Don't be alarmed if there's a lot of scolding in Chris Jericho and Cheryl Burke's Dancing with the Stars rehearsal packages. The wrestler wants to get an earful. "Some people might be offended [to be yelled at], but to me, it's not offensive to be talked to that way," he tells TVGuide.com. "That's the only way to get better — and I need to get better quickly." That does not mean he and Burke are not getting along. See what else Jericho has to say about their partnership and why he's down for a Solid Gold routine.
Dancing's Kendra Wilkinson: Don't pick me to win
Why'd you decide to do the show? Have you been approached before?
Chris Jericho: This was the third time actually. I was approached for Season 10, then 11, then now for 12. The first time, you know, professionally, you say, "Oh, my schedule's too busy right now." But personally, you say, "Wow, I don't know if I could do that. It's a big commitment." The second time, I said, "This could be pretty cool." The third time, I was like, "I'm going to do it for sure." Now's the time. You've got to be 100 percent mentally and physically committed. I wanted to make sure I had nothing else going on and kept everything wide open so I could focus my whole effort on this show.
What's harder: dancing or wrestling?
Jericho: [Laughs] Well, I have no dance experience at all. It's funny because when there are a lot of things about them that are similar. There's a lot of leverage and weight distribution and balance. Then there's performing in front of a live crowd, your marks, choreography and as a musician, following the beat. It's not that foreign as it seems at first. The training's really hard. It's probably the hardest training I've ever done, but it's not futile. ... There are moves in dancing that I've never done before — you're turning your knee outwards, your elbow on the side. And hunching over — dancing's very elongated, very regal. Your neck stretches, your shoulders are down. So I'm focusing on getting rid of those bad habits.
How are rehearsals going?
Jericho: Good. The choreography is not that bad because it's like putting together a wrestling match. ... I'm good friends with Stacy Keibler, who did the show in Season 2, I believe, and she said it's super-hard. Now I understand. It's so easy to downplay dancing ... but when you get into it and understand what it takes to be good at it, it's very, very difficult. But it's also a lot of fun.
Athletes have fared well on this show. Do you feel pressure to keep the streak going?
Jericho: [Laughs] Not really, but yeah, they've done well! They've been Super Bowl champions or gold medal champions. You can see why because you need a lot of mental strength to do this. I think another advantage athletes and musicians have is experience performing live in front of a studio audience. I'm an athlete, but I'm also an entertainer. Wrestling is show business and I've always treated it that way, so when you're not a live entertainer, it's a whole different world to not be scared of that. In the WWE, things can change last minute and the show must go on.