Apolo Ohno is a former Dancing with the Stars champion, winning the coveted mirror-ball trophy in season 4 with Julianne Hough. The ice-skating Olympian is now blogging for PEOPLE.com about competing with Karina Smirnoff in the all-star season.
Last week, we were in the bottom two. I try so hard every single week, and I think I’ve really turned it up a notch since basically week five. Our fusion dance was actually one of my favorite dances. I love the paso, and the song was really strong. I thought the choreography was great. For me to feel comfortable enough to take my shirt off, I feel like it had to have been a really good moment.
It really sucks that we had to go first. Traditionally, in the history of Dancing with the Stars, nobody ever gets perfect scores going first. I don’t know if it would have changed anything. I just wished we had been able to go a little bit later.
It fired me up even more to just jump back into rehearsal, crank it even harder, think outside the box and really just do something different. At first I thought it was good we got all nines, but then we still ended up in the bottom two. I was never in that position when I was on the show last time, so it’s turned into a motivating factor.
I take every single week as if it’s our last week ever on the show. I think that allows me to really perform and entertain at the best level I possibly can. It’s fun, but it’s tough. I’m not sleeping much, but it’s good.
If we were to get eliminated, I absolutely would not regret the experience. The show and the journey and the things you go through are really amazing. But I’m not even thinking about that. If Tom [Bergeron] calls my name on Tuesday and tells me to come to the bottom of the stairs, I will tell him I am fine where I am and I think I’ll stay up there for a little while. I’m not going to move.
I’m hurting this week. This week is hard. We have two full dances. Karina [Smirnoff] and I have the tango, which is our individual dance. We’re dancing to a great song by Bonnie Tyler called “I Need a Hero.”
I’m trying out this entrance to the dance, and I’ve never really done it on the show before. I’m coming in from the corner of the skybox. It’s a little crazy. I’m told to come in like a superhero or action figure. I’m not really the best with heights. That’s why I’ve always stayed low to the ground.
The other dance we have is our trio dance, and we have Sasha Farber, who is one of the professionals on the show. We’re doing a jive to “Grease Lightning,” which I love. The number is sick, but I have two Russian dancers who forget that I’m not a pro. So they’re putting in this crazy, fast routine that normally a pro would have. My hip flexors feel like guitar strings right now. They are gone.
When I’m not dancing, I’ve been laying low. I just bought a new place, so I’m just remodeling. It’s on the Westside in [L.A.’s] Century City. I love things right now. L.A’s weather is so beautiful.
I haven’t been on a date in a long time, so maybe I’ll have a little time for that – jeez. With the show, it’s so crazy. Your social life and everything gets put on hold.