Apolo Anton Ohno began "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" as a presumed frontrunner, and on Monday night, the Olympic gold medalist - after weeks in the middle of the pack -- proved he's back in the game.
The speed skater's perfect-scoring Viennese waltz was a magical moment for the athlete and his partner, Karina Smirnoff, and after the show, he told Access Hollywood that it came together in a magical way.
"For me, it was a blur. I was completely in the zone," he said. "For me, I had to go in a different place to emotionally try and connect with her and the song in the way that I think was necessary, so it required a lot from me.
"And at the end, when the dance was finished, it really wasn't about us dancing. That's the most beautiful part about it," he said of creating the moment on the ABC celebrity dance competition.
Despite their dance, which wowed the crowd, the pair had no idea their routine was going to elicit a perfect score from the judges.
"I had no idea what we were gonna get," Apolo told Access.
"The judging is a little bit like all over [the place]," Karina added.
On Monday night, the clip package revealed that last week, before they hit the stage, they had a spat (something several of the couples have done this season), and Karina made light of how they got over it.
"I spanked him, gave him a time out, told him to think about what had happened and then he came back with chocolates and flowers and asked for forgiveness," she said.
Actually, that's not how they came back together, but Karina said if, "you put it out there... maybe he'll take notes."
Apolo said it was their competitive drive that got them back on track.
"At the end of the day, we have one common goal - and that is to be the absolute best that we can be together on the show. I realize and she realizes that we're gonna have fights, we're gonna have disagreements. There's gonna be times that are really tough, but we're both strong enough and we both know how to presevere and basically give our best no matter what the obstacle or challenge," he said.
Karina said the argument may have actually helped their dance on Monday.
"At the end, my mom goes like, 'Why were you fighting?' I was like, 'You know, I don't know,'" she recounted. "But I think it did help us get way more connected with one another, for sure."
"Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" continues Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC.
-- Jolie Lash
Copyright 2012 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Karina Smirnoff
- Apolo Anton Ohno