Dancing With The Stars, Chelsie Hightower
After two weeks of tense video packages featuring her and partner Jake Pavelka, Chelsie Hightower wants to set the record straight. "We have a lot of fun together. We goof off, but they haven't shown that yet in our packages," the Dancing with the Stars pro tells TVGuide.com. "It's not that dramatic. We have a few moments like every couple does, and that's what they end up showing. What can you do? They want to show the stupid drama we have!" Their drama, she says, is partially rooted in the fact that the former Bachelor has never been coached before. So how are they doing this week? Find out below. Plus: Will Hightower return to So You Think You Can Dance as an All-Star?
TVGuide.com: You told Jake last week that you need willpower and focus from him. Has he shown that this week?
Chelsie Hightower: Yeah, definitely. He's not used to being in a coaching atmosphere. It's foreign to him. He's not used to someone telling him what to do and correcting him, so it was time to set the ground rules. I told him if you're working as intensely on something as we are on the show, it's just how it is. You have to learn to accept it and just work harder. He totally got it. He's doing a great job. We're actually a bit ahead of the game as far as our tango goes.
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TVGuide.com: So could the tango be a breakthrough dance for him?
Hightower: I'm hoping so! It definitely has the potential to be with the way it's going so far. We actually got the whole routine down in one day to music. We're doing well!
TVGuide.com: It could be a comeback too after being in the bottom two. Were you surprised you ended up there?
Hightower: I don't know if I would say I was surprised. I've been here two years and you know nothing can ever be a shock. So much depends on votes. But I'm super-happy we made it through and got another chance to redeem ourselves and show what we're made of. I wasn't too worried [about elimination] until it was us and Buzz [Aldrin]! [Laughs] Then I was a little worried because he's an icon. ... I wasn't really surprised that he was eliminated. His dancing wasn't up to par. I was shocked when Shannen [Doherty] left first. She had potential. People just didn't vote.
TVGuide.com: People think Kate [Gosselin] should've been eliminated already.
Hightower: Yeah, that's been a big topic: whether she should go home or not. And I don't know! [Laughs] It depends if you like her or not. Her dancing's not the best; I've seen better. But she's got the fan base!
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TVGuide.com: What do you think of the two-score format this week for technique and performance?
Hightower: It's interesting. It puts a lot of pressure on us. Now we're not only getting judged on teaching the celebrity, but we're also getting judged on our actual choreography. That's basically what the artistic score is. It's more pressure than normal. It's going to be out of 60. It's just this week, though, and then next week is movie week or something like that.
TVGuide.com: What does Jake need to work on the most?
Hightower: Just getting the steps down and getting into character. Being stiff, but not tense. When he tries to be really sharp, he tends to get really tense, so we're working on that. The judges have commented on the fact that his legs are flexible, which will actually help him in the tango because you don't have to be as stiff as you are in the quickstep.
TVGuide.com: Your acoustic paso doble with Derek [Hough] was great last week. Will we see more stripped-down performances like that?
Hightower: I hope so! It was fun. It was Mark [Ballas] and Derek's idea. It was actually originally supposed to be me, Derek, Mark and Cheryl [Burke]. But Mark ended up getting hurt, so it ended up being Derek and me. We choreographed it together.
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TVGuide.com: What do you think of all the changes at So You Think You Can Dance?
Hightower: I don't know! It's hard to say how it's going to affect the show, which was doing well as it was. I think it will be interesting and it will be fun for people to see some old cast members. At the same time, it could go the opposite way, where it's like, "We want to see the new talent." So who knows?
TVGuide.com: What are the chances of you coming back as an All-Star?
Hightower: With my contract with Dancing, I won't be able to. It would be fun, but I can't!