confided to TV Squad the real reason she wants to emerge as this season's victor.

"I feel good," Romeo said immediately after the show. "If this had been last week my head would be down. I'm going out with a bang and I have no regrets. I wanted to win this thing for Chelsie. She got me to do things that I'd never done before. Still, I had a lot of fun."

"Romeo's done a tremendous job," praised Hightower. "He's grown every single week, always stepping up. I couldn't be more proud of him. It's been one of my favorite seasons, if not my favorite. I'm super proud of him."

Of the remaining pro dancers, two (Kym Johnson and Mark Ballas) have won the mirrorball trophy and two (Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Smirnoff) have not.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley"I want to win more for [Maks] than I do for me," Alley told TV Squad. "I'd like to [win], too, but more for him." It's possible that Chmerkovskiy's reputation as the "bad boy of the ballroom" has cost him votes over the years. If so, said Alley, that's a shame.

"I think everybody has gotten to know him really well this season and got to see every side of him," she said warmly.

In turn, Chmerkovskiy wants Alley to not only win, but to also enjoy the next two weeks. "I'm trying to find a way to make this as fun a process [for her] and I haven't been able to do it so far," he said. "This week we'll both be [at] the next level of dancing she's been showing and at the same time it'll be a lot more fun."

Macchio's fans rallying to save him is a reminder that the winner of Season 12 may come down to which celeb (and dancer?) has the greatest fan base.

"It's extremely important," said Kane, who's seen fellow Disney stars Sabrina Ryan and Kyle Massey either go home early or make it all the way to the finals. "The scary part is [my fan base] is kids. Sometimes their voice isn't allowed to be heard by parents who have grounded them. It depends on the night."

Kane credited Ballas thinking outside the box with their dance routines for taking them to the finals. "I think if we'd gone traditional I might have lost my demographic," she theorized. "We're taking advantage of being the younger generation."

"This season is all about the dance," said Johnson. "It's very different from any other season. It makes it exciting to watch and nerve-wracking for us."

'DanceCenter,' the 'SportsCenter' spoof, which pokes fun at the remaining celebs helped to ease the tension. Why was Ward described as disliking mustard, though?

"Because my name is 'ketchup'," Hines [Heinz] joked.

Johnson said she's just glad that 'DanceCenter' focuses on the stars. "They always go after the celebrities," she says. "They leave us dancers alone!"

Ralph Macchio and Karina SmirnoffMacchio says that his fans supporting him and putting him in the semi-finals has meant the world to him. "I'm feeling [the love] from everybody," he said. "Karina's fantastic. We don't repeat ourselves."

"Ralph is like an onion," said Smirnoff, who's been impressed with the many facets he's shown throughout the competition. "He doesn't make me cry, but I keep peeling off the layers."

Macchio's fans have even more incentive now to vote him through to the end. The couple will incorporate a 'Karate Kid' move (the infamous "crane" kick) into their freestyle performance if they make it that far.

"Right now we have to suggest ideas for music for the finale [to producers] because they need to clear it," Smirnoff said. "One of them will work perfectly with the crane kick."

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

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Kirstie has worked very, very hard and deserves the #1 spot.

May 18 2011 at 9:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

romeo was great and is he brought his own style to each dance.i loved his first dance!

May 13 2011 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You are soooo right about Mark. I've wanted him off since the first few weeks. Sorry Chelsea. I like all of the others.

May 11 2011 at 3:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Xenu wants Kirstie to win.

May 11 2011 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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