Things got personal on this week's "Dancing With the Stars," as the 10 celeb couples shared special stories about the best year of their lives. For NFL star Jacoby Jones, that meant a tribute to the year 2012 -- which not only represented his winning Super Bowl season, but more importantly, the birth of his son, Junior.
We checked in with pro dancer Karina Smirnoff after the show to find out more about her emotional foxtrot with Jacoby, her own best year, and who inspired her this week.
The story behind Jacoby's best yearWhile Karina says she was a little leery about combining a country song -- Rodney Atkins's "Watching You" -- with a foxtrot, she says the song had special meaning for Jacoby. She called this week's emotional outcome an "out of body experience," because the two really struggled with the dance, the song, and what was the real story behind the dance. (They even had their first fight!)
"[Jacoby] first listened to that song when he was a rookie, training to be drafted," Karina explained. "When he listened to it the first time, he really liked it, and that was the moment when he said to himself, 'You know, I really want to be a father; I want to have a son.' From that point on, that's the song he would listen to when he would think about Junior." (Fun fact: Little Junior is 7 months old and made a cameo on Monday night's show.)
Of course, when Karina listened to the song, she asked herself, "What was I thinking?" and wondered how she'd marry the country song with a foxtrot. Meanwhile, Jacoby didn't like dancing the foxtrot at all at first, so the two had their work cut out for them.
Their struggles paid off big-time with the judges awarding them 24 points, and Carrie Ann Inaba giving them major kudos: "I think you have a real shot at winning this," the judge told the dancing duo on Monday night.
Karina's reaction to Carrie Ann's prediction: "Don't jinx it, don't jinx it! We're just working hard and enjoying it and having a blast, and if there's a trophy at the end, it will be that much better."
The pint-sized pro says she has faith in Jacoby and believes he's just scratching the surface of his talent. "I feel like a proud mother!" she joked. "My child, he just did the foxtrot!"
Speaking of good times, there are many years that are extremely meaningful to Karina, but she says the year that her parents brought her to the United States ranks as one of her best.
"My life would have been back in the Ukraine, and I'd be still dreaming about America," she said. "My parents picked everything up and made the ultimate sacrifice, and for that, I think it is my best year. It gave me the opportunity to not just believe in dreams, but conquer them."
Who inspired Karina this week?Lisa Vanderpump's on-camera fainting spell and trip to the hospital during last week's rehearsals had the cast worried, and the reality star's dancing status was questionable up to the last minute on Monday night. But Karina says when Lisa came out and performed her cha-cha, it showed "so much dedication."
"She put on a smile, she got on that floor, and I know she's not going to regret it," Karina raved. "People respect how much effort and dedication she has."
The Ukrainian beauty was also inspired by Kellie Pickler's rumba, which channeled her 2011 wedding to Nashville songwriter Kyle Jacobs. "I'm a girl, and I still believe in fairytales and all of that," Karina said of the romantic dance, which included Kellie's husband serenading her as she danced with Derek Hough.
Karina added that contemporary was a really good dance for Aly Raisman, putting the Olympian in her in her element.
As for next week? Karina hinted that it will be "very interesting."
"I don't know if it will be good interesting or bad interesting, but it will be very interesting," she laughed, promising the potential for some extra drama.
Tune in to the "Dancing With the Stars" Season 16 results show on Tuesday, 4/9 at 9 PM EST on ABC.
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