Karina checked in with us after this week's show to dish on dancing with Maks, this week's somber mood, and taking a leap of faith with Jacoby Jones.
Coping with tragedyMonday's live show kicked off just hours after the bombing tragedy at the Boston Marathon, and up until the last minute, it was questionable if the show would go on.
Karina said the dancers found out about the tragedy at the beginning of dress rehearsals, and she admitted it was difficult to do the show, especially since many people on the cast have friends and family in the Boston area.
"Coming out, we had the jive, which is the complete polar opposite of the emotional spectrum," she said. "In a way we had to compartmentalize." She said that dancing is a mindscape, and it helped them all cope with the emotional night. "You can't put it all together in your mind. To some degree, we all just dove into the show."
Back with MaksThe opening dance featured the Ukrainian beauty teaming up with popular pro dancer Maks Chmerkovskiy, who took a hiatus from the show this season. Their complicated history together -- they were once engaged and split for good back in 2009 -- had some fans wondering if there were any unresolved feelings lingering between the two.
So what was it like for Karina to team up with her ex for two ultra-important dances?
"When I was first told that would be the situation, I was like, 'Ha! Interesting.' I was wondering if it was going to be a little awkward or weird," she said. "We started rehearsing, [and] it was such a long time ago that we had our situation. … It was good. I actually enjoyed it really well."
Leap of faithKarina and her celeb partner Jacoby Jones took on the jive to Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally," and the dance featured Jacoby doing kicks, flicks, and splits -- and he even leaped over Karina's head in a single bound!
So who took the leap of faith with that one? Karina said her original choreography called for Jacoby to jump over her, but she was going to have him bend down and use her shoulders. It was the NFL star who decided that he didn't want to touch her shoulders, telling his pro partner, "I'm just gonna jump!"
Karina admitted she didn't think he'd be able to do a full jump over her head without using her shoulders: "At no point did I ever think that would be humanly possible," she said, but added that Jacoby continues to surprise her every day. (Fun fact: The dancing duo is set to travel to New Orleans, where he'll get a key to the city.)
Get to the point
While the Super Bowl hero was chastised on Monday for not pointing his toes during his dance ("You'll never get a 9 off of me with those feet," Len Goodman told him), he set the judges straight with the ultimate comeback: "Len, I love you so much, but I gotta tell you, with these feet, I went 108 in 11 seconds!" (Jones set an NFL postseason record with a 108-yard kickoff return during the big game.)
Karina's plan to get a 9 (or a 10!) out of Len? She said they've already put a lot of "long, hard, blood, sweat, and tears" into his footwork, and Jacoby told "On the Red Carpet" that he tries to heed the judges' instructions to point his toes: "I try my best to point my toes, but God made my feet like this for a reason," he said. Karina pointed out that the fastest people in the world are pigeon-toed.
"I've even pulled his toes to see if I can get him to point them," she said, adding that in the end, "It is what it is. Our job is to do the best job we can with what we have to work with."
It seems to be working out for them so far!
Tune in to the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 16 results show on Tuesday, 4/16 at 9 PM EST on ABC.
More from this contributor:'Dancing With the Stars' Season 16: Fast Facts About the Cast
- Sports & Recreation
- Karina Smirnoff
- Jacoby Jones
- Len Goodman
- Maksim Chmerkovskiy