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 that week’s performance. This week, he is talking about what it is like to work with his latest partner, Leah Remini and what made this week extra emotional.
So we were in the bottom two last week and at first it was scary and crazy. It was also awkward celebrating being saved because the first thing we wanted to do was go to give Christina and Mark a hug. Sure we were happy, but it's hard to celebrate not leaving when someone next to you is. Especially after telling a personal story.
In my opinion there should be no eliminations person story week! Everyone pours out this/her heart only to go home and at the end of the show? Also finding out one of the female competitors was leaving at the beginning of the show… how do you think we felt for the next 2 hours?
What also made last Monday so hard was that Leah’s daughter was sitting in the audience with her fingers crossed. She looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, my daughter is going to see me get voted off.” I replied, “it's very important for kids to see us succeed, but it's also as important for them to see us fail.” Sometimes you learn more through failure than through success. Her husband was in tears also; they just couldn't believe we were in the bottom 2 after that emotional heartfelt story.
The unfortunate thing is I've been in this situation quite a few times, so I allow myself to be upset for about an hour, and then get over it. You also have to put on a brave front for your student because they are often a reflection of our energy. In order for the week to go well I had to be positive walking into that studio on Tuesday and Leah responded. She came in fired up and ready to go! She wanted to prove she was resilient and something just lit up in her. After weeks of saying she’s not a dancer, this week she started feeling like one
Tonight we are dancing a very entertaining quickstep. Leah’s a strong woman and been doing all the sexy faces and all that stuff, so it’s about Leah being the hot mama that she is. That’s not a comfortable thing for Leah to do, but I'm pushing to get her out of her shell. She ended up embracing it and I'm so proud.