It's getting to be crunch time on Dancing with the Stars, with only six pairs remaining in the competition heading into Monday's episode, when each pair will perform two dances. And the stars are starting to feel the pressure.
When TVGuide.com caught up with Candace Cameron Bure last Thursday, she was trying to remain calm about this week's rehearsal schedule. "This week is going to go incredibly quickly, with learning two dances. I'm trying not to freak out about it," she said. "Mark [Ballas, her pro partner] said, 'There's no reason to just yet.' He's like, 'On Sunday if you're not good, I'll tell you to start freaking out. But don't freak out yet.'"
Erin Andrews is four weeks into her new gig as co-host of Dancing with the Stars, and while her presence in the ballroom has been a breath of fresh air for viewers in Season 18, the transition period has not exactly been bump-free.
Last week, some tabloid reports surfaced, quoting anonymous sources who accused Andrews of "diva" behavior on the set, and speculated that ABC might already be looking to replace her. (Executive producer Conrad Green has vehemently denied that there's any animosity behind the scenes.)
"I've got to be honest. ... It kind of got me worried and scared," Andrews told TVGuide.com last week, noting that she immediately called producers to do damage control. "I just went back and forth with the producers like, 'Are we good here? Please tell me what I need to work on. Please tell me what I need to do. 'And they're like, 'We couldn't be happier.'"
Long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad made headlines last year when she became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the assistance of a shark cage. But, she says, preparing to dance a minute-long foxtrot on the Season 18 premiere of Dancing with the Stars last Monday was just as daunting as gearing up for her multi-day open water feat.
"When I would stand on that shore over in Cuba and look out at the horizon, I knew that what was in front of me was going to be at least two, probably more like two-and-a-half nonstop days in the open ocean, with all kinds of obstacles," Nyad, 64, tells TVGuide.com. "And [Monday], as I stood holding [partner Henry Byalikov's] hands, I was thinking, 'You have one minute and six seconds for this foxtrot.' It's just an absurdly different kind of challenge."
Nyad and Byalikov ended up with an 18 from the judges after their routine, which puts them in second-to-last place heading into Week 2. Though Nyad says she felt OK about the dance itself, there was one aspect of the performance that left her "mortified." Check out our interview with Nyad to find out what frustrated her to the point of tears, as well as what she and Henry are working on for this week's cha-cha.
Last year, Dancing with the Stars reverted back to a one-night format for its 17th season, and as the reality competition heads into its 18th outing, even more big changes are on the way.
"When you're a show reaching its 18th season and its ninth year, I think you have to keep changing things up every so often just to make sure that the experience doesn't become too familiar," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "It's spring, so it's time for a spring cleaning."
Check out nine big changes coming to Dancing with the Stars this season:
Drew Carey, Candace Cameron Bure, and Olympic gold medalists Charlie Whiteand Meryl Davis are among the celebrities who are heading to the ballroom for Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars.