Maksim Chmerkovksiy thinks Melissa Rycroft's ballet and cheerleading experience gives her an "unfair" edge on Dancing with the Stars, but he may not be considering the other side of the coin, Nancy O'Dell says. Find out what else she has to say about the second week of Dancing and who she thinks might get the first heave-ho. We'll be checking in weekly with the Access Hollywood host and almost-contestant to get her take on Season 8, so be sure to come back next week.
TVGuide.com: Was Tony [Dovolani] and Melissa's salsa routine the one you were going to do?
Nancy O'Dell: It was a large percentage of it. A lot of the moves they did were some of the moves we were practicing! [Laughs] The pretzel move, which was really cool, was in there too. And they were amazing! Oh my God, I was like the biggest cheerleader! There was a lot of hip action, which is so vital to the salsa. And that's also what did in my knee — [turning] my hip one way and my torso the other! [Laughs] She did that really, really well, so I think that's what they meant from my little dancing background that I had. I knew from Tony it's about keeping your torso straight and twisting your hips.
TVGuide.com: Maks said he thinks it's unfair Melissa's on because of her dance background. What do you think?
O'Dell: I have always debated that. First of all, for somebody to be able to come in and learn a routine in two days, they would have to have some sort of dance background, so I think you expect that of a last-minute fill-in. There's no way I could've learned that in two days with no background. But having a background can also work against you. I told Tony I have no background and he said that's a good thing because he doesn't have to un-teach things and break habits. The performing part works out, and so do some of the twists and spins, but, like, Shawn [Johnson], she has gymnastic habits, so that could hurt her a little bit. Same with Melissa, she was used to doing cheerleading with her feet apart, but with the salsa, you keep your feet together. I think there are pros and cons.
TVGuide.com: Who was the most improved?
O'Dell: I think that's between Denise [Richards] and Ty [Murray]. She thought she messed up some, but to me, she looked really good. And Ty! Oh my God! You just wanna pull for him, don't you? He's not trying to be funny, but he's so funny because he's cute and funny. I was glad to see he improved because I'd like to see him stick around. I didn't think David [Alan Grier] did badly either and he was certainly entertaining.
TVGuide.com: Do you think it was fair to judge Steve-O's salsa based on his dress rehearsal?
O'Dell: I think they were left with no other choice since it's timed out and everything. [Judge Len Goodman] said you don't have the adrenaline in rehearsal and that's a really good point. The adrenaline really does make you wanna go that much more. But I don't think the producers were left with much choice. If he continues, you have to judge him somehow because it wouldn't be fair to give him a bye. I also think the judges had really good points — there wasn't a lot of salsa to judge, but just a lot of stunts.
TVGuide.com: Who do you think is gonna be in the bottom two?
O'Dell: I think it's gonna be Steve Wozniak. I'm so bummed about that because he's such a cute fellow, but he can't dance so well. [Laughs] But he's so nice and lovable! I hope it's not Ty because he improved. I think that's gonna help him. And his personality — I think people are gonna vote for that. My nanny said she voted for Ty and not Tony. [Laughs] I hope it's not Belinda [Carlisle]. She has a cute personality, but I think you haven't gotten to know her well enough yet to root for her. I hope she's not in there, but I am worried. I think [Steve-O]'s first performance might carry him through. I think the salsa is gonna hurt him, but maybe he got some sympathy votes. I'm sure he has his Jackass fans. Wait, do Jackass fans vote on Dancing with the Stars? [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: Do you like the idea of a dance-off?
O'Dell: It definitely lends to the drama. I remember thinking, "Oh God! How horrible!" [Laughs] But it's great TV because then you get to root that much harder. I think the producers are so incredibly smart because that just brings in audience participation that much more. But what pressure! You gotta dance and get kicked off!