Dancing with the Stars’ Season 16 pair Karina Smirnoff and Jacoby Jones made it through week one, but how will they fare this week? Karina tells us what she thinks of her pro football partner and the jazz routine the duo’s doing tonight.
SheKnows: Congrats on making it past the first cut! You and Jacoby tied for third for your cha-cha… Were you happy with the performance?
Karina Smirnoff: Thank you! I was super happy. We only had a week and three days to get ready for it so I tried to overcome, but I was freaking out inside. What you do the first three weeks is really important. But once we were able to start, Jacoby went in wholeheartedly and just did his best, and I think he did a superb cha-cha full of spark and entertainment. And we made a little homage to Ray Lewis, so it was good!
SK: Tell us… is Jacoby as cute in person as he seems on TV?
KS: He is! I think actually that he’s cuter in person, that’s why I hope America gets to see the real Jacoby. He is one of the biggest goofballs you’ll ever meet!
SK: He has said in interviews that he loves to dance. Does he have natural rhythm?
KS: I think he has a lot of natural rhythm! And for a guy his height — he’s 6’4″, we had a little over a foot difference in our heights — he picks up rhythm well. It’s the posture and the feet that’s going to be for us something that we constantly have to work on, because he is so tall and used to crouching down. Overall, anything I tell him — even if in the beginning he’s going, “Girl, you’re crazy!” — he tries, and he tries it 100 percent and I love and respect that.
SK: During judging, everyone on the panel mentioned his posture. Do you think it is improving this week?
KS: It is. We’ve been working on his posture so much that he is now walking so straight up I am literally only up to his nipple. I’m like, “Maybe we need to slouch a little bit, because I can’t reach you!”
SK: What dance have you been practicing this week?
KS: This week we are dancing jazz, and it’s really, really cool. It’s old school jazz, where it originated from the 1950s. I think it’s right up Jacoby’s alley, because he’s from New Orleans and they have a certain way of dancing and moving in New Orleans that I think works well with jazz. It’s non-stop action, so by the end of this dance he’s going to be more tired than he was after the cha-cha. But he says, “You know what? My stamina is going to be so good for the start of the next football season — it’s going to be crazy good!”
SK: I bet he never thought in his life he’d be saying that dancing would make him a better football player!
KS: He keeps saying his stamina, his footwork… he’s even going to put some of the dances in his end zone moves. I think he’s looking forward to implementing much of what he learns on the show into his NFL career.
SK: Do you think your “jazz” number this week will impress Len, who was harsh on you guys last week?
KS: Len was not holding anything back! I was like “hold something back, Len… leave something for next week!” He definitely gave us some good constructive criticism too, so hopefully we’ll make him proud with Jacoby’s posture and footwork tonight.
SK: Are there any funny moments from this week we won’t see on camera?
KS: You know what hasn’t made the show yet? I have found Jacoby’s Achilles heel. I’ve elbowed him in the lip… and one time he was picking me up and hit himself on the lip with my microphone, and his lip started bleeding. He’s always like, “It’s okay — it’s just a scratch, it’s no problem.” But when I step on his toe? Jacoby goes down like a girl [laughs]. I’m like, “Really, that’s what gets you? That’s hysterical!” I said, “You’ve got sensitive feet, my love!”