Not only did Karina Smirnoff and Jacoby Jones survive another week on Dancing with the Stars, the duo is being billed as top contenders thanks to last week’s “razzmatazz” jazz number. Karina sheds some light on this week’s change of pace and Jacoby’s take on tights.
SheKnows: I have to say, you weren’t joking when you told us last week that your jazz performance was non-stop!
Karina Smirnoff: It was! I mean, to that music we really couldn’t stand still or do something slow — the music was so cool and hyper and full of energy, so the dance needed to be non-stop, too! I think Jacoby nailed it. I couldn’t have asked for a better job than that dance!
SK: It’s kind of amazing after watching that performance to think that Jacoby hasn’t been dancing longer. Was he a natural at jazz?
KS: I tried to do a jazz routine that would show off his strengths. With him being from New Orleans and being very athletic, I think the old-school jazz was right up his alley. Last week Len said he wanted to see us doing stuff that’s not in Jacoby’s comfort zone, but, you know, last week we did the cha-cha — which is obviously something that he’d never done — then we took it to another level for the jazz, and today we’re going to be doing the rumba. So that’s three completely different dances that Jacoby has done so far in the show! Hopefully we’ll show a different side of him every week.
SK: So you’re doing the rumba tonight?
KS: Yes, we’re doing the rumba, which is the dance of love. Our story of the dance is something Jacoby is very passionate about. He is from New Orleans — he was born and raised there — and his mom still lives in their original house. When he went through Katrina, he lost pretty much everything… all the memories, all the pictures. Tonight is prom night on the show and we’re all going to talk about our experiences going to prom and how much fun it was. But for Jacoby, whose school was lost in Katrina, he doesn’t have any pictures from the prom except for one, which is really, really bad quality — it’s a picture of a picture somebody else had of him. So it’s going to be a more emotional dance for us, to remember what prom was and what that whole experience was about for him.
SK: Well, that’s heartwrenching! Do you think he does a good job of tapping into those emotions for this dance?
KS: Obviously, I’m biased because that’s my partner and I think he’s incredible, but I really think everyone is going to be pleasantly surprised. No one is going to expect to see the level of depth and diversity he is going to show tonight. I mean, this is a 6’4″ tall athlete and you are going to see him tap into an emotional, sensitive side that you don’t expect to see from him. I think he is doing a fantastic job with the dance of love, which is romantic and difficult.
SK: We have to ask… how does Jacoby — the big, macho football player — feel about the costume changes each week?
KS: I try to stay away from rhinestones and sequins for him to still keep it in the masculine family but you know, if you look at the situation for what it is, the guy wears spandex and tights on the field! (laughs) So he’s not far away from our costumes. Maybe he’s missing rhinestones and heels, but everything else, he’s already used to!
SK: So you actually pick out the costumes each week for you guys?
KS: Yes, I get to design all the costumes for us. I run everything by Jacoby just to make sure he’s cool with it and then we have an incredible wardrobe department that makes it all a reality.
SK: Well, we are looking forward to seeing what you have in store tonight.
KS: I think he’s going to go shirtless…