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For the 17th season of Dancing With the Stars, professional dancer Tony Dovolani will take In Touch readers along his incredible journey by providing a behind the scenes look at DWTS and reflecting on his performance. This week, he is talking about what it is like to work with his latest partner, Leah Remini and how nothing can stop her—not even an injury!
What a positive week we've had!
I thought Leah did such an incredible job last week with the salsa, especially considering she was injured. We're not sure how it happened, but she came in last week and said, "something is up with my left side." She was in severe pain, so we had a doctor come in and he suggested we take out the lifts. Leah said, "No you are not!"
There’s no arguing with Leah; she's one tough cookie. All she kept saying was, "I'm not going to fail you or let you down." And the funniest thing she's ever said to me is, "look Tony, I've given birth." How do you argue with that? But the judges liked it and we made it through to week eight and you can't argue with that either.
Tonight we dance the Viennese waltz and are very excited about Cher being on the show. Leah's really into the competition right now and is over any doubts she's had and wants to go out there and challenge everyone. We're also really curious looking to see how Cher judges. It will be a different energy. Cher has an Oscar, Emmy and Golden globes; the woman is a successful performer; from stage to movies and we want to know what she thinks of our story and presentation. Dance experience doesn't really matter when you have someone like Cher judging as she has so many performing years experience and she comes from old Hollywood.
I believe she will do a great job. Sure it's added pressure for the stars, and for us professionals there all kinds of emotions. I've been a fan of Cher's for so long, so it's a little nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. I think she is a true living icon and one of the last true stars left. I mean she has had hits in the last five decades; could you imagine being that relevant for that long? That just tells you she has ridiculous talent.
Leah's injury has been a problem this week, as we are also preparing for another dance challenge. But she has been fighting through it and not complaining. I know she is in pain because I see her wincing at times, but I ask her if she's okay and all she will say is "yes." I love that about her because she's not using it as an excuse and doesn't want a sympathy vote. Her opinion is that she's on a dance show and she made it to week eight, why would she want anyone to feel sorry for her? And we are almost at the homestretch with a slight light at the end of the tunnel.
We hope the fans like the love story we are telling, they mean so much to us. This journey is such an incredible one, considering the summer that Leah had and everything she went through, which has not been easy. To feel the love and support from the fans when reading the tweets has been incredible.
Wish us luck!