Karina is partnered with speed skater Apolo Ohno, an eight-time Olympic medalist and Season 7 "DWTS" champ who's known for his competitive edge and is focused "on the podium."
On the heels of last week's middle-of-the-pack score of 22 points, Karina and Apolo quickstepped things up a notch for week two, nabbing a score of 24.5 and landing in 4th place on the judges' leaderboard. They were a half-point shy of the coveted top three, but in a competition this intense, it was an awesome achievement for both mirror ball champs. (Karina won "DWTS" with partner J.R. Martinez last fall!)
Donning a gorgeous gold dress that oozed old school Hollywood glam, Karina dazzled this week as she and Apolo received praise from the judges following their super quick quickstep. "Gold medal!" Len Goodman declared before whipping out his "8" paddle.
We spoke to Karina Smirnoff after the show, and she gave us the inside scoop on this week's performance, as well as next week's unique judges' challenge.
Karina was totally excited after her quickstep with Apolo, especially after this week's disastrous dress rehearsal. "We messed up half the routine; we were not in sync," she said. And to top it off, Apolo accidentally headbutted her! "I didn't know what to expect," she said of their impending performance. But right before show time, Karina took the pressure off and told her partner, "Let's just have fun!"
It paid off.
While she admits her choreography to the Louis Prima song "Five Months, Two Weeks, Two Days" was quite complicated, Karina says she knows the judges appreciated it. As for Apolo? "He nailed it!" she said.
But what about those pesky half-points the judges have incorporated for this season? Karina says, "I would love that it be directed at a certain aspect of the dance."
Of her gorgeous costume, Karina revealed, "I wanted to bring back glamour, the American dream, the 1950s, the 'Mad Men' look." (Mission accomplished!)
For next week, the judges have challenged the all-star celebs to take creative control by picking a dance from a past season and reinventing it. The theme is Iconic Dances Week, and it's an exciting new twist for the show. But what does Karina think of Apolo taking the lead next week?
"Apolo is very excited about that," she laughs. "My enthusiasm is not as great." She promises a very sexy and seductive foxtrot with an intriguing song, but she hopes she can take Apolo's ideas for the choreography and fine tune them.
As for this week's dances, Karina gave a special shout out to Gilles Marini, who suffered a strained thigh muscle and could barely walk all week. "He came out and did such an amazing job!" Karina said of her competitor's 25.5-point jive with Peta Murgatroyd.
Watch the "Dancing With the Stars" week 2 performances:
You can see Karina and Apolo on the "Dancing With the Stars" week 2 results show on Tuesday, 10/2 at 8 PM on ABC.
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