This time around, Karina is paired up with NFL wide-receiver Jacoby Jones, who recently won the 2013 Super Bowl championship with the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, Jacoby made Super Bowl history when he became the first player ever to score a receiving touchdown and return touchdown in the championship game. He brought that same energy to the dance floor for Monday night's hot, hot, hot Cha Cha (danced to Flo Rida's "Good Feeling") -- which had judge Bruno Tonioli saying that Jacoby has the potential to be Season 16's sex machine.
What did Karina think of Bruno's saucy critique: "You want to hear that you have great technique, great art… but at the end of the day, dancing is expression," Karina said. "So the comments that mean the most, and the ones that you can really appreciate and take away, are the ones that express the opinion that you have charisma and personality on the floor. Now we have what we can't create."
Squirrel danceJudge Carrie Ann Inaba was definitely a fan of Jacoby's natural appeal, saying, "You got the moves!" But she did think that the routine resembled a touchdown dance medley. No way, Karina insisted. Although they did pay homage to his end-zone squirrel dance, it wasn't long. "I promise you, the only touchdown move was the squirrel, and it was three and a half to four seconds. I timed it." One fun nod to Baltimore's football team were Karina and Jacoby's Ravens-inspired purple and gold costumes.
Constructive criticism?Judge Len Goodman laid into Jacoby, saying that the routine was all performance driven and that his technique was terrible; Jacoby only had one week to practice due to a previous knee injury. But Karina had no hard feelings over Len's comments: "Jacoby said it himself. He said, 'This is nothing compared to the criticism you get on Twitter or anywhere else if you drop a ball.' So he'll take these comments constructively."
Karina was not surprised to be the last couple dancing, because it was just another coincidence of the number 12 between her and her partner. "This is how crazy it is: Jacoby and I have a lot of 12 around us all the time," she said -- pointing out that her birthday is Jan. 2, Jacoby's jersey number is 12, their team voting number is 12, and his trailer on the lot is number 12. "For us to dance 12th tonight -- there's something up with it. It's exciting," she added. Lucky number 12
Like those who came beforePro football players, such as Emmitt Smith and Hines Ward, have done notoriously well on past "DWTS" seasons. So what does Karina think about Jacoby's chances to stand up to that reputation? "This show is a matter of building a good journey, a good story, showing personality, danceability, and popularity. I think he has what it takes. He did exactly what I asked of him. It was a short performance, and it had a lot of potential."
Adorable nicknamesJacoby has already called Karina his "mini me." But that's not his only nickname for the Ukrainian beauty. Karina admitted that when he's happy with her, Jacoby calls her Billy Jean. When she's being tough and he's tired, he calls her Dirty Diana. And when he's in trouble, she playfully calls him by his full name to get him back in line.
Jazz it up
Karina hinted about next week's dances, dishing that the couples are tackling the Jive, Quickstep, or Jazz: "Jacoby and I got Jazz. And we're doing a very old-school type of jazz. Since he's from New Orleans, I think he's going to find it very enjoyable and right up his alley."
"Dancing With the Stars" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 PM on ABC.
Victoria Leigh Miller contributed to this piece.
- Sports & Recreation
- Karina Smirnoff
- Jacoby Jones