How tough is television commentator Nancy Grace? Just ask her how she has consistently managed to put a good face on things — including her elimination from Dancing With the Stars on Tuesday night. "You know what?" she says. "There is never a bad day. Nobody's dead. Nobody's dismembered. I've been dancing with Tristan [her pro partner, Tristan MacManus]. My children are alive. It's all good."
Grace says she came to the show to fulfill a childhood fantasy: She was the poor little girl whose family could only afford to send her to dance class for one year, and couldn't pay for the kind of dance costume everyone else was wearing. "I remember that I was the only girl in the class that did not have a tutu," says Grace. "We could not afford a tutu. I had the leotard, and the tights, and the shoes. But let me assure you that [my daughter] Lucy has about four tutus. I'm getting tutu revenge."
You might think that accepting the invitation to compete on a hit reality show would be a no-brainer for someone who makes a living out of being recognized on television. But Grace struggled with the notion that she would be judged, and that the public would vote. "I'm never going to be crowned Miss Congeniality, all right?" says Grace. "I accept that. It doesn't always feel good, but it is what it is. I was really not in it for people to like me."
She also had to accept that fact that she is 52 years old, not in the best shape, and had little natural ability. "Are you kidding," she jokes. "Tristan was pushing me around like a wheelbarrow."
Still, she squeezed every ounce of enjoyment out of the experience, never phoning it in. She wanted to be girly and wear crazy costumes for a change. "I've always been so serious," she says. "For too long, everything was a mission. Every case. Everything has been a cause. And dancing has been so much fun."