Derek Hough and Joanna Krupa gave dirty dancing a new meaning with their repetitive head-in-the-crotch move on Dancing with the Stars that left even Tom Bergeron flummoxed. But to hear the Season 7 pro champ tell it, the risqué move was just part of his improvised plan of attack to win the mambo marathon — and they did. Find out what else the 24-year-old has to say about their stellar week, why it would be "mind-blowing" to win and what special performance he has in store for the results show.
TVGuide.com: We have to first talk about the mambo marathon and that head-bobbing move you guys did.
Derek Hough: [Laughs] Everybody's like, "What the heck is that? It's so sexual!" Well, I didn't mean for it to look that way! There's a move in the mambo where she hinges back and you go down, flip your leg over and bring her back up. But as I was looking around, I was like, "Oh, we can't just do our routine. We've got to do something different, something that kind of eggs the audience on a little bit." So I did that move and just kind of kept her down there and she kept trying to come back up and I was like, "Nope!" It was pretty funny. She did an amazing job.
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TVGuide.com: How much of those four minutes was improvised and how much was choreographed?
Hough: I did a minute-long routine and then we just repeated it. When it was getting closer [to the end], we knew we really had to up our game, so I just started doing the most exciting parts. It was a total freestyle. She just starting grooving out and I was like, "OK, I'll groove out with you." So I grabbed her and started shouting out stuff: "OK, here comes the pretzel! Here comes the dip!" It was all out of order, but she was wanting it and just did a great job.
TVGuide.com: How are the rumba and Team Tango routines going? Is it fair to do the team dances with an uneven number of couples left?
Hough: The rumba's going good. It's a really tough dance. The slower the dance, the harder it is. [Krupa]'s handling it very well. The Team Tango, we've all done a great job. Me, Louis [van Amstel] and Kym [Johnson] came together and choreographed it up. Donny [Osmond]'s great and Kelly [Osbourne]'s fantastic. I think we have a good team and I actually think we have an advantage [over Team Paso Doble, which is four couples] because the less people you have, the less margin of error there is. The other team has more possibilities for formation and we're kind of limited, but we're creative and we've got some cool ideas.
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TVGuide.com: Joanna has been a surprise this season. Models don't have a great track record and everyone was on her case about her Superstars tantrum, but she's been doing so well.
Hough: When I first started dancing with Joanna, I knew we had an uphill battle. She came in with, you know, not the best reputation. Getting to know her, she's a really amazing person. I think models in general have a certain insecurity about themselves because they're known for being beautiful, so they have to prove to everybody they have personality and they are intelligent. ... One thing I love about Joanna too is that she's very thankful to be on the show. She's not taking it for granted whatsoever. Some people come on and are like, "All right," and do their thing, but she really understands that she's fortunate to be on such an amazing show and really wants to work hard.
TVGuide.com: Do you feel like a lot of people have a different opinion of her now than they did when she was on Superstars?
Hough: Yeah. When we're in the studio, people go, "Give it up for Donny!" and the crowd goes crazy. "Give it up for Kelly!" and the crowd goes nuts. "Give it up for Joanna!" and everyone's like, [muted] "Yay." Her fan base is not as big as Donny Osmond's or anyone like that and she knows that. But during the mambo marathon, when we were left dancing, the audience went insane — totally rooting for her. They were 100 percent on her side. She told me later, "Oh my gosh, I've never had so much support in my entire life." It was so, so nice to hear that. She's definitely earned her place on the show. I'm really proud of her.
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TVGuide.com: People are talking about you guys winning now. What do you think your chances are of becoming a two-time champ?
Hough: You never know. It would be very, very unexpected and would be a huge surprise to me! We're going to do our best and take it one week at a time. It would be mind-blowing to win with Joanna. With Brooke [Burke], I was surprised, not because I didn't think she deserved it, but because there were so many other factors. With Joanna, it would be crazy, unbelievable, because I don't think it would be as expected. To even make the final would be unbelievable for her and for me.
TVGuide.com: You're pulling double duty this week too: You and Mark [Ballas, with whom he formed the Ballas Hough Band] are performing a song, "Move," on the results show. What can we expect?
Hough: It's going to be a duo thing. It's going to be a full-on performance with dancers and stuff like that. We've been rehearsing and choreographing it. The performance is going to be available on iTunes. It's going to be a little different from what people have heard from us before. It's going to be more like something you would hear in a club, something that you would say, "Oh, I want to choreograph to that" when you hear it. We wanted to show a dance club vibe. It's going to be a very three-dimensional show. We're really excited.