Backstage at ‘Dancing With the Stars’: Karina Smirnoff talks about Paula Abdul, her opponents' chemistry, and that mid-dance slip

Yahoo Contributor Network

Week 4 of "Dancing With the Stars: All Stars" featured the show's first-ever Opponent's Choice dances. For pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, it was a choice she could have done without, when she and her partner Apolo Ohno were assigned hip hop as their dance style.

Before the show, the Season 13 mirror ball winner made it clear that this week's dance isn't her forte, saying, "Hip hop is definitely out of my element. I've never studied it before. I've never danced it." She later added, "I really hope we make it through this week so I can dance things I know. I feel like a faker."

Still, this season's super sexy "DWTS" couple came out fighting, despite a minor slip that left the pro dancer in tears.

In our weekly update with Karina, she talked with us about Monday night's emotional dances, Paula Abdul as a guest judge, and that insane chemistry between Kelly Monaco and Val Chmerkovskiy.

On the pressure to choreograph this week's dance

While much was made of the fact that Apolo nailed his season 4 hip hop-based freestyle with Julianne Hough, Karina says this season's dance style was very different. "Season 4 with Julianne was an amazing dance, but it was break dancing," she said. "The reason why I was so freaked out about this dance was because it was jack swing style of hip hop. It's old school. I've never ever learned anything like this before." The pint-size powerhouse said she'd have much preferred to choreograph to modern-day hip hop, like a Chris Brown or Usher song. (Her song with Apolo was Bell Biv DeVoe's "Poison.")

On her mid-dance slip

Although she was visibly upset at herself after an unexpected mid-dance mishap, Karina tells us she isn't totally sure what happened: "I was supposed to kick over Apolo's head. I must have kicked too hard or stepped on his feet. I just know I was on the floor, I landed on my hip."

But she adds, "I think great things come from the most unexpected situations. Today more than ever it was a testament to how strong of a team we've become. I know that I can rely on [Apolo] 100 percent." The pro dancer also appreciated the fact that the judges scored Apolo on his dance and not what she did. (The couple received a total score of 34.5 out of 40 points.)

On who nailed their dance this week

She also tips her hat to all of the celebrities and pro dancers this week for stepping outside of their element, and thinks they all did a superb job. "Some people were more out of their element with the dances they were given. It's not every week where we get to come up with dances we've never done before," Karina said.

On guest judge Paula Abdul

The "DWTS" beauty thinks this week's addition of guest judge Paula Abdul made the show better. "She can relate to the celebrities and the dancers. I really hope she comes back," Karina said, adding that she'd even love to see Paula come back as a regular judge someday.

On Kelly and Val's steamy chemistry

One of the hottest "DWTS" couples this season is "General Hospital" star Kelly Monaco and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy. So what does Karina think of their smoldering chemistry? "I really want Apolo to hold me the way Val holds Kelly, because I think it's brilliant," she said. "You watch Kelly and Val, and they definitely have an amazing connection." She thinks Kelly makes Val shine more than ever this season.

What we can expect for next week

If you're looking to see Apolo like you've never seen him before, get ready. Next week is Guilty Pleasures week. But what does that mean? "It's the song you sing in the car; it's the song you sing in the shower," Karina explains. "It's one of those songs you might be a little embarrassed to admit you actually love, but you know every word, and you love singing along."

So what song will she and Apolo use? That's a secret until next week, but she promises us it's "pretty guilty!"

Be sure to check out Karina Smirnoff and Apolo Ohno on the "Dancing With the Stars" week 4 results show on Tuesday, 10/16 at 8 PM EST on ABC.

More from this contributor:

The all-stars shine on 'DWTS' premiere

Karina Smirnoff talks quickstepping with Apolo Ohno

Will Sabrina Bryan have chemistry with Louis Van Amstel on 'DWTS'?

View Comments