Backstage: Ted McGinley Reflects on His Short Dancing Career
"This should be an Olympic sport," says Ted McGinley
, the second dancer voted off the toughest first week in the history of Dancing with the Stars
. "And those of us who don't have the training should stay away
." McGinley has developed a great respect for the rigors of ballroom after the month he spent preparing for the show. "My mind was always saying, 'Yes, I can do this.' But my feet were saying, 'No.'"
In fact, after his third day of rehearsals, McGinley had a mini-meltdown and contemplated bowing out. He would be lucky, he thought, to master two different dances - the foxtrot and the mambo - in a month. But after that? "I thought we were going to have to learn two more
dances for the second week of competition as well, and I just knew I wouldn't be able to do that. Inna (Brayer, his pro partner), said, 'Relax. There's two
dances the first week, then one
Sadly, there will be no third dance for McGinley, who considers himself one of the luckiest actors on the planet. He's been on two hit sitcoms ( Happy Days
and Married with Children
), a hit drama ( The Love Boat
), and now, a top reality show. "On Happy Days
I was green," he says. "I'd never looked at a script. I remember thinking, 'I'm going to go on stage in front of millions of people - just like this - and I thought, oh my God, am I really doing this?' But it's those great questions that make you feel alive."
He said yes to Dancing
mainly because his wife is crazy about the show and made him do it. "I've had a lot of requests from reality shows lately," he says, and then jokes, "people must think I'm near death. I've said no to them all." But from this one, he takes away one the best compliments he's ever gotten from judge Bruno Tonioli. "He said I looked like Cary Grant," says McGinley. "Even if they kicked me out, they called me Cary Grant on national television." - Deborah Starr Seibel
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