They both looked stunned: William Levy, the 31-year-old Latin heartthrob who is causing quite a commotion in the ballroom before he even starts dancing. And Martina Navratilova, the 55-year-old tennis legend who broke down in tears, twice, on the press line following Monday's episode of Dancing With the Stars, after getting the lowest score of the night for her awkward and out-of-sync jive. "Oh, my god," said her pro partner, Tony Dovolani, clearly upset because Navratilova was upset and unable to contain her disappointment.
Dovolani, ever the gentleman, escorted Navratilova away from the cameras and the microphones, trying to reassure her that it would be all right. But you can only imagine how hard it is for a world-class athlete and ferocious competitor to not be at the top of her game at something she's chosen to do: dance.
For Levy, on the other hand, who sits near the top of the leader board with his pro partner, Cheryl Burke, dancing has been a happy surprise on almost every level: He didn't know he could dance, and didn't think anyone cared if he could or not. "I didn't think anyone knew me in the American market," says Levy, who is well-known as an actor in Latin America. "I just came with the idea of having fun and enjoying my time with Cheryl on the show. But to receive this kind of love is amazing."
He came out in a tux for his quick step and the audience went crazy, crazier than they were for one of Burke's former partners, the gorgeous Gilles Marini. But don't let the debonair appearance fool you: Levy says his feet are killing him and that he needs, "a big steak and a big massage, like a four-hour massage." Still, there is no trace of nervousness about the big step he's taking into the American spotlight. "I get more nervous than he does," says Burke.
"She's nervous all the time!" says Levy. "And I'm like, 'Cheryl, relax! Let's enjoy this time. Because if you get nervous, I'll get nervous.' I'm like, 'You're the professional! I'm not a dancer! Let's go! Let's do this!'"
Burke remains unmoved by his protests; the pre-show butterflies have been with her since she started, season two. "The day I stop being nervous is the day I need to stop performing," she says.
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