Week 3 of this season’s Dancing with the Stars marked a particularly fun episode — Prom Night! After performing a nearly flawless rumba number and winning one of the night’s special titles, it seemed Karina Smirnoff and Jacoby Jones couldn’t misstep. But, uh oh! Karina doles out deets on this week’s trouble in paradise.
SheKnows: First of all, two-fold congratulations are in order — you guys made it through AND Jacoby was crowned Prom King last week!
Karina Smirnoff: That was really cool! I love Jacoby so much, because he did a great job in rehearsals with the rumba… he really did. He tried his hardest, he practiced, and just everything he was learning at rehearsal, he showed me what he was working on and how it looked — but for him to nail that character on the night more than any other time in rehearsal or camera block, that was like… wow. We finished and we were looking at each other, and he was like, “We nailed it.” And I was like, “Yes, you did. You nailed it!”
SK: Do you think you and Jacoby’s chemistry lent itself well for such an emotional performance?
KS: You know, we have great chemistry. He calls me the female version of himself, haha! We get along really well — we laugh a lot. And, definitely, last week we were absolutely in sync!
SK: Uh, oh! Sounds like there is a “but” coming…
KS: This week, on the other hand, was a little different. I think we stepped outside of the honeymoon phase while getting ready for the foxtrot we’re dancing [tonight]. And I think you’ll see it in the episode — it was our first official fight.
SK: So, how is your relationship with Jacoby at this point?
KS: We’re still incredibly close and tight. You know, he’s not just a person — he’s a friend and he’s a teammate. But you see each other every single day. As much as you love spending that time together, there comes a point when you just go, “Let’s take a minute. Let’s walk away and miss each other for a minute.” Because it’s every single day! This week we have to dance the foxtrot and Jacoby’s not a fan of the dance. He thinks it’s a little too restrictive — he likes dances where he can dance free!
SK: Does this week’s dance have any special meaning like last week’s?
KS: The story of the dance is absolutely gorgeous! We’re doing a story for the best year of his life, which was 2012. Everybody would think that’s his best year because he won a Super Bowl, but it’s actually his best year because his son was born.
KS: I know, right? It’s so sweet, and Junior’s going to be in the audience. But the song choice that we decided to use is one of Jacoby’s favorite songs… and it’s very unexpected. I thought he was kidding with me when he told me — it’s very strong, true country. The song is great, though. It’s fun and it tells a great story, but it’s completely polar opposite of what you would think for a foxtrot.
SK: Speaking of song choice, can I say I was so excited when your rumba started and your song choice for it was Rihanna’s “Stay”?
KS: Thank you! We committed it right away for the rumba, because I knew I wanted to do a dance for Jacoby about New Orleans — about where he comes from and what he went through when Katrina hit. So it was just the story of two people losing everything and coming together and trying to love and find hope and belief for the future… with that song, I just had this feeling. It just all came into place!
SK: Tell us — how’d you two wind up having your first official fight over the foxtrot?
KS: I was struggling to connect the music to the technicalities of the dance, and Jacoby was just struggling with the fact he had to be in training and he didn’t like it. So we hit a little roadblock. I couldn’t get him to do what I wanted him to do and he was getting really frustrated with himself. I had never experienced him that way so I didn’t know how to take it and I was taking it personally. So, we had our first fight!
But the most important thing is making up — how you come out of the fight. You can either be stuck in the moment of the fight for a long time, or you can take a leap forward and make your relationship better because you acknowledge what you did and apologize for that.
SK: Who apologized first?
KS: That same night, Jacoby texted me the sweetest message ever! I read the text message and I was like, “Shoot! I can’t even be mad at him!” The message was like, “Baby, I’m sorry! I get so frustrated with myself and I’m competitive, and I want to be able to get the steps… You should see me if I fumble the ball! Nobody even talks to me on the field because I get so upset!”
The next day he came in and reiterated that vocally too, and he said, “I’m sorry… I don’t want you to take it personally, cause it’s not.” And from that point on, it’s weird — we started off that week not enjoying the dance at all, and now we absolutely love it. I don’t know if we needed this disagreement, but because we had it we’re that much better together now.
SK: Well, we’re glad you and Jacoby made nice!
KS: I know! I didn’t expect him to be so sweet. I mean, I said he was incredibly sweet from the get-go, but the way that he handled that situation? I was like, “I love you, man!”