"Dancing With the Stars: All Stars," and we caught up with stunning pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, who has nothing to feel guilty about after her hot samba with Apolo Ohno! She gave us the scoop on this week's team dance, her '70s-style sizzling samba, and her chemistry with Apolo.It was Guilty Pleasures Week on
"Give It To Me Baby"So now we know what Apolo Ohno sings to in the shower! The Olympic speed skater picked the Rick James classic "Give It To Me Baby" to show off his samba skills with Karina, but judge Carrie Ann Inaba told the dancing duo that they need to work on their chemistry.
While Karina admitted that chemistry can be hard to maintain constantly while dancing together day in and day out, she felt that on the stage, their chemistry was in tact. Mostly, though, she was blown away by how Apolo mastered the challenging moves: "The fact that Len gave us a 9.5, and he's one of the toughest judges ever -- he recognized the difficulty of the routine, the technique, and the execution. Apolo's hips moved so much in this dance. I thought he had battery-operated equipment in there! Can we keep them?!"
As for the sex appeal that Len and Bruno felt? Karina said laughing, "It's Rick James! This whole week Apolo was so funny -- in the middle of dancing, he'd be like, 'I wanna love you, baby.'" Sounds like the chemistry was bubbling over for these two!
"Absolutely. When that happened, Apolo was there," Karina said. "It's situations like this that help you grow even stronger together. He kept saying that it's not about falling down, it's about getting up; it's about finding new strength. That's how it is in life. You can't get discouraged. You have to take charge. That incident brought us closer together."
Smells like team spiritFor the team dance on Monday night, Karina and Apolo teamed up with three other all-star couples (Sabrina Bryan and Louis Van Amstel; Shawn Johnson and Derek Hough; and Melissa Rycroft and Tony Dovolani) for a pep rally-style freestyle to the Carly Rae Jepsen song "Call Me Maybe." They scored a whopping 29.5 points (Carrie Ann Inaba was the stingy half-point holdout) and major bragging rights as they blew the "Gangnam Style" team away.
But is all that teamwork all it's cracked up to be with four pro dancers on board?
"I was the only pro girl and Apolo was the only male (contestant) on the team, so Apolo had great examples in front of him in Louis, Derek, and Tony, " the lovely pro said. "It was a good effort. Derek took a lot of charge since he was the team captain, but everyone had a lot of input." Karina added that Sabrina is a great dancer with a ton of experience, and Melissa was a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader, so there was plenty of solid dance experience on the team.
Was she thrilled about the song choice? "We really had to focus. The song itself isn't as high-impact energy as 'Gangnam Style,' but once we started doing it and saw how much in sync we can all be, and how much we can put into the team, we were so excited."
As for her teammate and friend Melissa Rycroft's injury during the group rehearsal of the dance: "You're only strong as your team. We've become really good friends, and I knew if there's any way she could come back, she would. She's a trooper, and she did such a superb job with the dance."
A little bit countryNext week is Country Week on "DWTS." So will Karina and Apolo trade in their '70s polyester for cowboy hats? Not exactly. They will be taking a more personal and touching country route with a Viennese Waltz.
"I love country. Half of my iPod music is country," Karina said. "I knew the song I wanted to use. Once I presented the song to Apolo, he told me a personal story. Also, I lost my dear grandmother and grandfather to cancer, so our song is not going to be all laughter, but it's going to be incredibly sentimental, romantic."
So get ready, because the pint-size dancing pro can't wait until next week: "The best thing for me is to have a song and a dance that I actually love. The creative process is so much sweeter."
Be sure to check out Karina Smirnoff and Apolo Ohno on "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" Monday, 10/29 at 8 PM EST on ABC.
This article was written in collaboration with Yahoo! contributor Victoria Leigh Miller.
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Backstage at 'Dancing With the Stars': Karina Smirnoff talks about Paula Abdul, her opponents' chemistry, and that mid-dance slip