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.
Who will win Season 17 of Dancing with the Stars? That's the big question heading in to the two-part finale, which begins tonight at 8/7c on ABC.
Competing tonight will be Bill Engvall and Emma Slater, Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke,Derek Hough and Amber Riley, and Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. One of the four couples will be eliminated at the end of tonight's show, and the other three will perform a final routine tomorrow night before the winner is crowned.
"I think we have two completely different types of competitors," judge Carrie Ann Inaba told TVGuide.com ahead of Monday's show. "We have Corbin and Amber, who are in one class. And then you have Jack and Bill, who are totally of a different class. I think it's really interesting the way the fans have voted. I think people are really a fan of the whole idea of somebody who doesn't know how to dance really making the transformation, which is what Jack and Bill fall into."
TVGuide.com caught up with Murgatroyd on Tuesday to discuss their shocking dismissal, and get her thoughts on how Cher did as a guest judge.
According to veteran pro Cheryl Burke, the competition on this season of Dancing with the Stars is the stiffest she's ever seen.
"It's so competitive. There's amazing dancers, a lot of them with some dance background and a few of them with no dance background," Burke tells TVGuide.com. "This season is tough. I would say out of all the seasons, this has been definitely the most competitive. From here on out, you have no idea who's going to actually go home."
Check out our interview with Burke to see why viewers may be surprised by the routine she and partner Jack Osbourne have in store this week, and where Osbourne ranks among the other celebrities she's danced with over the years.
Cheryl Burke found one thing to be positive about after she and D.L. Hughley received a dismal score of 12 on last week's Dancing with the Stars premiere: There was no elimination. "Otherwise it would've been pretty obvious who was going home!" she tells TVGuide.com. "That would've been a really boring results show." The pair will get a shot to redeem themselves Monday (8/7c, ABC) with their quickstep, on which Burke says Hughley is "working really, really hard." So what went wrong with their cha-cha? And what does she think about that 12? Keep reading to find out.