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.'"
Monday's episode will feature individual dances by each pair, as well as dancing duels, where each couple will be partnered with another twosome for one number. (The group will get a single score, which will then be added to each pair's individual score.)
Read our full Q&A with Cameron Bure to find out what aspect of the competition has been the most surprising to her thus far, as well as her analysis of why she's struggled to loosen up in the ballroom.
How did you feel about your tango last week? Do you think the visit to Dr. Jenn helped?
Cameron Bure: My visit with her definitely did help a lot. It was liberating in a sense to just get some emotional feelings out that I didn't quite realize about myself, [like] the high expectations I place on myself and maybe having more of a perfectionist personality than I ever realized that I did. And then, the simple tools that she gave me really helped me on show day, just deep breathing and speaking positive thoughts into my mind. Those were great. Overall, I was so happy with the night. I thought the performance was really good. I was very proud of myself and pleased with the scores for the most part. I was a little bummed out I got an 8 from Carrie Ann, but overall it was a super night.
Mark talked a lot about your struggles performing live. Is that rooted in the pressure of being on TV?
Cameron Bure: It's not about being camera shy at all. I'm so comfortable in front of the camera. I've been performing since I was 5 years old. That's the crazy part. I love the live audience. ... I don't really know what happens to me. I think it's doing the routine for the first time, transitioning it from our rehearsal studio to the stage floor. When you're rehearsing, there's a few people watching you. It's the first time that you now have all the eyes on you. And I think it's the pressure of that, of wanting to perform really well for those first few run-throughs with the camera, with all the producers watching, and now on a different stage floor. ... I think the combination of those things have just freaked me out, and then I let them get to me more and more.
After visiting Dr. Jenn, did you notice an improvement in the way you've adjusted to that?
Cameron Bure: Yeah, definitely. I've loosened up a lot because I'm becoming more comfortable as a dancer, and I'm seeing dance in a different light as well. Having never been a dancer and never done this, you don't — or at least I didn't — understand it all or see it for all it's worth as art, which is the same thing as acting and the same thing as singing. ... As the weeks have gone on, I can see it that way, see it as a performance and see it as a character within each dance that I'm playing. So, that's made me more comfortable. And I'm hoping as the next few weeks go on, that I continue to relax in my face and be able to express that. Because it's not that I'm not comfortable. It's just a little bit more of a matter of trying to remember my choreography. ... It's like, I can get the footwork down and then I lose the arms, or once I concentrate on the arms I might lose the footwork or the face. It's quite challenging.
Were you relieved to not be in the bottom two last Monday, and did that knowledge have any impact on your dancing?
Cameron Bure: It actually didn't affect my routine at all, because I had already been in the bottom two the last couple weeks. I was planning on it. I was expecting to be in jeopardy before I even performed the routine, so the fact that I wasn't was a huge relief. Watching the video back, Mark and I were so excited. It came as a total surprise to us. I thought they were going to hold out to the very end again and tell us we were in jeopardy. ... When we weren't, it just meant all the more that I have to really perform this, because these scores are going to count for next week.
What's been the most unexpectedly challenging aspect of the competition for you?
Cameron Bure: I think at least this far, it's been the emotional journey. I knew it would be very physically challenging and even mentally challenging. But emotionally, I didn't think that some things would be revealed in myself that I didn't know, because I'm pretty in tune with myself in that sense. I have a very good sense of who I am. I'm an extrovert and I love people and I love performing and all these things. So, I don't think that I realized how emotional and kind of how revealing it would be of my soul. I think it's great. I think that's going to grow me as a performer.
What's it like working with Mark?
Cameron Bure: He has been wonderful. I was happy from the moment I opened my front door and saw that he was my partner, and am thrilled to be taking this journey with him. He's been so incredibly supportive. Particularly the last two or three weeks, as we've gotten to know each other even better and he's been seeing the struggles that I've been having, he's really helped me, even having to change some of the way he does things to help me feel more comfortable, and not be stressed out or get down on myself. So I really appreciate that from him. And as far as everyday rehearsals, we have so much fun. We are laughing all the time. Mark's a big goofball and so am I. He doesn't feel like my brother, but at times he feels like my 15-year-old child. [Laughs].
Most viewers know you from your days on Full House. Was part of your decision to do the show to let people see a different side of you?
Cameron Bure: I do realize that most people know me from Full House, but I've such a successful career since Full House, having been on Make It or Break It for three years, and being an author. I do so many movies for the Hallmark Channel and the UP Channel as well. So, that definitely was not a reason why I came into it. I'm happy people know me from Full House, but I don't feel at this point in my career I'm trying to prove anything to anyone ... because I've just done so much since then. But I've just been a fan of the show for so many years. I love watching it. I've always wanted to be a part of it, and it worked out this year for me to be a contestant. I couldn't have been more thrilled.
Are you surprised you've made it to the final six?
Cameron Bure: Of course when you know you're competing, initially I'm like, of course I'd love to win. We're all competing. But my personal goal was to make it to Week 6. That was my goal. So the fact that I'm at Week 8, I'm kind of chuckling to myself. I'm surprised, and I think it's fantastic. I'm just laughing because I was hoping that I would make it all the way, but I kind of didn't expect myself to. So at this point, every week from here on out, it's just like an added bonus.
What are you guys working on for this week?
Cameron Bure: We have the foxtrot this week. It's fun and quirky and sassy. We have a really fun, great song. ... It's really cute, but today we worked on our duo dance the whole day, and we have to continue that tomorrow as well. So, I won't even start doing the foxtrot again until [Friday] evening, and I won't have much time. I'm trying not to freak out about it!
Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC. Catch up on the latest episodes here.